Long time state Forester Paul DeLong is the next guest of the ongoing series "Science on Tap" in Minocqua.
DeLong is at the American Forest Foundation and American Tree Farm System where he leads a team engaging family woodland owners in stewardship. Prior to his current position, DeLong was with the DNR for 24 years, 13 as state Forester.
He says there has been much attention to publically owned forest land but there's far more to the story...
"...often overlooked is the importance of the family-owned forest. They compose a majority of forest lands, not only in Wisconsin but in the nation as a whole...."
He says the family woodlots provide habitat for many species and also act as water filters. He says they also provide toward the local economies....
"...70 percent of Wisconsin's forests and forests cover nearly half our state and 70 percent of those are privately held. The vast majority of that 70 percent held by private individuals and families...."
DeLong says there are strong markets here which leads toward better conservation practices. He says in the fire-ravaged portions of the west, thinning forests is costly...
"...landowners facing up to $2,500 per acre cost to thin(their forests). If you had placed that in Oneida county Wisconsin that same practice would generate revenue instead of being an expense...."
DeLong will speak Wednesday, January 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Minocqua Brewing Company.
The series provides a forum where the public engages experts in an informal, two-way conversation about issues.The event is also streamed live at the Minocqua and Eagle River libraries. More information is at scienceontapminocqua.org