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    Wisconsin Waterways Access


    Wisconsin has over 15,000 lakes and 84,000 miles of rivers and streams. The Wisconsin Public Trust commands that the lakes, rivers and navigable waters of the state of Wisconsin be held in trust for its citizens. The Wisconsin Constitution demands this.

    Local governments may restrict boating access and methods only when necessary for public health, safety, welfare, or the public's interest in preserving natural resources.

    Tool Kit to Defend Against Attempts to Restrict Boating Rights

    The Wisconsin Water Ski Federation enlisted a Milwaukee area law firm to develop a tool kit to provide a platform for water rights activist groups to use in defending against ordinances proposed by various local government entities restricting boating rights on Wisconsin waterways.

    This tool kit outlines the general process to allow the Wisconsin Water Ski Federation, its members, and affiliated teams to defend against any efforts to restrict boating. Because these issues cary vary widely, defenses to any particular situation may require a unique approach.

    Contents of the Tool Kit include:

    • The Public's Rights to Access and Use Wisconsin Lakes
    • Boating Restrictions
    • Ordinance Procedures for Restricting Boating Rights
    • Objecting to an Ordinance Restricting Boating Rights
    • Defending Against an Ordinance Restricting Boating Rights
    • What Happens After the Contested Hearing
    • Appendices (reference materials)
    Get the Waterways Access Tool Kit

    WWSF members and affiliated teams may download a copy of the Waterways Access Tool Kit for defending against attempts to restrict boating rights in Wisconsin. The WWSF makes no guarantee that this tool kit will help you succeed in your defense, but it will help you understand the process and provide you with some insight as to how to mobilize your defense. Be sure to notify the WWSF leadership team if you are facing challenges related to boating rights or waterways access.