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Wisconsin Land Use takes a look at various Wisconsin land use changes overtime from agriculture to energy to water. The Minitrend and Megatrend series both examine trends in contextual format as well as integrating maps and other graphics to reflects the impact of changes.

The Minitrends Series focuses on a specific land use topic using ​​ARCGIS StoryMaps. The Megatrends Series takes a statewide look at land use trends. These reports are accessible in pdf format. ​​

Agriculture

Minitrends StoryMap: USDA Wisconsin Conservation Reserve Program

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) retires land in 10–15 year increments to help protect soil, clean water, and enhance wildlife habitat. This Minitrend report examines the changes in acres and conservation practices in Wisconsin and also discusses the future of the CRP in the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill.

Megatrends: Agriculture

This publication is intended for local government officials and others interested in investigating the connections between agriculture and land use. It covers statewide trends for various agricultural sectors are explored together with economic impacts, environmental and human health impacts, and state and local policies to manage agriculture.

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Climate

Megatrends: Climate

This publication is intended for local government officials and others interested in investigating the connections between climate change and land use. We present an introduction to climate change at the global and state level, examine infrastructure and economic implications, and show how natural resources may change through this current century. We wrap up by looking at state level policies and potential tradeoffs and community level mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Energy

Minitrends StoryMap: Solar

As Wisconsin has no substantial in-state fossil fuel resources, reliance on a fossil fuel-based energy profile leads to an annual energy spending deficit of $14.4 billion. This profile is rapidly shifting, however. There is increased development of utility-scale (greater than 100 megawatts) photovoltaic production, including several projects under construction and in the queue.

This online report examines several land characteristics to estimate the solar capacity in Wisconsin.

Megatrends: Energy

This publication is intended for local government officials and others interested in investigating the connections between energy and land use. In it, we update information from our 2008 energy publication and discuss barriers, issues, and energy policies related to energy efficiency, wind, solar, biofuels, and nuclear energy. We also cover jobs related to energy efficiency and renewable energy and energy policies in Wisconsin communities and in Midwestern states. A summary poster is also available.

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Forest

Megatrends: Forests

Forests have played a large role in the physical and economic development of Wisconsin. Natural and human forces also have shaped Wisconsin’s forests. This report provides a brief history of Wisconsin’s forests and reflects on the social, economic and environmental costs, benefits and challenges facing our forests. Policy and management options for landowners, local officials and communities looking to support our forests are also provided.