Wisconsin Land Use - ​Minitrends and Megatrends 

Wisconsin Land Use takes a look at various Wisconsin land use changes overtime from agriculture to energy to water. The Minitrends Series focuses on a specific land use topic using ​​ARCGIS StoryMaps while the Megatrends Series takes a statewide look at land use trends. These reports are accessible in pdf format. ​​

​​​​​​​Mintrends ​Series


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 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.

View the online report.

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

​​​​​Megatrends​ Series


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. 

Online Resources

Forest Benefits



​In this edition of Megatrends, we address issues of the impact of transportation on individuals, businesses, communities, the environment and the state by taking a closer look at statewide land use and transportation trends. We provide a timeline of Wisconsin's transportation history and discuss how people and goods move around, how different users rely on the transportation system, and the impact of transportation on the economy, environment, and human health. Through case studies, we examine how land use and transportation policies can be used to shape local communities. Lastly, we look at emerging trends likely to take hold in the future.

Online Resources

Transportation Costs and Affordability

This Stevens Point Journal article contains maps for the percentage of WI state highways and local roads in each county that are rated as better than "fair condition" in 2015.


Correction to reference H11: Volk HE et al. 2013. Traffic-Related Air Pollution, Particulate Matter, and Autism. JAMA Psychiatry. 70(1):71-77.



This publication is geared towards local government officials and others interested in investigating the connections between housing and land use. Using a series of maps, graphics and text, we explore statewide trends in housing including homeownership, seasonal housing, housing values, affordability, foreclosures, and other special topics. We also look at state and local housing policies, emerging design trends, and the impact of generational changes.

A previous edition of Housing Megatrends published in 2006 is also available. This publication explores trends in homeownership, property values, land conversion, residential energy use, and commuting. Historic and projected changes in housing density from 1940 to 2030 are also portrayed using a series of statewide maps.

Online Resources

Wisconsin Population by Generation Includes statewide maps and graph illustrating distribution of youth, Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers and older generations.

Multi Family Housing in Wisconsin Interactive map showing multi-family housing, proportion of owners and renters, and the number of single-family, multi-family, and mobile homes by municipality.

Wisconsin Housing Profiles This series addresses key demographic factors and housing issues for Wisconsin counties including the housing market, foreclosure impacts, housing affordability, vacancy rates, and more.

2010 Census Chartbook: Demographic Trends in Wisconsin Section 4: Housing uses a series of maps and graphics to explore housing density, homeownership, seasonal housing, and vacancy rates.

The Generation Gap: Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers in the Labor Force Interactive map for the U.S. showing predominant generations, unemployment rates, and labor force participation by census tract.     

The U.S. Population Has Aged Significantly Over the Past Two Decades  Interactive map for the U.S. showing the share of county population aged 50 and over for 1990 and 2010.

Millions of Americans Spend Over 30 Percent of Income for Housing Interactive map for the U.S. showing the percent of homeowners, renters and households that spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

State of Wisconsin and County Foreclosure Filings, 2000-2011 



This publication is intended for local government officials and others interested in investigating the connections between water and land use. We provide a timeline of Wisconsin's association with water, provide an understanding of water resources, and discuss a range of state and local policies that affect water use and the resource itself. A powerpoint​ presentation is also available.

Online Resources

What Does Water Mean to You? A 7-minute video explores the importance of water in Wisconsin.


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.

CLUE's previous edition of Energy Megatrends is also available. In it, CLUE explores land use trends related to renewable and nonrenewable energy. We present a map scenario illustrating how Wisconsin might achieve its goal of producing 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. We wrap up by looking at building, transportation and community design approaches to reduce energy use.


This publication is intended for local government officials and others interested in investigating the connections between agriculture and land use. 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.  A powerpoint presentation is also available. 

Online Resources

Wisconsin’s Migrant and Immigrant Agricultural Labor Force

​Climate Change

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.

Online Resources

Mitigation Measures for Local Government


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Recreation                                                                       Recreation

This publication illustrates statewide land use trends related to Wisconsin's recreation. This brochure is intended to help local communities, government officials, planning professionals and individual landowners think about ways to plan for and better manage local and regional recreational resources.