Division of Forestry News

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!

May 16th storm damages woodlands

A severe storm on May 16, 2017 left a path of destruction through some woodlands in Barron and Rusk counties.  (See DNR news release.)

If you are among the impacted landowners, the Division of Forestry invites you to visit this storm recovery page for advice and links to resources.  Your local DNR forester is always a good starting point for assistance.

This blog post from the University of Minnesota titled “Dealing with storm-damaged trees and woods” may also be of interest.

Posted by Kirsten Held, DNR Forestry Outreach Specialist, Kirsten.Held@Wisconsin.gov

2016 annual report issued

The Division of Forestry annual report highlights a few of our accomplishments in 2016 – including implementing the Good Neighbor Authority, expanding the urban forest inventory and analysis to include all census-defined urban places, rewriting the forest fire reporting system, and more.  Photos in the report showcase Division employees at work.  In his report introduction, State Forester Fred Souba thanked former State Forester Paul DeLong (who departed at the end of September for a leadership position with American Forest Foundation) and Deputy Darrell Zastrow (who retired at the end of the year) for their legacy of leadership.  Find the link to the 2016 report from the Forestry topic page on the DNR Website.

For more information, contact Forestry Outreach Specialist Kirsten Held (Kirsten.Held@Wisconsin.gov) at 608-264-6036.

Certification audits praise DNR land management

Wisconsin’s forested lands are some of the state’s most valuable resources and the Department of Natural Resources is doing a good job caring for them according to audits conducted by SCS Global Services.  Independent, third-party certification means DNR management of its properties meets strict standards for ecological, social and economic sustainability. The words “exemplary” and “superb” were used in reporting 2016 audit findings on 1,551,440 acres of state-owned lands.  Department owned lands are certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).  Read more in this DNR news release.

For more information, contact Mark Heyde at 608-267-0565.

Forestry professionals gather in Madison

Professional foresters from across the U.S. and Canada are gathering in Madison on Nov. 3-6 for the 2016 national Society of American Foresters convention.  Wisconsin DNR forester Julie Peltier, who is serving as general chair of the convention, said the gathering of about 1,600 foresters will provide the opportunity to showcase Wisconsin’s 17.1 million acres of forests and the social, cultural, ecological and economic benefits they provide.  Read more in this DNR news release.  For more information, contact Kirsten Held, Kirsten.Held@Wisconsin.gov.

BMPs found to protect water quality

Map of 2015 BMP Monitoring Sites on private, nonindustrial forestland in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin forestland sites monitored by the 2015 BMP teams. Coniferous trees represent sites that were in the Managed Forest Law (MFL) program and deciduous trees represent sites not in the MFL program. Note: Some dots are close together making the total number of sites difficult to determine on this map.

Newly-released results from 2015 monitoring for the application and effectiveness of Wisconsin’s Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Water Quality show excellent results. The effectiveness of BMPs that were applied correctly was extremely high (99.6%) at protecting water quality, but when BMPs were applied incorrectly or not applied, BMP effectiveness rates woefully dropped (6.3% and 9.4% respectively).  Even with the low water quality protection of BMPs that were applied incorrectly and not applied, no major impacts were reported on any of the monitored sites.   Read more details about the results from the monitoring of 36 non-industrial private forestland (NIPF) sites (26 of the landowners are enrolled in the MFL program) in the 2015 BMP Monitoring Report.

For more information, contact Forest Hydrologist Dave Kafura, david.kafura@wisconsin.gov, (715) 416-4140