Heikki Valve

Northern timber workers are heading to the capitol Wednesday, hoping to remind lawmakers of the importance of their industry.  

Advocacy group Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association is organizing the trip.  Director Henry Schoenebeck says the group plans to bus 150 people to Madison and park several logging trucks around the capitol. They’ll even bring along special virtual reality machine called a harvester operator simulator, that mimics the experience of cutting down a tree. 

Members of the forest products industry are testifying on federal policies that affect them.  Great Lakes Timber Professionals has organized a hearing that runs all day Friday and Saturday.  The group’s Director Henry Shienebeck says the aim is to collect testimony to submit to Congress. 

“Really for our association it’s about how do we get a combined message to Washington that says, this is what happens when you do rules and regulations without completely understanding and taking the local economy into account when you do this.”

Mike Belch

Some lumber mills in northern Wisconsin say low timber harvests from the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest are jeopardizing their businesses.  

Sue Pukall of Arbor Vitae’s Pukall Lumber says the company is sometimes forced to buy logs hauled from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, which costs about $200 extra per truckload.

“Ideally we should be able to source all the logs that we need within a 50-75 mile radius of our mill.  So when we have to go up into the UP, that’s obviously a lot further than 75 miles.”

US Forest Service

State Senator Tom Tiffany is supporting Oneida County’s call for increased cutting in the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest.  

The county board passed a resolution Tuesday asking federal officials and members of Congress to bring the national forest harvest up to its allowable level.  Senator Tiffany says after widespread clear-cutting a hundred years ago, the pendulum has now swung too far the other way.