Forestry and Outdoor Recreation

The Oneida County Forest, located in the north-central part of the state, lies primarily within the Northern Highlands physiographic region of Wisconsin. The topography of the forest and surrounding area has glacial origin. The glaciers eroded hilltops and filled valleys, thus reducing relief Elevations range from 1460 feet in the southwest (Little Rice) part of the county forest to 1750 feet in the southeast (Enterprise). The terrain ranges from flat in the west (Lynne/Little Rice Block) to hilly in the central (Woodboro Block) and the southeast (Enterprise Block) part of the forest.

Oneida County has 68,096 acres of open water involving 406 named lakes, and 830 miles of streams. Of this total, 192 miles are classified as trout streams. Within the County Forest boundaries there is a variety of fishery resources.

Approximately 23 named and 22 unnamed lakes have all or portions of their shoreline under county ownership. In addition, the county owns frontage on over 10 named and 13 unnamed trout streams totaling over 49 miles.

Within the Oneida County Forest Boundary there are also 12 streams totaling 12 miles which are classified as Outstanding and Exceptional Resource Waters.

Mission Statement

Natural resources, such as those provided by the County Forest, are the base for addressing the ecological and socioeconomic needs of society. The mission of the County Forestry Department is to manage, conserve and protect these resources on a sustainable basis for present and future generations.  County Forest resources should be protected from natural catastrophes such as fire, insect and disease outbreaks, and from human threats such as encroachment, over-utilization, environmental degradation and excessive development. While managed for environmental needs including watershed protection, protection of rare plant and animal communities, and maintenance of plant and animal diversity, these same resources must also be managed and provide for sociological needs, including provisions for recreational opportunities and the production of raw materials for wood-using industries.

Management must balance local needs with broader state, national and global concerns through integration of sound forestry, wildlife, fisheries, endangered resources, water quality, soil, and recreational practices.  Management will provide this variety of products and amenities for the future through the use of sustainable forest management practices.

Documents & Links

Services & Duties

Maps and information on recreational facilities, aerial photographs for viewing purposes, seasonal firewood gathering permits, group picnic facility reservations, and camping opportunities on the County Forest.

The Forestry Department manages 82,000 acres Oneida County Forest, including timber harvesting, forest protection (fire and disease), reforestation, and wild life habitat. Recreational trails – snowmobile, all terrain vehicle (ATV), cross-county skiing, mountain bike, hunter/hiking, and nature. Maintain 37-mile forest road network. Parks, picnic areas, swimming beaches, boat landings, fishing bridge, scientific areas.

Department Plans

2017 Annual Report

2014-2018 Outdoor Recreation Plan

The Outdoor Recreation Plan (ORP) focuses upon FLORD managed outdoor recreation facilities, but will also list projects within the towns. All listed projects become eligible for competitive federal and state outdoor recreation grant money when this plan is adopted by the local municipality. Once the county adopts the plan, then it may apply for project funding.

This Outdoor Recreation Plan:
1) Assesses the existing recreation system in Oneida County;
2) Identifies recreation needs based upon public input, past plans, and recreation standards; and 
3) Establishes recommendations for improving the recreation system over the next five years.

Submission of this report to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) establishes eligibility for the County and local units of government for a variety of Federal and State Aids to purchase land and to add facilities to existing outdoor recreation lands. The Oneida County Outdoor Recreation Plan is required to apply for Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and Wisconsin Stewardship Grant funding.

Non-profit groups, foundations, and the general public may also use this document to coordinate their own private efforts for developing outdoor recreation facilities.

Towns may choose to adopt this plan too.

15 Year Comprehensive Land Use Plan

The Oneida County Forest’s 15 Year Comprehensive Land Use Plan covers the period from 2006 until 2020.  This plan outlines the management of all aspects of the County Forest and Outdoor Recreation programs.

Copies of this plan are available at the Oneida County Forestry Office, Rm 28B, Oneida County Courthouse, Rhinelander, WI 54501
Phone (715)369-6140.

To comment on this plan please call or write the Oneida County Forestry Office or email pfiene@co.oneida.wi.us.

2019 Work Plan
2018 Work Plan
2017 Work Plan
2016 Work Plan
2015 Work Plan
2014 Work Plan
2013 Work Plan
2012 Work Plan
2011 Work Plan
2010 Work Plan
2008 Work Plan
2007 Work Plan