The Managed Forest Law 

Wisconsin’s Managed Forest Law (MFL) program was enacted in 1985. It incentivizes landowners by encouraging sustainable forestry on private woodlands in the state. 

In April 2016, the Wisconsin Legislature made significant changes to the MFL program. These changes were intended to provide more flexibility to the forest landowner in Wisconsin. These changes are as follows:

  • Elimination of severance taxes
  • Partial withdrawal with DNR approval
  • MFL closed entry per municipality limit lifted to 320 acres
  • Recreational and hunting leases now allowed on MFL closed properties
  • Construction or small land sale exemption
  • Public access to open MFL lands
  • Parcels with buildings prohibited
  • New MFL tax rates

To participate in the program, property is designated as “Open” or “Closed” to public access and committed to a 25 or 50-year sustainable forest management plan. The plan, which is agreed to by the landowner, sets specific forestry practices that landowners must complete. 

A few of these sustainable practices may include controlling soil erosion, tree plantings to increase forest density, harvesting timber according to forestry standards, and practicing proper treatment before and after harvest to ensure forest regeneration. In return, MFL participants pay an acreage share tax instead of regular property tax.

Our team of MFL experts, with over 75 years of combined forest tax law experience, is best suited to meet the dynamic requirements of an evolving MFL program, while supporting your new enrollment and program compliance, at the lowest possible tax rate for the next 25- or 50-year cycle. Feel free to give us a call if you are interested in hearing the ways we can help you accomplish these goals.


For questions, please contact Derek Schummer at 715-453-3274, Ext. 307.