Often called the "Bordner Survey" after its director, John Bordner, the Wisconsin Land Economic Inventory was a Depression-era project to inventory the land resources of Wisconsin so that they could be used more productively. Field workers, usually trained foresters, tried to touch each "forty" in a county and map current land use and land cover, signs of erosion, and size and quality of stands of timber. Included on the maps are such features as houses, schools, churches, taverns, cheese factories, filling stations, and logging camps. Each map covers one survey township. Milwaukee County was not mapped, and maps for Lincoln, Manitowoc, and Sheboygan counties were not published. Land in Menominee County, established in 1961, is included as part of Langlade, Oconto, and Shawano Counties. Together, these maps present a portrait of the Wisconsin landscape during the 1930s and 1940s.
For more information, see Wisconsin Land Economic Inventory, Land Cover Maps.