Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Environmental areas - section 4(f) and section 6(f), unique areas

Legal requirements | FDM references | Worksheets/forms | FHWA guidebook | FAQs

Legal requirements

FDM references


FHWA information and guidebooks


What defines a 4(f) property?

Section 4(f) properties are publicly owned parks, recreation areas, wildlife or waterfowl refuges and any significant historical or archeological site. Archaeological sites are section 4(f) only if they are important for their location.

Significance for historical and archeological properties requires that the site be on, or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Section 4(f) is applicable to all federally funded transportation projects, and includes projects which use federal funds for any of their development. See FDM 21-25-1. The FHWA section 4(f) policy paper provides additional information.

If the property is a historic or archeological site, whether publicly or privately owned, and is on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), it may be a 4(f) property (see the archaeological exemption above.). A publicly owned golf course is a 4(f) property but a privately owned golf course, even if it is open to the public is not a 4(f) property. See the section 4(f) policy paper.

What defines a 6(f) property?

Properties acquired or improved in whole or in part using funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act (LAWCON or LWCF Act) may be covered by Section 6(f).

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is the agency responsible for 6(f) properties and should be routinely contacted to determine whether any property being acquired is 6(f). LAWCON funds have been used to improve a number of different types of property, although the impetus has been recreational properties, or for recreational improvements to other properties such as a state forest. Use caution when acquiring any publicly owned land since LAWCON funds may have been used for acquisition or recreational improvements. See FDM 21-25-5.

6(f) property lists

To determine whether a property is 6(f) or not, contact the appropriate WisDOT regional environmental coordinator and review the list for 6(f) properties.

Also contact the WDNR environmental impact coordinator to ask whether the property is 6(f). To determine whether the requirements of 6(f) apply, it may be necessary to contact the WDNR's Community Financial Assistance at (608) 267-0497 or fax at (608) 267-0496.

Programmatic section 4(f) evaluation for a project

A programmatic section 4(f) evaluation is not applicable to an (EIS) project. It may be applicable to an environmental assessment (EA) or environmental report (ER) if it meets the criteria in FDM 21-25-1, attachments 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3.

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Questions about the content of this page:
Janet Nodorft, janet.nodorft@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: May 13, 2013

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