Month: June 2021

Fire danger remains high

Normally by this time of year, spring wildfire danger is over. Due to minimal precipitation, the danger isn’t over yet.

Since June 1, the DNR has responded to 106 wildfires in DNR protection areas. Fire danger remains elevated in many parts of the state, with much of the northern half of Wisconsin currently experiencing High to Very High fire danger.

DNR-issued burning permits will be suspended in some counties. As always, check for restrictions in your area daily after 11 a.m.

Be cautious with anything that could inadvertently start a wildfire. Ensure all tow chains are secured, avoid parking vehicles on dry grass, keep ATVs and UTVs on the trail and avoid any fireworks use. If you’re doing any woods work, avoid setting down hot chainsaws on dry grass or leaves.  Never leave your campfire unattended and make sure it’s fully out – drown and stir until all material feels cool.

DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator Don Kissinger Retires

By Jeff Roe, DNR Urban Forestry Team Leader, Madison, jeffrey.roe@wisconsin.gov or 608-535-7582

Don Kissinger, Urban Forestry Coordinator for the north-central region, is retiring after nearly 29 years at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). His last day in the office was May 21, 2021.

Don’s contributions are significant.  His best days were spent out in the field working and conversing with community forestry managers in his 18-county service area. Don never missed an opportunity to share his passion for urban forestry and arboriculture.

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2022 DNR Urban Forestry Grant Application Opening Soon

Cities, villages, towns, counties, tribes and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in or conducting their project in Wisconsin are encouraged to apply for a regular or startup 2022 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Urban Forestry Grant!

The grants range from $1,000 to $25,000, and grant recipients must match each grant dollar for dollar. A startup grant of up to $5,000 is available for communities that want to start or restart a community forestry program. Grants are awarded to projects that align with state and national goals to increase the urban forest canopy and its benefits.

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ATC Offers Funding For Planting And Pollinator Habitat Projects

Recognizing that trees and vegetation are among the features that make communities special places for residents and visitors, American Transmission Company (ATC) will continue to offer funding for planting projects in communities in its service area through its Community Planting and Pollinator Habitat programs.

The Community Planting Program provides financial support to eligible cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes in ATC’s service area for planting projects on public property, outside transmission line rights-of-way.

The Pollinator Habitat Program provides funding for site preparation; purchasing seed, plugs or plants; labor and installation; or other activities to establish quality pollinator habitat. Unlike the Community Planting Program, the Pollinator Habitat Program promotes planting low-growing vegetation within a transmission line right-of-way.

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The Dangers And Costs Of Infested Ash Trees

Credit: Joseph O’Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

The emerald ash borer (EAB) will kill nearly all of Wisconsin’s ash trees that are not protected by insecticides. To help the public understand why it’s important to act against EAB, the DNR created a publication aimed at homeowners that addresses the dangers and costs of infested ash trees. Urban forestry professionals may wish to share this flyer with those who ask questions on these topics.

The key message of the publication is this: It’s crucial to decide ASAP whether to protect your ash trees with insecticides or have them removed. Either way, time is of the essence. If you delay in treating your ash trees, the treatment may be less effective. And if you wait to remove them, removal costs will be greater and safety hazards will only get worse.

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Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grant Program Request For Applications

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service is now requesting applications for the Fiscal Year 2021 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Grant Program. The USDA anticipates that up to $5.4 million in new funds will be available for reforestation, ecosystem restoration and forest health improvement in the Great Lakes Basin through an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

This year, the USDA is announcing and awarding funding through two grant opportunities at the same time: 1) Cooperative Weed Management Areas and 2) Forest Restoration.

Submit applications by 6 p.m. EST on July 8 in Grants.gov through two separate Requests for Applications:

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Municipal Forestry Institute

The Municipal Forestry Institute (MFI) is a week-long, high-level training opportunity to educate people in the leadership and managerial aspects of urban forestry. Urban forestry professionals from across the county will come together for a week-long intensive educational program that delivers a challenging opportunity to grow a more successful community tree program. Learn and master leadership and management tools of program administration, coalition building, strategic thinking, program planning and public relations. 

MFI 2021 will be held Sept. 26-Oct. 1 in Bowling Green, Ohio. 

To learn more and to register, visit this webpage.

Eau Claire And Richland Counties Now Added To The Gypsy Moth Quarantine

By Andrea Diss Torrance, Invasive Insects Program Coordinator, andrea.disstorrance@wisconsin.gov, 608-516-2223

Gypsy moth has moved slowly across Wisconsin in the last 30 years since gaining a foothold in the counties along Lake Michigan. This month, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) determined that the invasive pest has become established in Eau Claire and Richland counties and have extended the quarantined area to include them.  This is the first time since 2015 that new counties have been added to the quarantine. Fifty-two of Wisconsin’s 72 counties are now quarantined for gypsy moth.

Wisconsin Gypsy Moth Quarantined Counties

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Oak Wilt Seasonal Harvesting Opportunities Web Map

By Paul Cigan, DNR Forest Health Specialist

The Forest Health Team has just launched an interactive web map showing areas where seasonal oak harvesting opportunities and restrictions exist within the state. The map provides users with general geographical information on the presence and seasonality of oak wilt restrictions to support decisions concerning the application of the Oak Harvesting Guidelines [PDF] during timber management planning and establishment. As a highlight, areas that favor flexibility in the application of the seasonal harvesting restrictions — based on the nearest known detection of oak wilt — are displayed on the map. If you have any questions about this map, please contact your regional Forest Health specialist.

Oak Wilt Seasonal Harvesting Opportunities Web Map

New Factsheets And Webpage Now Available

By Elly Voigt, DNR Forest Health Lab Technician. Eleanor.voigt@wisconsin.gov

The Wisconsin DNR’s Forest Health Team has recently released four new factsheets and a new webpage. The new factsheets are on the following topics:

Armillaria root disease

Beech bark disease

Peach bark beetle and cherry scallop shell moth

Hemlock woolly adelgid

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Forest Health Factsheet

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