Vilas County Forest Certification On Hold

Oct 10, 2016

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Forest certification is being sought by more and more domestic and foreign markets but the Vilas County Forestry committee thinks forest certification is a back door attempt by environmental groups to take over management of the county forest.

Vilas County forest administrator John Gagnon told the committee he needs answers to concerns prior to making a recommendation on enrolling the county forest into a certification program. More documentation would be needed on monitoring roads and trail systems and along with contracts with recreation user groups.

Master logger Roger Pluedeman of Eagle River said his markets are demanding certified wood from certified lands while wood fiber manager of Expera paper mills in Mosinee said their world wide customers for their products also insist on certification.

Supervisor Jay Verhulst didn't want the county forest to be governed by an international organization while committee chairman Steve Doyan looked at it as blackmail by environmentalists on how we managed our forest.

There are 19 of 27 county forests in Wisconsin with certification including Iron, Price, Forest, and Florence. Oneida has decided to move forward with certification.

Vilas County tabled action but will keep the subject on future agendas.