Private landowners are uniquely positioned to shape the future of Wisconsin’s forests — they own nearly 60% of the state’s forestland. However, relatively few landowners seek management assistance, leaving many acres unmanaged.
UW–Madison Extension’s Wisconsin Coverts Project is a free woodland management program for private landowners, which provides landowners with training and resources to manage their land. The program is coordinated by Extension and the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology.
The Wisconsin Coverts Project began in 1994. Since then, 822 participants have completed the program, who are responsible for managing nearly 250,000 acres across the state. Participants have reached out to more than 17,000 other landowners who own an additional nearly 700,000 acres.
In 2022, 28 landowners representing 22 properties attended the program. The vast majority of participants reported that they learned a great deal about land management and felt comfortable knowing who to contact for future management needs.
One year after the workshop, nearly 80% of the participants completed a written management plan. Additionally, 89% of the participants reported that the program changed the way they manage their land. Also in 2022, participants reached out to 1,600 additional landowners through one-on-one conversations and field days.