Archives

Pandemic relief grant for small Wisconsin businesses

If you are a small business owner in Wisconsin looking for some financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, the “We’re All In Small Business” grant might be a good fit. The grant program—funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act—can provide $2,500 in grant money to assist in covering the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory. The grant is available for up to 30,000 small businesses in Wisconsin.

To learn more about the program, please check out the “We’re All In” Small Business Grant webpage on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) website. Here’s a link to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the grant program. The WEDC has representatives available to provide guidance to small business owners whose questions are not answered on the FAQ page.

Wisconsin Forest Action Plan Review Period Extended

In this previous post we invited you to comment on the draft Forest Action Plan.  The purpose of the Forest Action Plan is to provide long‐term, comprehensive, coordinated strategies to help the forestry community refine how it collectively invests state, federal and leveraged partner resources to address major management and landscape priorities. The Forest Action Plan should be useful for all interested parties, so we value your input. The comment deadline has been extended to April 6, 2020. 

Please provide your feedback about the draft 2020 Wisconsin Forest Action Plan to Amanda Koch (AmandaA.Koch@wisconsin.gov) by April 6. Thank you for your continued engagement with the development of this plan.

Annual forest resource reports

By Brian Anderson, forest inventory analyst, Rhinelander, 715-499-3291

Every year, the forest inventory data from the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program is assessed to track trends in Wisconsin’s forest resources. This information is summarized in several reports. The Wisconsin’s Forest Resources report gives a broad overview of the current state of —and trends in — Wisconsin’s forests over time, including easy-to-read figures and tables. Furthermore, it provides links to other more detailed tables, including acreages of forest types and timberland by attributes such as county, stand-size class, and ownership.

In addition to the resources report, all major species in the state are summarized. The summaries include key trends, including changes in volume, and tree numbers by size and diameter class. The summaries provide details on where specific species grow, by both state region and habitat-type group. Managers and industry personnel will also find pertinent information, such as net growth, mortality, and harvest removals over time. Finally, key health issues are summarized for a given species and projections are given for growing-stock volume over the next 40 years.

Check out the statewide summary, species reports, and other specific data tables in our Annual Reports and Publications hub.

Hardwood log scaling

This article, written by DNR forest products team leader Collin Buntrock (contact him in Rhinelander at 608-286-9083) and DNR forest products specialist Scott Lyon (contact him in Green Bay at 920-360-3722), discusses log scaling and explains what separates the three commonly-used methods of scaling hardwood logs in the U.S.  It also explores common defects and provides the accompanying formulas for calculating appropriate deductions for each defect: https://p.widencdn.net/wfabyu/Hardwood-log-scaling 

Wood stove tax credit extended

By Sabina Dhungana, DNR forest products specialist, Madison, 608-220-4531

According to the ENERGY STAR program, the federal government has extended a tax credit to homeowners who purchase a biomass stove to heat their existing home or water. The Non-Business Energy Property Tax Credits have been retroactively extended through 12/31/2020. Biomass stoves burn wood and residues (including wood pellets), agricultural crops and trees, plants, grasses and fibers. To qualify for this $300 credit, stoves must have a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75 percent and meet 2020 clean air standards from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Find more information about this renewable energy credit here.

Seedlings still available for spring 2020 planting

By Jeremiah Auer, Forest Regeneration Specialist, (715) 459-1999

Winter hasn’t quite let loose its snowy grip from the Wilson State Nursery fields in Boscobel, but spring will be here soon and it won’t take long for the frost to leave the ground. Staff in the DNR reforestation program have already begun readying themselves to harvest seedlings. 

For those who have spent parts of the winter planning to improve their properties, we still have plenty of seedlings 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.

Conifers available include jack pine and white spruce. Both are great for providing thermal cover to wildlife in the winter and privacy along a property line. Jack pine grows fast and in some of the most inhospitable sites in the state. Spruce tends to grow slowly but produces a dense hedge for critters.

Hardwoods include aspen, river, white and yellow birch, black cherry, silver maple, red, white and bur oaks and black walnut. Many of these hardwoods provide forage or mast for wildlife (or even humans!) and grow quickly in our fertile soils. Black cherry will begin producing fruit as soon as 5 years and aspen and birch will provide buds for grouse even faster.

Consider talking to a local forester to get more information on tree planting and forest management. A good planting plan can focus your efforts and create a strategy to achieve your property goals. Find the contact information for your local DNR forester on the DNR website (enter keyword “Forestry Assistance Locator”).

Contact our nursery hotline at (715) 424-3700 for up-to-date information on seedling availability and to place an order.

Seedlings sold by the Wisconsin State nurseries are to be used for reforestation, wildlife habitat and windbreak and erosion control purposes and must be planted in Wisconsin. Answers to the most common questions are available on the “Frequently Asked Questions” page.

