Author: Kirsten Held

Forest products celebrated

Forestry organizations, businesses, and communities celebrated Wisconsin’s diverse forest products sector during National Forest Products Week on October 15-21, 2017. Gov. Scott Walker also proclaimed the week as Forest Products Week in Wisconsin, encouraging citizens to recognize the many products that come from our forests because of the people and businesses that work in and care for forests.  Several forest products businesses and organizations hosted open house events throughout the week.  DNR produced a new handout to showcase the economic value of Wisconsin forests.  If you’d like copies of this printed publication, send an email to DNRFRPublications@wisconsin.gov noting your street address, the number of copies you’d like and the publication code number (FR-698). Continue reading “Forest products celebrated”

Architecture students use Wisconsin’s underutilized wood species as mass timber

Over the summer, Forest Products Specialist Scott Lyon had the opportunity to provide technical assistance in sourcing wood materials and product development for a summer immersion program at the School of Architecture at Taliesin in Spring Green. The immersion program is geared to college-level participants and adults interested in deepening their understanding of the architectural discipline, this experience provides an opportunity to learn about architecture side-by-side with faculty and students at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. Continue reading “Architecture students use Wisconsin’s underutilized wood species as mass timber”

Wood construction seminar was a success

On September 20 , 2017, the Forest Products Services Program, in partnership with Forest Stewards Guild, American Institute of Architects, Structural Engineers Association, and the Wisconsin Wood Marketing Team (USDA Forest Service), organized and hosted an educational seminar titled, “Wood-Based Construction – Mass Timber and Beyond.”

Approximately seventy people attended the event including architects, structural and civil engineers, forest products industry representatives, and researchers. Architects and engineers were targeted for this seminar due to their role in planning, designing, reviewing construction projects, and using of building materials (e.g. wood and mass timber products).

Continue reading “Wood construction seminar was a success”

Forest products news and events

  • Grant Opportunity: US Forest Service to award $7 million in grant applications for projects that expand wood products and wood energy markets.  Find details here.
  • Hoppe’s Urban Wood Lab Store takes a sustainable and local approach to lumber and wood products by partnering with Brown Deer High School to utilize urban wood.  Read more here.
  • Lake States Lumber Association, 2018 Winter Meeting, January 17-19, 2018, Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton;  Registration information here.  
  • Wisconsin Local-Use Dimension Lumber Grading Workshop on February 27, 2018 at the DNR Service Center in Rhinelander.
  • Thermally-modified wood (TMW) produces sustainable value-added wood products with extended service-life, and reduced environmental impacts. Read more about this product and professional consumer perceptions about Thermally-Modified Wood.

Purchase tree seedlings now

The Reforestation Program has begun its annual tree seedling and shrub sales. The tree and shrub seedlings are available to all Wisconsin landowners interested in planting for conservation purposes such as forest products, wildlife habitat and erosion control. Information on seedling availability, species information, tips on how to prepare a site for tree planting and ordering instructions are available on the DNR website (dnr.wi.gov, keyword “tree planting”).

There is a minimum order of 1,000 tree seedlings, 500 wildlife shrubs or a mixed packet of 300 seedlings. Hardwood tree species available include native oak (bur, red, swamp white and white), maples (red, silver and sugar), shagbark hickory, black cherry, butternut, black walnut, river birch, aspen and hackberry. Conifer tree species available include white spruce, black spruce, white pine, tamarack, red pine, jack pine, hemlock and white cedar. Wildlife shrubs available include American plum, red osier and silky dogwood, hazelnut, juneberry and choke cherry. A current inventory of which species are available is maintained on the DNR website.

The orders will be distributed in April and early May and can be picked up at the state nurseries located in Boscobel, Hayward, or Wisconsin Rapids, or delivered to a central location designated by the local DNR forester. Even though seedlings are not shipped for planting until spring, it is important to order now because many species sell out quickly.

For assistance, contact Carey Skerven at carey.skerven@wisconsin.gov or (715) 424-3703.

