Last year, the legislature directed the DNR to find ways to increase the allowable acreage for forest productivity from the state forests.
A DNR spokesperson says public comment on the variances is open until the end of the month.
The DNR's Carmen Hardin is Forest Management Bureau Director. She says the DNR is in the process of getting public comment on the proposed variances, which means a larger amount of acreage in the forests would be available for forest production...
".....currently we have about 66 percent of our state forests classified as forest production areas. The legislature asked us to up that to 75 percent...."
She says it includes the Northern-Highland American Legion State Forest, Peshtigo River State Forest, Flambeau River State Forest, Brule River and other state forests in the north. Hardin says they are looking at places to expand the acreage saying it could benefit certain species...
"....some areas are areas we were managing for grouse habitat and it's very compatible with forest production areas. Grouse,golden wing warblers, they prefer young forests....."
The DNR has a webpage dedicated to getting public comment which is due by November 30. It's on the DNR website if you put Master Planning State Forests variances in the search box.