A bright orange sunset peaking through a thickly wooded shore on a lake in northern Wisconsin.

Sustaining Economic Growth In The Face Of Industry Shifts

Amidst economic transformation through dwindling traditional industries and post-pandemic shifts, Wisconsin has made moves that are reaping rewards.

The state’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) are fueling economic growth in northern Wisconsin by support outdoor recreation opportunities that are in high demand.

Population decline in the northern part of the state is an ongoing concern, reports Business Facilities Magazine. Communities are finding success with a three-pronged approach that focuses on tourism and outdoor recreation, business and workforce needs, and infrastructure investments, including broadband.

Funding from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and Land and Water Conservation Fund supports land purchases and improvements that are important to residents and visitors alike to the Northwoods. About 99 percent of Wisconsin residents live within five miles of a project that received funding from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, and the LWCF has funded at least one project in every county of the state.

As remote work opportunities continue to be available since the pandemic, people are choosing to “work where they play,” helping to fuel growth in parts of northern Wisconsin. People are using trails for hiking, biking, and snowmobiling, and they’re asking their communities to invest in the outdoor spaces they want to frequent. Investing in outdoor recreation, as well as community and workplace resources, will continue to keep people around and engaged.

Featured image by John W. Iwanski, 2020.

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