No vehicle access to Lake Superior landing

If you are planning to spend time during these last summer weekends on Wisconsin’s northern-most state forest, be aware that the boat landing at the mouth of the Brule River is closed. High water levels and wave action of Lake Superior have eroded the road leading to the boat landing. This popular take-out point is still open for carry-in landings, but vehicles are not allowed to drive to the landing. The distance to carry a watercraft is about 100 yards.

Canoeing on the Brule River State Forest.

Canoeing on the Brule River State Forest. (Rena Johnson photo / Courtesy National Association of State Foresters)

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Paddling the Bois Brule River has long been a popular activity on the Brule Rule State Forest and is not impacted by this closure.

Find more information about recreational opportunities on this and other northern state forests here.

 

 

Division leadership confirmed

Chief State Forester Fred Souba, Jr. completed another significant step in the DNR Division of Forestry reorganization with the appointment of the leadership team. Earlier this year, Souba changed the administrative structure of the Division to help improve efficiencies and better align staff with the future of the Division’s strategic direction implementation.

Souba created two Forestry Deputy Division Administrator positions. The Field Operations Deputy Administrator will work closely with the state forester, stationed in the northern half of the state, implementing policies directly impacting field operations and building upon external partnerships. The Forestry Services Deputy Administrator will be the key lead for policy and service coordination efforts and needs with staff and partners located in Madison. Continue reading “Division leadership confirmed”

DNR helps fight fires outside of Wisconsin

The 60 Wisconsin DNR personnel and six engines that helped on out-of-state wildland fires this summer created a win-win scenario for all involved.

Community meeting in Montana

Public Information Officer Catherine Koele addresses a community group regarding a fire on the Lolo National Forest in Montana.

Not only was the assistance of tremendous value on the 14 fires in six states and two Canadian provinces, but these assignments provided valuable training and experience for DNR employees in working together for extended periods of time under less-than-ideal conditions and in dealing with forest fire safety situations in large fire environments. The assignments provide employees an opportunity to obtain and maintain their forest firefighting qualifications and credentials.  They also allow us to demonstrate and test our equipment and tactics in large fire situations not available in Wisconsin every year.

This sharing of resources is crucial given that no single agency can afford to have all of the personnel and equipment necessary to fight forest fires during peak activity times. Wisconsin routinely uses air resources and personnel from other agencies for assistance during our spring forest fire season.

The valuable training and experience gained by our staff greatly benefits the state of Wisconsin and its ability to respond to local forest fires and provides the requesting agency well-trained staff and equipment to help manage their wildland fire incidents. Truly a win-win scenario!

Wettest year ever in Wisconsin

It’s official. January through July 2017 was the wettest Wisconsin has experienced in the 123 years data has been collected. The average across the state was 25.25 inches, which is 7.14 inches above average according to the National Weather Service.

Areas of northeast, northcentral, west central and southeast Wisconsin have recorded the wettest January through July since measurements began.

Total precipitation percentiles for the United States from January through July 2017. Overall, and for multiple areas of Wisconsin, it has been the wettest January through July ever recorded. Figure from NOAA

Flood and other storm damage have occurred to forests and urban trees in many areas of Wisconsin. We suspect storm damage from May to July has led to a number of new oak wilt infestations in impacted areas. The wet weather has also led to abundant leaf and needle diseases such as anthracnose. Plentiful precipitation has similarly played a role in insect populations. Japanese beetle larvae thrive with consistent soil moisture and the consistent rain in recent years has resulted in large populations of this pest across the Midwest. In contrast, the wet, humid spring led to another year of high mortality rates for gypsy moth caterpillars from disease.

Written by Mike Hillstrom, forest health specialist, Fitchburg (Michael.Hillstrom@Wisconsin.gov), 608-513-7690.

Early fall color?

You may be noticing leaves of various hardwood trees already turning to fall color in lowland areas. These lowland areas are holding more water this year and it is affecting the trees. The trees in these areas are stressed from being in water too long, and this is causing the hardwoods leaves to turn color early. Some of the hardwoods are dying in these lowland areas, and most conifers in these areas are also dying due to too much water.

Hardwood leaves turning to fall color

Hardwood leaves turning to fall color

Written by: Todd Lanigan, forest health specialist, Eau Claire (Todd.Lanigan@wisconsin.gov) 715-839-1632