Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Upgrades Made to Flambeau Motorized Trail

Nov 10, 2015

  The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Service is upgrading the Flambeau Motorized Trail to accommodate ATVs and UTVs 65 inches or less. Previously, the Flambeau Motorized Trail system offered more than 70 miles of year round riding for ATVs 50 inches or less.  Medford-Park Falls Recreation Ranger Tim Vetter says a safety audit in 2011 identified areas of the trail system that didn’t meet agency standards for larger width UTVs.

State Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst, and Representatives Rob Swearingen of Rhinelander and Jeff Mursau of Crivitz Wednesday issued a statement following a recent announcement that about 11 percent of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest recreation areas will either be closed or have reduced services.

Tiffany says if the state was given the authority to manage the forest, they would use the increased timber production to fund recreation...

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

The Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest is working with partners to help carry out forest management projects, and that could be good news for the timber industry.

The forest products industry has complained that the national forest isn’t meeting its harvest goals, while the Forest Service says it doesn’t have enough funding to carry out all of its management projects. 

But Henry Schienebeck of Great Lakes Timber Professionals says collaborations have begun to help get work done on the forest. 

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

A new cooperative effort to fund more management on the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest is bearing fruit.

Harvest has begun on a timber sale in Forest County as part of a stewardship agreement.  That means money earned from the sale will go towards conservation and management on the forest, instead of to the general budget. 

As Director of the nonprofit Sustainable Resources Initiative Don Peterson explains, it’s thanks to the efforts of a group called the Stewardship Steering Committee. 

"Snowmobiling at Haliburton Forest". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia -

Snowmobile trails in Oneida and Vilas counties are closed as of Thursday afternoon.

John Bilogan, Director of the Oneida County Forestry Department says warm weather has melted most of the snow. 

"If you get into the woods, the trails probably would still be ridable.  But it gets to the point where intersections and areas that are exposed to direct sunlight, a lot of them are bare."

Bilogan says riding on bare ground can cause safety issues or damage to trails.

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Temporary job listings have been posted by the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Spokesperson Hilary Markin says the jobs often attract young people looking for a career or folks who have some time to give...

"....every year the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and other area forests hire temporary students to work in fisheries, on our trails and even archeology and fire suppression. Those are some of the specialty areas that we hire...."

The U.S. Forest Service has released the final policy for managing snowmobile and other “over-snow” vehicle use for all national forests, including the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin.
Spokesperson Hilary Markin says  the new policy will provide users  with an additional tool....

Hilary Markin / USFS

People have about another month to give feedback on how they use the nine thousand miles of roads in the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest. The comment period for a study on those roads is being extended until the end of December. 

Spokesperson Hilary Markin says the study hopes to gain specific information about which roads are important to people.                    


Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin brought U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell to Rhinelander and Forest county to see if a bridge could be built regarding harvesting trees in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Baldwin and Tidwell listened to a group of northern Wisconsin business representatives, environmental groups, tribal foresters,  hunters, educators, state and county forestry officials. The message was clear from several stakeholders: they need to cut more wood in the Chequamengon-Nicolet National Forest to keep the health of the forest and resurrect a dying economy.

U.S. Forest Service

Park and forest managers are taking steps to minimize the damage from the emerald ash borer in the Northwoods.   

The tree-killing beetle was found in Rhinelander last week, making its first appearance in Northcentral Wisconsin.

Rhinelander Parks and Grounds Director Gunder Paulson says the city already has an emerald ash borer readiness plan. He says a tree inventory a few years ago identified 214 ash trees between sidewalks and streets in Rhinelander, about 12 percent of the street trees in town.

U.S. Forest Service

The Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest wants to find out how people are using its roads…and whether the system is sustainable.

It’s doing a study to find out how people are using the nine thousand miles of Forest Service road…that range from paved surface to gravel or dirt trail. 

Chequamegon Nicolet spokesperson Hilary Markin says road budgets are going down while maintenance costs are going up.  That has led to a growing list of overdue projects.

U.S. Forest Service

Forests in the Northwoods and Upper Peninsula may look different in the next century thanks to a warming climate.  Anew report from the U.S. Forest Service predicts fewer of some types of conifers and more hardwoods in northern forests.

The Kentuck Lake Campground and boat landing located in Vilas County near the town of Alvin will be closed beginning Monday, September 22.

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest spokesperson Hilary  Markin says they're closing the road and boat dock  to fix some nasty potholes...

".....we anticipate that closure to last about three days so hopefully we're not impacting any weekend visitors just during the week. We're going to be working on the roadway trying to make that a safer travel way for visitors...."

US Forest Service

Some campgrounds and trails are closed due to storm damage in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Campers and hikers may want to check for the latest details before heading out.

Forest spokesperson Hilary Markin says most of the damage happened in the western sections of the the Medford-Park Falls District and Great Divide District.


“So north of the Winter area, between Park Falls and Hayward is where a lot of the damage occurred. They had a lot of wind damage, and then also flooding with all the rain that came down.”

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Another U.S. Senator was in the Northwoods Tuesday to talk about forestry issues.

Senator Ron Johnson toured Forest County and National forest land with representatives from the Great lakes Timber Professionals. 

Johnson says opportunities for harvesting timber in the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest are being wasted.  He says he plans to put together some numbers estimating what kind of revenue that forest could generate, and says changes should be made in the way national forest management is funded.