Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • How do I get a zoning permit?

  • When do I need a permit from Land and Water Conservation?

  • How do I rezone my property?

  • Who can help me with shoreland erosion issues?

  • How do I prepare a nutrient management plan?

  • How do I report manure runoff?

  • What is cost sharing and what can it be used for?

  • Is there a fee for Land and Water Conservation staff assistance?

Established under Chapter 92, State Statutes, the Portage County Land and Water Conservation Division (LWCD) is located within the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Department. The LWCD's focus is on protection and improvement of the County's land and water resources by implementing a variety of County, State, and Federal programs. The Portage County Land and Water Resource Management (LWRM) Plan was approved by the County Board on June 16, 2009, and serves as the document for guiding LWCD activities for the years 2009 through 2019.

Click here for a calendar containing agendas and minutes

Check here for an archived collection of agendas and minutes


Staff of the Land and Water Conservation Division (LWCD) take direction from the Land and Water Conservation Committee (LWCC), a statutory body made up of five County Board Supervisors, and the chair or designee of the Farm Service Agency (FSA) Committee.

2016-2018 LWCC Members:

Dale O'Brien, Chair
Barry Jacowski, Vice-Chair
Julie Morrow, Secretary
Roger Bacon
Bob Gifford
Gerry Zastrow

Land and Water Conservation Division Staff:

Steve Bradley, County Conservationist
Dan O’Connell, Senior Conservation Technician
Randy Slagg, Conservation Technician
Patty Benedict, Administrative Associate II


June 2017 - A team of eight AmeriCorps NCCC volunteers arrived in Portage County on June 2, spending one week assisting the Portage County Parks Department with garlic mustard removal at Standing Rocks Park.  On June 12, the team moved to the Hancock Agricultural Research Station to work for the Central Wisconsin Windshed Partnership (CWWP).  The team sorted and prepared plants for hand and machine planting, installed weed barrier fabric, and hand weeded and mowed windbreak and living snow fence sites throughout Central Wisconsin.  The team departed for their home base in Vinton, Iowa on June 29. 

During their time in Portage County, the team attended Land and Water Conservation Committee and Parks Commission meetings, as well as a County Board meeting, observing County government processes.  They spent a morning learning about the job duties of Planning and Zoning Department staff.  They also volunteered at the Walk Wisconsin event on June 3 and assisted Village of Park Ridge residents after the June 12 storm.


AmeriCorps NCCC Oak 4 Team from bottom right:  Evan Sullivan, Team Leader Mitch Geers, Rose Albert, Laine Nightingale, Chelsea Speight, Yasheva Outlaw, and Brian Rivera.  Missing is Aidan Bihn-King.