Beginning in 2014, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) partnered on a project to map the current land cover of Wisconsin. The resulting dataset, known as Wiscland 2.0, was completed and delivered to the DNR in August 2016. The Wiscland 2.0 digital database is a complete update to the previous statewide Wisconsin land cover map.
Per Act 20, Wisconsin’s 2013-15 biennial budget, the DNR was identified as the lead agency to implement recommendations of the 2012 Deer Trustee Report (DTR). These recommendations included production of an updated version of the state’s land cover dataset. Funding for the Wiscland 2 project was provided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act.
A current land cover dataset is a critical element in research and establishing scientifically based management plans. Land cover data describes the types of land cover across the state (i.e., agricultural lands, forests, grassland, urban areas, wetlands, and water bodies). Understanding land cover types and patterns is important for assessing deer population across the state, as well as supporting many other analyses and decision-making needs of DNR programs, other government entities, private businesses, utilities, non-profit organizations, academia, and others.
The Wiscland 2.0 data, Accuracy Assessment, User Guide, and other related files are available for download from the DNR Public GIS FTP site.
Source: WI DNR website news: DNR.WI.GOV/News/Weekly