Foresters

2021 Staff Highlights

As the year draws to a close, we asked DNR urban forestry staff to reflect on the last 12 months and choose their top highlight – whether it’s a project they’re especially proud of, a new partnership or a deeper relationship with coworkers. Here are their responses:

“My favorite work event that happened this year was the urban site indexing training hosted in the City of Beloit. Alan Siewert, from the Ohio DNR came to Wisconsin in May to give us hands-on demonstrations of the site indexing techniques they have been perfecting over the years. The urban site indexing helps their communities create well-thought-out master planting plans. Best of all, after not seeing each other for more than a year, we spent a few hours together applying the techniques in a couple of neighborhoods across Beloit. The experience culminated with a nice socially distant lunch and discussion while developing a planting plan.” -Brian Wahl, South Central Regional Urban Forestry Coordinator

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New Urban Forestry Coordinator in Wausau

By Jeff Roe, DNR Urban Forestry Team Leader, Madison, jeffrey.roe@wisconsin.gov, 608-535-7582 

I am very pleased to announce that Patricia Lindquist has accepted the North Central Regional Urban Forestry Coordinator position. Patricia’s first day was Nov. 8, and she is based in Wausau. She is very excited to be continuing her career at the DNR and taking on new challenges.

Patricia has worked as our Urban Forestry Communications, Education and Outreach Specialist for the past two years. Prior to that, she spent six years working in urban forestry at two Madison-area nonprofits, Community GroundWorks and Urban Tree Alliance. She has a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from UW-Madison.

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Career Opportunities at the DNR: Accepting Applications for Two Urban Forestry Regional Coordinator Positions

We are currently recruiting to fill two positions. The successful candidate for the position in the Northcentral region may choose a work station in either Wausau or Rhinelander. The successful candidate for the position in the West region may choose a work station in either Eau Claire, La Crosse or Spooner.

The application deadline is Tuesday, September 14 at 11:59 p.m. CDT.

Position Summary

Urban Forestry Coordinators develop, administer and implement the urban forestry assistance program in partnership to maintain or increase public and private urban forest canopy that will supply the full array of benefits. This position is the technical expert and thought leader for the Division in each Urban Forestry service area, setting the pace for the Division through leadership, innovation, adaptation, best practices, and transfer of knowledge.

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DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator Don Kissinger Retires

By Jeff Roe, DNR Urban Forestry Team Leader, Madison, jeffrey.roe@wisconsin.gov or 608-535-7582

Don Kissinger, Urban Forestry Coordinator for the north-central region, is retiring after nearly 29 years at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). His last day in the office was May 21, 2021.

Don’s contributions are significant.  His best days were spent out in the field working and conversing with community forestry managers in his 18-county service area. Don never missed an opportunity to share his passion for urban forestry and arboriculture.

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Wisconsin DNR 2020 Forest Health Annual Report

By Elly Voigt, DNR Forest Lab Technician and Communications Specialist, Eleanor.Voigt@wisconsin.gov

The cover page of the 2020 Annual ReportThe Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Forest Health team recently completed the 2020 Forest Health Annual Report. The report summarizes impacts from pests, diseases and weather on the health of Wisconsin’s forests. Highlights from 2020 include:

• An update on emerald ash borer in Wisconsin, including newly confirmed counties
• New township detections of oak wilt
• Flooding and tornado damage
• Summary of state nursery studies

For access to the report, visit the link here.

What does a DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator do?

By Olivia Witthun, DNR urban forestry coordinator, Plymouth, olivia.witthun@wisconsin.gov, 414-750-8744 

Wisconsin’s urban forests provide a wide range of ecological, economic and social benefits. Urban areas contain nearly 27 million trees with an estimated total replacement value of almost $11 billion. Many don’t realize all the services urban forests provide. They reduce air pollution, mitigate storm water runoff, conserve energy, provide wildlife habitat, increase property values, and attract businesses, tourists and residents. They even improve public health and well-being. The Wisconsin DNR’s Urban Forestry Team seeks to maximize these benefits derived from our state’s community tree canopies. 

Thirteen people are part of the DNR Urban Forestry Team, and six of those are Urban Forestry Coordinators (UFCs).  Each UFC serves a different region, and within that region, we mainly serve city foresters, local government tree managers and other partners.  (UW Extension serves homeowners.)  Your UFC is your go-to contact for all things urban forestry. 

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DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator Brad Johnson retires

By Christopher Tall, WDNR

After a long and fruitful career with the Wisconsin DNR, Brad Johnson’s last day in the office was September 4, 2020.  He started his DNR career as an integrated forestry team leader for Douglas County from 1993 to 2002 and transferred to the same position for Barron and Washburn County from 2002-2017.  Since 2017, he has served as an Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator covering 19 counties along the west side of the state from the Spooner ​Ranger Station.

Urban Forestry Team Leader Jeff Roe says, “It has been my pleasure to supervise Brad for the last few years. His positive attitude and passion for the work have left an indelible impression on both staff and partners. He has been a great team member, willing to learn and to offer his input in a friendly way.”

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USDA seeks ash trees to battle EAB

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect from Asia that was first introduced into the United States in 2002. Since its discovery, EAB has caused the death and decline of tens of millions of ash trees. Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is using ash trees against the pest to help preserve and protect the tree species. Staff in the USDA EAB biological control (biocontrol) program are asking Wisconsin landowners in Sheboygan, Fond du Lac and Door counties to help by donating infested ash trees for use in raising wasps that attack and kill EAB.

A square window of bark is removed from green ash to uncover EAB larvae underneath.

USDA staff cut a “bark window” in green ash to uncover signs of EAB.

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Welcome new Urban Forestry team member

By Jeff Roe, Urban Forestry Team Leader, Madison, Jeffrey.Roe@wisconsin.gov, 608-535-7582

I am very pleased to announce that Patricia Lindquist has accepted the Urban Forestry Communications and Outreach positions in our program. Patricia’s first day was on October 14, and she is based in Madison. She is very excited to be joining our team and working with all of you.

Nicknamed “woodsy girl” in college by her Austrian host family, Patricia has loved spending time in nature since childhood. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from UW-Madison, she spent six years working in urban forestry education and outreach at two local nonprofits, Community GroundWorks and Urban Tree Alliance. In her free time, Patricia can be found running, hiking, gardening, and traveling to the far corners of the globe with her trusty backpack.

She can be reached at patricia.lindquist@wisconsin.gov and 608-843-6248.