header photo

Scenic Wisconsin

An Affiliate of Scenic America


You can print out your membership form and mail it in. Please click here.

Dear Friend,

Everyone is becoming aware that Wisconsin is losing its scenic beauty.

There are a number of causes, many of them associated with unplanned urban sprawl in rural areas.

In recent years, unsightly billboards have been going up along most main roads in Wisconsin, some of them gigantic. There are now concentrations of billboards near most towns, for example, on Highway 41 near Oshkosh and Appleton, and on Interstate 43 near Sheboygan. Our environment is undergoing a change from roads with scenery connecting towns set in Wisconsin landscape to one unending commercial zone spotted with signs.

Roads marked "scenic" on some road maps of the state, such as Highway 51 from north of Madison to Minocqua, are not spared the blight. Soon there will be no scenic main highways. With less and less good scenery to make it rewarding, road travel is becoming just another chore.

The onset of this blight was imperceptible. New billboards seem to be going up at a slow rate. But already there are a lot of signs out there and it's not slowing down. There are so many signs near Fond du Lac that you would have to slow down to read them all. It's bad now, but if this trend continues, it will be a lot worse in the future.

Citizens for a Scenic Wisconsin is determined to reverse this trend.

Most people are unaware that they have the right to control and reduce the number of billboards, "off-premise signs". In addition to several cities across the USA, there are five states that have banned off-premise signs, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont. The economy remains strong in these states and the tourism business has been boosted by a steady stream of people who come to enjoy the scenery.

Billboard control will have no adverse affect on the economy. The billboard industry would have us believe that they are a necessary part of the economy of the state. The reality is that most signs are put up by large aggressive companies trying to take business from other companies. There is no net gain. Signs advertising hotels are competing with other hotels for tourists who are already here. When did you ever hear a respected economist warn that the economy might be in trouble if there is a lack of billboards?

We are already well-informed about all products and services by newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and the internet. There is no need for in-your face outdoor advertisements.

CSW is dedicated to scenic conservation in our state. We are actively engaged in supporting legislation to control billboards. This means fighting the status quo and it is not a simple undertaking. We can use your help.

To become a member you will be asked to confirms that you will adhere to Scenic America's Seven Principals of Scenic Conservation.

We won't sell your contact information or email address, but by joining us you can help to show our elected officials that many people want our lovely city to remain beautiful for many generations to come.

You can print out your membership form and mail it in. Please click here.