Comments on draft Forest Action Plan due March 23

Wisconsin’s forestry community worked together over the past year to draft Wisconsin’s 2020 Forest Action Plan. The purpose of the Forest Action Plan is to provide long‐term, comprehensive, coordinated strategies to help the forestry community refine how it collectively invests state, federal and leveraged partner resources to address major management and landscape priorities. The Forest Action Plan should be useful for all interested parties, so we value your input.  This effort is a complete redesign of Wisconsin’s 2010 Forest Action Plan.

We are now sharing the entire draft 2020 plan for final review. The Forest Action Plan has multiple parts. We have incorporated the feedback received through prior review periods and worked with operational partner groups to develop draft strategies. The final Wisconsin Forest Action Plan is due to the U.S. Forest Service in June 2020.

At this time, we are requesting input on the draft 2020 WI Forest Action Plan. You can find the draft here: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestPlanning/documents/WI_2020ForestActionPlan_Draft_032020.pdf

Please provide feedback to Amanda Koch (AmandaA.Koch@wisconsin.gov) by March 23.

You can find more information on the 2020 Forest Action Plan, and what has been done so far by visiting dnr.wi.gov and searching keywords: Forest Action Plan

If you have any questions, please reach out to Amanda Koch (AmandaA.Koch@wisconsin.gov).

Celebrating a forestry centennial

By Kirsten Held, Division of Forestry Outreach Specialist

For more than a century, partnerships have been at the heart of our work to conserve and protect Wisconsin forests.  One of those valued partnerships is with the National Association of State Foresters (NASF).  Established in 1920, NASF is a non-profit organization composed of the directors of forestry agencies in the states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.  To celebrate the centennial of this national partner, the Wisconsin DNR-Division of Forestry will be posting 100 articles on this site throughout 2020 noted with #NASF100.

While Wisconsin may be best known for leading the nation in the production of specialty cheeses, the Wisconsin DNR-Division of Forestry is most proud of the many ways that forests make our state such a great place to live and visit as well as Wisconsin’s leadership in sustainable forestry.

Processor Cutting Red Oak

For example, Wisconsin leads the nation in the value of forest product shipments, and for more than six decades, has led the nation in paper production. Wisconsin leads the nation in implementing third-party certification standards and nearly 7.5 million acres of forest land in Wisconsin are third-party certified today, providing independent assurance that the forests are being managed sustainably.  We’re also among the top states with communities earning Tree City USA status in recognition for investments in their urban forests.

Throughout the year, these 100 posts will explore various Wisconsin forestry programs, projects and partnerships working together to keep Wisconsin forests working.  Each month we’ll showcase a forestry career, property and one of Wisconsin’s common trees.  We’re starting this year-long Wisconsin forestry journey with water-related posts as Wisconsin wraps up the Year of Clean Drinking Water and begins the 25th year of our Forestry Best Management Practices for Water Quality.  After we explore the relationship between forests and water in January, in February we’ll look at the current status of Wisconsin forests (spoiler alert: our forests are growing in volume every year).

We hope you enjoy journeying with us as we explore Wisconsin’s rich forest resources – from the expansive Northwoods to the tree-lined avenues of Milwaukee – and the wealth of benefits they provide.

Forests and water go together in rural and urban Wisconsin

By Robert Godfrey

Think about all the forests you ever enjoyed in your life. Their natural beauty, the wildlife that inhabit them, the

Sky and trees reflected in tranquil lake water within Flambeau River State Forest.

calming break they give us all from our hectic lives. Forests are important for a lot of reasons and serve a great many purposes. But have you ever stopped to think about all the things forests do to help our environment?

For example, forests are like lungs. They are critical in absorbing and storing carbon dioxide (CO2) from our atmosphere and helping us to fight climate change.

But have you ever thought of our forests as a water sponge?

It’s true. What they do is truly amazing. They collect and filter rainwater. Then they release it slowly into our streams and rivers. At the same time, these “forest sponges” – trees are made up of more than 50 percent water – are doing some purifying magic, taking out all kinds of pollutants from water before it reaches a stream or river. Continue reading “Forests and water go together in rural and urban Wisconsin”

Two natural resources – One goal

By Robert Godfrey

Wisconsin has an incredible variety of lakes, wetlands, rivers and streams, from the shores of Lakes Michigan and Superior to the Mississippi River. It also has a lot of forest lands. Over the past 100 years, Wisconsin’s public and private land managers have restored our forests and managed them with an eye on future generations.  In fact, 46 percent of our state is now covered with trees and more than half our woodlands are family owned.

Photo by Rena Johnson, courtesy of NASF

Earlier in our state’s history, the forests were heavily harvested with little regard for the environmental damage to our streams, rivers and lakes. Since the hiring of Wisconsin’s first state forester in 1904, Wisconsin’s state forestry program has been dedicated to restoring, maintaining and improving the health and quality of Wisconsin’s forests for today – and for future generations.

These two natural resources – forests and water – are both important to Wisconsin today. They provide income from forest products. They are also home for Wisconsin’s fish and wildlife. Each of them defines the character of the state. Both are vital for recreation and tourism. How do we ensure these two natural resources can co-exist and benefit each other? Continue reading “Two natural resources – One goal”