Month: February 2024

2024 New MFL Enrollments By The Numbers

As a property tax incentive program, new Managed Forest Law (MFL) enrollments become active at the start of the year to align with a new year for property taxation. 2024 was similar to last year, with more than 1,400 new enrollments!

Some statistics from the new enrollments include:

  • Nearly one-third are new landowners in the MFL program
  • A total of 107,304 acres were added to MFL
  • 1,411 enrollments are individual landowners, and 24 added land to large ownerships with at least 1,000 acres statewide
  • The average size of the new enrollments is 64 acres for individual landowners and 719 acres for large ownerships
  • 22,281 acres are open to the public for hunting, fishing, hiking, sight-seeing and cross-country skiing
  • Nearly 70% (15,422 acres) of the open MFL acreage is part of a large ownership
  • 70% of eligible new enrollments elected to participate in the MFL Certified Group

The start of the year is an excellent time for new and existing MFL landowners to review some of the available resources. Check out these resources to understand your obligations, the MFL Certified Group and where to secure professional help.

Welcome to all new MFL landowners, and thank you to new and existing MFL landowners for your commitment to practicing sound forestry.

My Wisconsin Woods Supports Wisconsin Woodland Owners

My Wisconsin Woods is a partnership of more than 20 private organizations and public agencies to support Wisconsin woodland owners in discovering and connecting with the resources they need. This includes information, property visits, technical and financial assistance and events such as classes, field days and conferences.

Stay connected and updated with the My Wisconsin Woods monthly e-newsletter – “Woodland News You Can Use.” The My Wisconsin Woods writers ensure you’ll have fun learning about serious stuff, including wildlife habitat, invasive species, tree health and much more! Sign up for My Wisconsin Woods.

MFL Certified Group Acknowledgements

One of the most significant advantages of the MFL Certified Group is its accessibility to forest certification for participating “Group Members.” Many of the certification requirements are covered through how the MFL program is implemented and administered. For example, the two most common paths for landowners to enter the MFL Certified Group are the MFL application and the MFL transfer form. Both paths require prospective Group Members to acknowledge and accept the American Tree Farm System® and Forest Stewardship Council® standards and the MFL Certified Group rules.

Continue reading “MFL Certified Group Acknowledgements”

NRCS Funding Available For MFL Landowners

NRCS funding availalbe

Funding for plan implementation is available through NRCS.

Need funding for the practices in your plan? The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) would like to help. A historic amount of funding will be made available to woodland owners through landowner assistance programs implemented by the NRCS and made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act.  See more information here.

What does this mean for you?

This funding is a rare opportunity for MFL landowners. NRCS has identified that “shovel-ready projects identified in a Forest Management Plan are more likely to secure funding.” MFL plans include a schedule of mandatory and recommended practices that may be eligible for NRCS funding.

How to get started?

Contact your local USDA Service Center to learn how NRCS can help fund practices on your MFL property and help you accomplish your forest management objectives. Click the link below for your local USDA Service Center and NRCS contact. Be sure to contact the service center for the county where your property is located, and please be patient with the NRCS staff. The increased funding is driving increased demand at NRCS field offices.

Find your local USDA Service Center.

Division Of Forestry Welcomes New Forest Certification Coordinator

Jake Walcisak

Jake Walcisak, Forest Certification Coordinator

Jake Walcisak has joined the DNR Division of Forestry as our Forest Certification Coordinator, administering our three certificates covering more than six million acres of department-owned lands, county forest lands and MFL Certified Group lands. Jake has nearly 15 years of experience in forest management and forest certification and is excited to join the Division of Forestry. Jake began his new role on Jan. 16, 2024, and is stationed at the Prentice Ranger Station.

A graduate of UW-Stevens Point, Jake has worked most of his career in the Wisconsin County Forest System, first in Florence County and most recently as the Taylor County Forest Administrator. Jake has also owned and operated a private forestry consulting business, with work spanning from northern Missouri to the far tip of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Jake is excited to engage with the MFL program, as his favorite part of his forestry consulting career was working with MFL landowners.

Jake lives in Prentice with his wife and three young children. Outside work, he is the happiest with a bow in his hands chasing antlered game across North America, or wielding a chainsaw to conduct stewardship practices on his own forestland.

Jake is excited to work with staff and partners in our collective pursuit of sustainable forest management on multi-use and working forests across Wisconsin.

Family, Tradition And Nature

Dennis and Mary Krueger of Waupaca County.

