Bayfield County is located in far NW Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior.  The County has a population of approximately 15,000 people with a summer population three times this.    As the second largest county geographically in the State of Wisconsin, Bayfield County is host to many state and national gems.

From the SW Corner of the County in the Town of Barnes to the Northeast where the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa are located.  All together Bayfield county covers over 1500 square miles.  Within this area there are 966 inland lakes, 80 miles of Lake Superior shoreline,  500 miles of motorized and non-motorized trails plus 450,000 acres of County, State and National Forest.

The low population density, 10 people per square mile provides space for all sorts of activities and opportunities enhanced by Lake Superiors unique warming and cooling impacts throughout the year.

Sustainable Energy Projects:

Bayfield County proper has experimented with a variety of energy conservation, alternative and renewable energy efforts over the past decade.  A 16 panel solar thermal heats water for the Bayfield County jail utilizing a 600 gallon transfer tank in the basement.  A 12 panel 2.4KW photo voltaic system provides solar electricity.  Since inception it has generated over 7 megawatts to the Law Enforcement Complex.

Alternative energies include a compressed natural gas fueling system and a fleet of eight dedicated and bi-fuel cars and trucks.  The County has the northernmost CNG fueling station, slow and fast fill and has recently added a second compressor.

Conservation efforts have led the way for the county in lighting and motion sensors, HVAC controls, variable frequency drives, insulation and window replacements. Combined these efforts have held utility rates at the Courthouse and Law Enforcement at 2006 levels.

County wide a new solar farm operated Bayfield Electric Cooperative is in the planning stages with support countywide for the effort.

Natural Resources: 

With over 172,000 acres of land the Bayfield County Forest is a major industry and revenue source for local government.  From an economic development standpoint forestry pales only to tourism which is based strongly in the region’s natural resources.  Sustainability is a characteristic with many Travel Green establishments and eco-municipalities.


Defining Our Focus:

Continued planning and community input at many levels is challenging Bayfield County to examine priorities and make decisions about the future of our county as our population demographics change and economic opportunities evolve.

Written by Mark Abeles-Allison, County Administrator 

Fore more information about Bayfield County, visit the website.