Q: How can I be sure that a historic cemetery will be protected?
The best way to ensure that a historic cemetery will be protected is to have it cataloged by the Burial Sites Preservation Program , as required by the Burial Sites Preservation law, Wisc. Stat 157.70. You can actively participate in the cataloging process.
Q: Whose responsibility is it to take care of a local cemetery?
Care and maintenance of a cemetery falls to the property owner. The property owner may be a private individual, association, organization, or municipality.
If a cemetery has fallen into despair or has been abandoned, for five or more years, then the responsibility for the care of the cemetery reverts to the municipality the cemetery is located in. If the municipality fails to care for the cemetery, 6 or more interested persons can petition the circuit judge to order the municipality to care for the cemetery. The municipality will then be required to care for the cemetery as they provide for other cemeteries in the town.
Q: Is there money available for cemetery restoration?
Unfortunately, funding is not available to assist the Burial Sites office or landowners with restoration or preservation of burial sites.
Q: Can you help me find a relative who was buried in Wisconsin?
The Burial Sites Preservation Program was created as a result of the implementation of Burial Sites Preservation law in 1987. Under the law, the Program is responsible for identifying, locating and cataloging human burial sites. We do not maintain plat records of whom is buried in what cemetery.
For assistance with locating relatives buried in Wisconsin cemeteries, I would direct you to the following sources:
Q: If I have a burial site on my property, can I still develop the land?
Yes, as long as the new development will not disturb the burial site in any way. It is best to submit your plans to the Burial Sites Preservation Program prior to beginning the actual building process. The BSPP will be able to provide you with information, which will prevent you from getting into legal trouble under the Burial Sites Preservation law, Wisconsin Stats. § 157.70.