New DNR Forest Products Services Team Leader Named

Scott Lyon is the new leader of the Forest Products Services team.

Scott Lyon is the new leader of the Forest Products Services team.

The new year started with Scott Lyon taking over the helm of the Forest Products Services team. As the team leader, Scott will lead, direct and administer all policy, personnel and budget activities of the Forest Products Services Program. Scott will continue to work out of the Green Bay Service Center.

For the last nine years, he has worked as a forest products specialist with the DNR, helping industry partners improve processes, source wood products materials, utilize urban wood and providing training and assistance to companies and individuals. He previously worked in wood products sales and manufacturing domestically and internationally. Scott earned a bachelor’s degree in wood products business and marketing from Penn State and a master’s degree in forest products from Virginia Tech with an emphasis in international marketing. Scott recently completed the Leadership Academy training within the agency. As a result of his professional network, his connections span the geography of the U.S. and even reach internationally. In 2018, he was identified by the Woodworking Network on the “Woodworking Industry 40 Under 40” list as an innovator and relationship builder.

He currently serves on the Lake States Lumber Association as a board member of the Education Committee. He was also recently elected secretary of the Great Lakes Kiln Drying Association and secretary of the Northeast-Midwest State Foresters Alliance’s Forest Markets and Utilization Committee.

Scott lives in Green Bay with his wife and their new baby boy and their dogs. Scott’s hobbies include hunting, fishing, hiking, paddling and traveling to visit U.S. national parks and battlefields.

Previously, Collin Buntrock served as the program’s team leader. Collin left the DNR in August to join the U.S. Forest Service as a wood innovations specialist.

Where Are Wisconsin’s Forest Products Going? A Closer Look At International Trade

By Ram Dahal (, DNR Forest Economist, Forest Product Services

Wisconsin’s forest industry creates $24 billion of products each year. Historically, more than $1 billion of that total has included products sold internationally. However, did you know that in most years, Wisconsin imports forest products of an even greater value from international sellers?

Wisconsin’s international trade balance deficit exceeded $300 million in 2009, immediately following the Great Recession, but the deficit declined until 2012. In fact, Wisconsin had a trade surplus in 2012 but quickly resumed importing more forestry commodities than it was exporting (Fig. 1).

Wisconsin forest products foreign import export trend (left) and trade balance (right). / Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Figure 1: Wisconsin forest products foreign import export trend (left) and trade balance (right). / Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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Financial Support Available For Businesses Affected By Lack Of Snow

According to a press release from Gov. Tony Evers, many Wisconsin businesses might be eligible for a “federal disaster loan program” if they have suffered financial losses due to this winter’s unusually mild winter. The U.S. Small Business Administration has a list of counties attached to the press release where businesses are eligible to receive the financial relief. Learn more about the program.

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.

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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.”

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