MADISON (WKOW) -- A Wisconsin appeals court ruled Tuesday that no one may lease managed forest land regardless of whether it's open or closed to the public.
Land owners with land enrolled in the managed forest program pay reduced property taxes as an incentive to manage the land in a sustainable way. Those enrollees must designate whether the land is open or closed to public recreation, and state law prohibits leasing such land.
A judge earlier this year found Wayne Lautenbach, who manages closed managed forest land in Door County, illegally leased it to a hunter for $750.
Lautenbach appealed the judge's ruling, claiming the lease prohibition applies only to open land. The 3rd District Court of Appeals disagreed, ruling state law makes no such distinction.
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