Since 2007, funds have been available in the Dane County budget as part of the Land & Water Legacy Fund to purchase streambank easements along Tier I streams -- see definition in Dane County Parks & Open Space Plan. Streambank easements typically extend 33 feet from the streambank and are open to public fishing, hiking, and wildlife observation.
Priority has been given to streams that have been restored or enhanced through an existing conservation program and to those that offer the highest fishing potential and would benefit from increased permanent public access. The majority of these streams are located within the unglaciated Driftless Area of Dane County which is known for its excellent trout fishing opportunities and beautiful scenery. Maps are available for the following streambank easements:
Trout Unlimited, Badger Fly Fishers, Dane County Conservation League, Groundswell, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have contributed greatly to the program’s success and ability to leverage County dollars. Dane County is working with these organizations to provide native trees for planting along these streams where stream restoration activities have taken place.