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New Technology Highlighted In Publication

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Products Services recently worked with UW-Extension and the Department of Agriculture Forest Products Lab to develop a technical primer highlighting vacuum drying technologies for lumber manufacturing.

This research was completed by using the vacuum kiln at Northcentral Technical College. Vacuum drying technology has recently gained attention in Wisconsin because of the availability of lower-cost vacuum kilns for smaller wood product manufacturers.

Vacuum drying utilizes a pressure vessel, a heat source and a vacuum pump to control the drying conditions under less-than-atmospheric pressure. This process is an economical alternative to conventional drying for many species under various environmental and economic conditions.

Vacuum drying can reduce drying time and be more energy-efficient than conventional steam drying. However, there are many factors to consider when comparing the two technologies. Ideal applications for vacuum kilns include high-value wood species, difficult-to-dry species (e.g. oak), timbers, large sections of logs and lumber (including live-edge slabs and wooden rounds), decorative or thick veneer and small-scale woodworking operations.

The new report describes the principles and practices of vacuum drying and discusses its advantages and disadvantages. To learn more about this technology and drying lumber, please view the recent technical report by visiting this webpage.

Lake States Woodshed Mapping Project

A group of researchers and Extension professionals from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are working on a “Woodsheds” mapping project (similar to the concept of a watershed) to develop an interactive web-based mapping application they hope will be useful for forest landowners, forestry professionals, and wood products industry professionals. A 5-10 minute survey is intended to find out what your information needs are, and to see if you’d like to be part of a user testing group that helps them refine this tool. Direct any survey questions to ehuff@msu.edu. Please use this link to complete the survey by April 18th:
https://msu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bQTG51T8YwRmUM6

Restoring Coastal Wetlands With Low-Value Woody Material

By Scott Lyon, DNR Forest Products Specialist, Green Bay

Conservation partners, including Ducks Unlimited, Wisconsin DNR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, City of Green Bay and UW-Green Bay, worked together to construct a woody breakwater to restore and enhance wetlands for wildlife and more.

The project took place in fall 2021 at the mouth of Duck Creek, offshore from the Ken Euers Nature Area in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The project involved several years of planning that brought together a team of fish and wildlife biologists, wetland and aquatic plant scientists, foresters and engineers to discuss ideas and plans to restore wetland vegetation in the Duck Creek Delta.

Steve Kaufman, DNR Forester on the Oconto Falls team, and Scott Lyon, DNR Forest Products Specialist with Forest Products Services, participated in technical advisory committee meetings and assisted in connecting the project coordinators with woody materials to be used in the structure.

The resulting breakwater structures were predominantly trees rather than a traditional breakwall composed of mostly rock and is one of the first for the bay of Green Bay and the broader Great Lakes system. Continue reading “Restoring Coastal Wetlands With Low-Value Woody Material”

Black Walnut Trends In Wisconsin

By Brian Anderson, DNR Forest Inventory Analyst, Rhinelander and Alex Rosenflanz, DNR Forest Inventory Specialist, Madison

Acres Of Black Walnut Forests
Black walnut is a valuable and highly sought-after species found in the Midwest and Eastern United States. In Wisconsin, its distribution is primarily limited to the state’s southern region, although scattered sites are found farther north. The total acreage of black walnut in the state has increased nearly three times, from approximately 35,065 acres in 2004, to 101,274 acres in 2019.

Of that total, surprisingly, only 10% is attributed to stands established by artificial regeneration. The distribution of acres by stand age shows a boon in stands aged 31 to 90 years since 2004, with younger age classes remaining relatively steady since 2009 (Figure 1). Relatively few stands have reached ages over 90 years.
Continue reading “Black Walnut Trends In Wisconsin”

New Forest Products Specialist In Dodgeville

By Collin Buntrock, DNR Forest Products Team Leader

I am very pleased to announce that Brian Zweifel has accepted the statewide Forest Products Specialist position in Dodgeville. Brian’s first day was Feb. 14.

Brian brings a diverse background in forestry and partnership development and will play a key role in forest products training, business and market development regionally and across Wisconsin. He has worked as a DNR forester and consulting forester and has experience with international marketing and forest products extension.

He is excited to bring his experience as a field forester and forest products extension to the forest products services team to support, promote and grow Wisconsin’s forest products industry.

