Late last week, a request to step up the battle against invasive pests and disease in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest got a boost. Environmental and administrative rules were changed to contract to remove, treat, or replant trees in areas with declining forest help. That was part of the 2014 Farm Bill.
In April, Governor Scott Walker requested designation of land covering 21 key watersheds in the national forest to the U.S. Forest Service. The affected areas selected are part of a consultation with the Wisconsin Council on Forestry and the DNR. The measure is called the Healthy Forest Restoration Act.
Chequamegon-Nicolet Forest Supervisor Paul Strong credited the joint state-federal effort...
".....the designations that the Governor requested and approved by the U.S. Forest Service provide the CNNF with a useful tool to quickly plan projects for insect and disease treatment within the designated areas as we seek to increase the pace of restoration work on the CNNF..."
Strong says he doesn't see an immediate need, but it will be helpful should a need arise...
"....we've been dealing with a handful of insect and disease issues over the last decade or so. We've been able to use the planning tools that we've had available during that time to address all of those problems and take on many implementation activities, so at the present time we don't have a particular problem to use this new tool on....."
Strong says they've been able to deal with oak wilt infestation near the Langlade-Oconto county line.