Dennis and Mary Krueger of Waupaca County. / Photo Credit: Krueger family

Family, tradition and nature are three strong pillars to build a happy and successful life. Just ask Dennis Krueger and his wife, Mary, who have made a family and a forest together.

“We have always believed in the importance of traditions in building memories,” Mary Krueger said.

They remember starting the tradition of an annual “Fall Walk in the Woods” in 1988, visiting the farm owned by Dennis’ grandfather. The idea was hatched when a teacher gave their eldest daughter (age 10) an assignment to collect different types of leaves.

“[We] picked an early October afternoon, loaded a backpack with plastic bags to collect leaves and nuts and brought a lunch of peanut butter sandwiches and apples,” Mary Krueger said. “[Our] daughters (ages 10, 8 and 5) and son (age 3) thought this to be the best picnic ever, as we walked a logging trail in a piece of the hardwoods on Grandpa’s farm and settled on a large rock on top of a hill to have lunch.”

Continue reading “Family, Tradition And Nature”

Seedlings Still Available For Spring 2024 Planting

Winter hasn’t quite let loose its grip on the Wilson State Nursery fields in Boscobel, but the warm weather has turned any snow into puddles and with limited frost in the ground, it won’t be long. These conditions in Wisconsin’s fields and forests make it easy for landowners to hike their property and consider ways to enhance them. And as thoughts turn to spring, the staff in the Wisconsin DNR’s reforestation program are readying themselves to harvest tree and shrub seedlings from the cool, moist soil.

For those considering activities to improve their properties, the DNR reforestation program has plenty of seedlings still available to create and enhance wildlife habitat, stabilize the soil, block winter wind and snow and provide a future shady spot to sit and enjoy a morning. Continue reading “Seedlings Still Available For Spring 2024 Planting”

Upcoming Webinars For Inflation Reduction Act Grant

children playing in parkThe Urban Forestry Inflation Reduction Act grant program uses federal funds to support projects that positively impact trees and people within disadvantaged communities in Wisconsin. Cities, villages, towns, counties, tribes and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations conducting their projects in Wisconsin may apply for an Urban Forestry Inflation Reduction grant. Eligible projects must occur in or benefit those living in disadvantaged communities, as identified by the DNR on this map and list.

DNR staff will host at least three webinars that outline the Urban Forestry Inflation Reduction Act grant application process and allow time for questions and answers. See the webinar schedule below:

  • Register For Webinar 1                Friday, Feb. 9, 9 – 10:30 a.m.
  • Register For Webinar 2                Thursday, March 14, 1 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Webinar 3-Save The Date          Wednesday, May 15, 10 – 11:30 a.m.

For more information, visit the Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry webpage

Updated Tree Species Recommendations

By Dan Buckler, DNR Urban Forest Assessment Specialist

Pines are evergreen. So are hollies. And spruces and firs and hemlocks fit the bill. Requests for species recommendations are also evergreen – I’m sure many of you field these requests.

The DNR Urban Forestry program, in consultation with partners on the Wisconsin Urban ForestryBald Cypress Council, has updated its recommended species lists for street and park trees. You can find those four documents below and under “Tree Species Selection” on the DNR urban tree planting resources webpage.

These lists are not exhaustive, and any general list of recommendations has some uncertainty due to the nuanced conditions of specific planting sites. We highly suggest consulting with your local nurseries and other experts who can discuss what is available and provide other recommendations and planting advice. With just a few exceptions, these lists do not include cultivars and varieties, but your local experts can provide that amount of detail. Continue reading “Updated Tree Species Recommendations”

Tune In For The Urban Forest Connections Webinar Series

The USDA Forest Service National Urban Forest Technology and Science Delivery Team presents the Urban Forest Connections webinar series on the second Wednesday of each month. These online sessions create a stage for experts to share the latest science, practice and policy on urban and community forestry.

Topics include issues affecting the health of people and the health of the trees and forests that communities depend on to moderate local climate extremes and provide food, shelter, water, wildlife habitat, environmental justice, artistic expression and spiritual healing.

Tune in to the next webinar in the series on Feb. 14 from 12-1:15 p.m. titled “Mapping and Monitoring Tree Health Across Diverse Landscapes.” New technology is improving our ability to detect and address issues early enough to protect forests and people from increased tree mortality and losses in ecosystem services. Continue reading “Tune In For The Urban Forest Connections Webinar Series”