Upcoming Forest Products Events

Wisconsin Local Use Dimension Lumber Grading Classes (WI LUDL) – Woodruff, Wisconsin
May 31, June 1 – 2, 2022
To register for one of these courses, please visit this webpage.

Hardwood Sawmilling Certificate – Antigo, Wisconsin
June 6 – July 1, 2022
This unique certificate prepares learners for hands-on, in-demand positions within the hardwood lumber industry. This short four-week certificate will help launch you into a lifelong, rewarding career. All classes are taught in person and utilize Northcentral Technical College’s 27,000 square foot state-of-the-art Wood Technology Center of Excellence.

The training will focus on hardwood lumber inspection; sawing, edging and trimming to maximize profits; hardwood log scaling and grading; and species identification for hardwood lumber and logs.

To learn more about this program, please visit this webpage. To register, visit the registration page.

Small Live Edge Slab Business Workshop – Grafton, Wisconsin
June 9, 2022
This one-day educational and networking workshop focuses on the business and operational skills needed to operate a live-edge slab producing sawmill business successfully. There will be on-site slab sawing demonstrations. To learn more about this workshop and register, please visit the event’s registration page.

National Firewood Workshop – Arlington, Wisconsin
June 15 – 16, 2022
This firewood industry event combines education and networking opportunities. The workshop offers discussions on business and equipment topics and outdoor sawing and firewood splitting demonstrations by multiple equipment manufacturers.  To learn more about this workshop and register, please visit the event’s registration page.

Seeking Input to Proposed Changes in Chapter 1 of Private Forestry Handbook

Chapter 1 of the Private Forestry Handbook is available for stakeholder review and comment through April 4, 2022.

This chapter covers program guidelines for DNR forestry staff regarding their work with private woodland owners, including establishing walk-through service standards and a property walk-through policy. We’re updating this chapter to establish a property walk-through policy since there was no set standard for this important interaction with private woodland owners.

To review and provide feedback on this document, please visit the DNR Forestry Stakeholder Input Page.

Document Title: Private Forestry Handbook HB2470.5

Contact Person: Kristin Lambert

Due Date: April 4, 2022

Click here to view a detailed description of document updates.

DNR To Accept Seedling Orders For The Spring Starting Oct. 4, 2021

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Forestry’s reforestation program will accept seedling orders from Wisconsin forest landowners for trees and shrubs to be planted in spring 2022 starting Oct. 4, 2021. The high-quality seedlings are native species appropriate for planting throughout Wisconsin.

Seedlings grown by the state nurseries are used for reforestation and conservation plantings on private, public and tribal lands. These seedlings can provide future forest products and revenues, wildlife habitat, soil erosion control, living snow fences, aesthetics and shade to landowners and managers in every state county. Continue reading “DNR To Accept Seedling Orders For The Spring Starting Oct. 4, 2021”

Incorporating Wood Into Biophilic Design

Part II Of The “Building with Wood” Webinar Series

Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. CT

Hosted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Forest Products Services Team

Did you know that using real wood in your home or living spaces has health benefits? Join us virtually over your lunch break to learn about biophilic design and the many benefits of building with wood. Industry expert, Criswell Davis, will be speaking about why incorporating real, natural wood in our homes, hospitals and other businesses is the path to a more sustainable future.

Register for the free webinar by visiting the link here.

About the Speaker:


Criswell Davis, President of Mighty Oaks Consulting in Louisville, Kentucky, is the founding director of the Timber & Forestry Foundation, which promotes sustainable North American hardwoods to the design community and consumers across the United States. Criswell has been in the hardwood lumber business for more than 32 years and has presented to more than 7,000 architects, designers and students worldwide over 12 years.

 

This event is supported by a U.S. Forest Service Landscape Scale Restoration Grant. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

USDA COVID-19 Assistance For Timber Harvesters And Haulers

On Tuesday, July 20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would provide up to $200 million in relief funds for timber harvesting and timber hauling businesses that have experienced losses due to COVID-19.

Loggers and truckers can apply for assistance from July 22 through Oct. 15, 2021. To be eligible for the assistance money, timber harvesting and hauling businesses must have experienced a gross revenue loss of 10% or more between Jan. 1 and Dec. 1, 2020, compared to the period of Jan. 1 to Dec. 1, 2019.

A further explanation of the available financial assistance, complete with program details and application instructions, can be found on the USDA’s website.