Division of Forestry News

2020 Forest Action Plan development begins

Development of Wisconsin’s 2020 Forest Action Plan is beginning now. Over the next year and a half, the Division of Forestry, along with Wisconsin’s greater forestry community, will be working collaboratively to review trends in the current state of forestry and identify future strategies that can help the forestry community refine how we collectively invest resources to address major management and landscape priorities. Engaging with all members of the forestry community is important to the success of the Forest Action Plan.

Here is more information on the Forest Action Plan, the timeline, and how the forestry community will be engaged.

To get updates on the process and progress of the 2020 Forest Action Plan, please sign up for the Forest Action Plan GovDelivery list.

Find up-to-date information on the 2020 Forest Action Plan online here.

If you have questions about your involvement or the Forest Action Plan in general, please contact Amanda Koch at AmandaA.Koch@wisconsin.gov  or at (608) 576-8146.

Silviculture Handbook Users: Complete survey by June 22

By Carmen Hardin, Applied Forestry Bureau Director

We are inviting all users of the WDNR’s Silviculture Handbook  to complete a survey to gather input on how they use the handbook and suggestions for improvement in structure, format and information.

Please complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VQGTJZQ by June 22, 2018.

This survey request is driven by several factors. The primary need is that the Department of Natural Resources, working with the Silviculture Guidance Team, recognizes the need to take a holistic review of the structure and format of the handbook in an effort to address concerns raised in the Wisconsin Forest Practices Study and by other key users, and to improve overall communication of important silviculture concepts. A goal of this review is to evaluate the organization and presentation to improve the utility and function for handbook users.

This survey request also ties into continued efforts to gain efficiencies to meet the 20,000 hour reduction in investment in forest tax law program administration. The Division of Forestry’s Tax Law Section is looking to move key eligibility and enforcement requirements into the Tax Law Handbook and rely more on the Silviculture Handbook as a resource, similar to the Best Management Practices for Water Quality Field Manual, the Biomass Harvesting Guidelines and guidelines related to forest health issues.

The survey has 23 questions and should take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Please share this survey request with others that you think may be interested in completing it.

If you have questions regarding the survey, please contact Katy Thostenson at 608-535-7049 or kathryn.thostenson@wisconsin.gov.

Draft forest management guidelines update

A draft update of Wisconsin’s Forest Management Guidelines is available for public comment.  See a description of the proposed changes and an updated draft of the publication here.  Submit your comments to Rob Anderson by June 6, 2018. This revision focuses on updating outdated information and adding relevant new information. Future updates of the publication will be made on a chapter-by-chapter basis to reflect recommendations from the Wisconsin Forest Practices Study.

Division leadership confirmed

Chief State Forester Fred Souba, Jr. completed another significant step in the DNR Division of Forestry reorganization with the appointment of the leadership team. Earlier this year, Souba changed the administrative structure of the Division to help improve efficiencies and better align staff with the future of the Division’s strategic direction implementation.

Souba created two Forestry Deputy Division Administrator positions. The Field Operations Deputy Administrator will work closely with the state forester, stationed in the northern half of the state, implementing policies directly impacting field operations and building upon external partnerships. The Forestry Services Deputy Administrator will be the key lead for policy and service coordination efforts and needs with staff and partners located in Madison. Continue reading “Division leadership confirmed”

DNR helps fight fires outside of Wisconsin

The 60 Wisconsin DNR personnel and six engines that helped on out-of-state wildland fires this summer created a win-win scenario for all involved.

Community meeting in Montana

Public Information Officer Catherine Koele addresses a community group regarding a fire on the Lolo National Forest in Montana.

Not only was the assistance of tremendous value on the 14 fires in six states and two Canadian provinces, but these assignments provided valuable training and experience for DNR employees in working together for extended periods of time under less-than-ideal conditions and in dealing with forest fire safety situations in large fire environments. The assignments provide employees an opportunity to obtain and maintain their forest firefighting qualifications and credentials.  They also allow us to demonstrate and test our equipment and tactics in large fire situations not available in Wisconsin every year.

This sharing of resources is crucial given that no single agency can afford to have all of the personnel and equipment necessary to fight forest fires during peak activity times. Wisconsin routinely uses air resources and personnel from other agencies for assistance during our spring forest fire season.

The valuable training and experience gained by our staff greatly benefits the state of Wisconsin and its ability to respond to local forest fires and provides the requesting agency well-trained staff and equipment to help manage their wildland fire incidents. Truly a win-win scenario!

May 16th storm damages woodlands

A severe storm on May 16, 2017 left a path of destruction through some woodlands in Barron and Rusk counties.  (See DNR news release.)

If you are among the impacted landowners, the Division of Forestry invites you to visit this storm recovery page for advice and links to resources.  Your local DNR forester is always a good starting point for assistance.

This blog post from the University of Minnesota titled “Dealing with storm-damaged trees and woods” may also be of interest.

Posted by Kirsten Held, DNR Forestry Outreach Specialist, Kirsten.Held@Wisconsin.gov

2016 annual report issued

The Division of Forestry annual report highlights a few of our accomplishments in 2016 – including implementing the Good Neighbor Authority, expanding the urban forest inventory and analysis to include all census-defined urban places, rewriting the forest fire reporting system, and more.  Photos in the report showcase Division employees at work.  In his report introduction, State Forester Fred Souba thanked former State Forester Paul DeLong (who departed at the end of September for a leadership position with American Forest Foundation) and Deputy Darrell Zastrow (who retired at the end of the year) for their legacy of leadership.  Find the link to the 2016 report from the Forestry topic page on the DNR Website.

For more information, contact Forestry Outreach Specialist Kirsten Held (Kirsten.Held@Wisconsin.gov) at 608-264-6036.

Certification audits praise DNR land management

Wisconsin’s forested lands are some of the state’s most valuable resources and the Department of Natural Resources is doing a good job caring for them according to audits conducted by SCS Global Services.  Independent, third-party certification means DNR management of its properties meets strict standards for ecological, social and economic sustainability. The words “exemplary” and “superb” were used in reporting 2016 audit findings on 1,551,440 acres of state-owned lands.  Department owned lands are certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).  Read more in this DNR news release.

For more information, contact Mark Heyde at 608-267-0565.

Forestry professionals gather in Madison

Professional foresters from across the U.S. and Canada are gathering in Madison on Nov. 3-6 for the 2016 national Society of American Foresters convention.  Wisconsin DNR forester Julie Peltier, who is serving as general chair of the convention, said the gathering of about 1,600 foresters will provide the opportunity to showcase Wisconsin’s 17.1 million acres of forests and the social, cultural, ecological and economic benefits they provide.  Read more in this DNR news release.  For more information, contact Kirsten Held, Kirsten.Held@Wisconsin.gov.