Bay-Lake RPC announces the award of 18 tree planting grants

Four Wisconsin regional planning commissions (RPC), Bay-Lake RPC, East Central Wisconsin RPC, Northwest Wisconsin RPC, and Southeastern Wisconsin RPC, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have jointly awarded a total $122,200 to communities under their 2018 Wisconsin RPCs and DNR Great Lakes Basin Tree Planting Grant Program. The DNR marketed the grant opportunity, provided process guidance and assistance ranking the grants. Eighteen Wisconsin communities will receive funds for projects to reduce runoff and mitigate the impacts of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Continue reading “Bay-Lake RPC announces the award of 18 tree planting grants”

Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council announces new members

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council is pleased to announce the addition of three new members to the group. We are especially pleased to have increased our geographic and professional diversity and look forward to working with them on issues related to Wisconsin’s urban and community forests. Continue reading “Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council announces new members”

Sparse-leafed elms and maples

Heavy seed production by a red maple. The Ohio State University.

Heavy seed production by a red maple. The Ohio State University.

By Todd Lanigan, forest health specialist, Eau Claire. todd.lanigan@wisconsin.gov, 715-210-0150 and Paul Cigan, forest health specialist, Hayword. Paul.Cigan@wisconsin.gov, 715-416-4920

There have been reports that some elm and maple trees in the state have fewer leaves than normal this spring. The likely reason is that several elms and maples produced an unusually large amount of seed this year, which trees do periodically. During a heavy seed production years, the tree will produce fewer leaves, which may make it appear sparse. Continue reading “Sparse-leafed elms and maples”

Defoliation by June beetles

By Mike Hillstrom, forest health specialist, Fitchburg. Michael.Hillstrom@wisconsin.gov; (608) 513-7690

June beetles defoliating an oak sapling at night.

June beetles defoliating an oak sapling at night.

June beetles (also called May beetles) are defoliating oak, aspen and birch trees in several parts of Wisconsin this spring. These beetles are unusual in that they feed on foliage at night – look for defoliation during daytime hours although no insects are present. Although the highest densities of June beetles have been found in Crawford and Grant counties in southwest Wisconsin, forest health staff has also received reports of the insect from northeast and west central Wisconsin. Continue reading “Defoliation by June beetles”

Fireworks cause forest fires

Fireworks can cause wildfiresThe Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources urges people to take precautions and prevent wildfires caused by fireworks now and during the next few weeks.  Most wildfires caused by fireworks occur around the July 4th holiday or under extended drought conditions, but the reality is, wildfires can occur anytime the ground is not completely snow-covered.

Exploding fireworks, such as firecrackers, m-70’s, bottle rockets, and roman candles, cause the most fireworks-caused wildfires.  Paired with hot and dry weather, even sparklers and fountains pose a significant threat in dry grassy areas.  Anyone responsible for starting a wildfire in Wisconsin is liable not only for the cost of putting the fire out, but also for any damages.

Fireworks are restricted in Wisconsin and permits may be required.  It’s best to check with local officials before purchasing and lighting them. A city, village, town or county may also enact an ordinance more strictly limiting fireworks sales or possessing them.

In addition, the DNR does prohibit the use of all fireworks on state lands including state parks, state forests and state owned public hunting and fishing properties.  Anyone planning on camping in a Wisconsin state park or forest for the Fourth of July should enjoy fireworks displays in nearby communities — not at picnic areas, campsites or other areas within state parks, forests and trails.

As of the last week of June, fire dangers levels throughout Wisconsin were low across the state, but even in low fire danger times, fireworks can start wildfires. So far in 2018, DNR records show nearly 700 wildfires have burned more over 1,800 acres in DNR fire protection areas of Wisconsin. Wildfires caused by fireworks only amount to 5 percent of the annual total; however, these fires typically occur in a condensed timeframe around the Fourth of July holiday.

For more information about how to prevent wildfires from fireworks, visit the DNR homepage at dnr.wi.gov and search keyword “wildfire causes.”

NHAL plans posted for review

Tree planting and the timber sale plans for Wisconsin’s largest state forest – the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest – are available on the DNR website for public review. Please submit comments to Forestry Team Leader Tom Shockley (715-614-4443) by July 16, 2018.

Established in 1925 to protect the headwaters of the Wisconsin, Flambeau and Manitowish rivers, the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest occupies more than 232,000 acres in northern Wisconsin and has more than 900 lakes within its boundaries. The forest provides employment and economic support to rural and urban communities through the production of forest products, recreation and tourism.

Property Manager Craig Dalton (715-356-5211 ext. 258) reports these 2017 forest management accomplishments as highlighted in the notes from the annual property management meeting:

  • Approximately 4000 acres of timber sales represented in 35 sales were offered for sale in FY16-17.
  • Roughly 64,000 cords of pulpwood and 1.128 million board feet of saw logs were harvested off the property last year.
  • Regular timber sale receipts totaled $3,654,455.93.
  • A significant wind event in 2017 resulted in major salvage harvests totaling an additional $163,868.09 in stumpage revenue.

Your comments on the proposed new work plans are welcomed by July 16th.

Time together means time to talk wildfire

Adams County Association Meeting

Property owners at an annual association meeting in Adams County test their wildfire knowledge.

Do you have a meeting or event with your neighborhood association this summer?  If your area is at risk to wildfire then this is a great opportunity to raise awareness of fire risk, educate people about local burning restrictions and review actions people can take to prepare their properties ahead of the flames.  Learn more at dnr.wi.gov, search “fire”.

Unique project: DeForest using thermally modified ash from their parks, for their parks

In the wave of EAB and amid some park reconstruction projects, the folks in the village of DeForest thought, “why don’t we put some of these trees to work for us.” After decades of providing shade and shelter, several large ash trees came down in Fireman’s Park. Park staff thought it would be fitting to reuse what they could from these stately trees whose fate had been sealed by EAB, which was confirmed in DeForest in 2015. Continue reading “Unique project: DeForest using thermally modified ash from their parks, for their parks”

Getting active in Wisconsin’s urban forest

Wisconsin Active Together logoBy Rob Fontella, fontella@wisc.edu, healthTIDE UW-Madison Public Health

As the weather gets warmer, Wisconsinites are getting out there and enjoying their community and the natural areas the state has to offer. Recently a new effort was launched to encourage communities in Wisconsin to become part of a campaign recognizing the community’s efforts to promote active lifestyles. Continue reading “Getting active in Wisconsin’s urban forest”

New funding opportunity with American Transmission Company

American Transmission Co (ATC) has new program that provide funding for the purchase of seeds, plugs or plants that are low-growing perennials that can be planted within a transmission line right-of-way. This program in conjunctions with the ATC’s existing Community Planting Program will help create greener communities. Learn more about both programs through the press release from ATC.

Continue reading “New funding opportunity with American Transmission Company”