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.

Nominations Open For “Invader Crusader” Awards

By Tara Bergeson, DNR invasive species team leader, 608-264-6043, Tara.Bergeson@wisconsin.gov

Nominations are being accepted through March 23, 2020 for “Invader Crusaders.” These awards go to individuals, groups and organizations who made outstanding contributions in 2019 to prevent, control or eradicate invasive species that harm Wisconsin’s native wildlife and wetlands, forests, prairies, lakes and rivers.

The Wisconsin Invasive Species Council is seeking nominations for exemplary efforts at addressing issues surrounding terrestrial and aquatic invasive plants and animals. The awards will be presented in both volunteer and professional categories.

To submit a nomination, download and fill out a nomination form available on the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council’s Invader Crusader webpage. Email the completed form to invasive.species@wisconsin.gov by March 23.

A panel of Wisconsin Invasive Species Council members will review the nomination materials and select the award winners. All nominators and winners will be notified by mid-May 2020.

Recipients of the awards will be recognized at an awards ceremony on June 11 at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison.

Invasive species are nonnative plants and animals that cause great ecological, environmental or economic harm, and some can even affect human health. Once an invasive species becomes established in an area, it can be difficult to control. The most important action Wisconsinites should take is to avoid moving invasive species or the materials that might harbor them to new places.

To learn more about what you can do to stop the spread of invasive species, visit the DNR invasive species webpage.

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).

Catastrophic aid request approved for communities

Last October, the Department of Natural Resources’ Urban Forestry program awarded fifteen communities and tribes with grant funding in response to the State of Emergency declared on July 18th, 2019. This declaration triggered the availability of up to 20% of the program’s funds, an amount of $104,920, to affected Wisconsin communities to help lessen the burden of storm-related damages to their urban forest canopy. Each applicant was able to request a maximum of $50,000; however, due to the unprecedented number of applications received, grants were limited to awards ranging from $4,000 to $8,428.19.

The Department submitted a request in December to the Joint Committee on Finance to transfer funds from the forestry emergency reserve. This reserve was created in 2017 as a result of Wisconsin Act 59 for emergency responses to significant fire, disease, infestation, or other natural disasters that could not otherwise be reimbursed by federal funds.

Continue reading “Catastrophic aid request approved for communities”

Where are you, blue ash?

By Dan Buckler, DNR urban forestry assessment outreach specialist, Madison, Daniel.Buckler@wisconsin.gov, 608-445-4578

It is no secret that the emerald ash borer (EAB) has a voracious appetite. This pest has eradicated unprotected green and white ash in many communities in southern Wisconsin and can be expected to eventually impact all communities in the state. EAB is also damaging wetland and riverine forests by eliminating green and black ash from these woodlands, which had already become less diverse and resilient from the loss of American elm from Dutch elm disease.

While EAB can feed on all American ash species so far tested, some are less favored than others and thus take less damage from the pest.  Reduced feeding pressure may allow such species to persist in the presence of EAB.  Blue ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata) is one of these less preferred hosts of EAB.  This tree, a native of the Midwest and South, enjoys calcareous soils and has been found growing naturally in southeast Wisconsin. Even before EAB, it was considered a Threatened plant in the state, though it is common in states to the south of us.  It’s an unusual tree but some communities and individuals have planted blue ash across the state.

Continue reading “Where are you, blue ash?”

Funding opportunities available through the DNR

Local units of government (LUGs) are eligible to apply for four Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program grants and two related federal programs administered by the DNR. The annual application deadline is May 1st for the grant programs listed below.

Knowles-Nelson Stewardship local assistance grant programs:

  • Aids for the Acquisition and Development of Local Parks (ADLP)
  • Urban Green Space (UGS) grants
  • Urban Rivers (UR) grants
  • Acquisition of Development Rights (ADR)

Federal recreation grant programs:

  • Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
  • Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

Continue reading “Funding opportunities available through the DNR”