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.
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin visited Forest County today to learn about the economic importance of the logging industry.
Baldwin has supported higher levels of cutting in the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest, saying she wants the forest to meet its harvest goals.
“When I hear how a well-vetted plan about how the forests in this area would be managed over the years – when I see that they haven’t even gotten close to achieving those goals, when they’ve been put together with a lot of stakeholder involvement, that’s disappointing and I want to know why.”
Crews from northern Wisconsin are helping battle the largest wildfire in Washington state’s history.
More than 3000 people have been called in from around the country to combat the Carlton Complex, ablaze that started in mid-July.
Rhinelander resident Suzanne Flory from the U.S. Forest Service is wrapping up a two-week stint at the fire site, serving as a liaison and helping with communication between incident commanders and local government.
Late last week, a request to step up the battle against invasive pests and disease in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest got a boost. Environmental and administrative rules were changed to contract to remove, treat, or replant trees in areas with declining forest help. That was part of the 2014 Farm Bill.
You’ll have to wait several more weeks to go hiking or camping in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
Spokesperson Dave Melancon says trails and campgrounds usually open around the last week in April, but conditions this year are too wet and muddy.
“Well we’ve had a pretty rough winter, as you can tell. So we want to keep our campgrounds and trails up in the best condition we can. Traveling on them could cause ruts in the road, or damage to the road. So they’re not ready for people to use yet.”
The state Natural Resources Board voted unanimously in favor of key provisions to change the state's hunting culture -- changes drafted by Texas researcher James Kroll. One key provision eliminates in-person deer registrations at places like bars and gas stations, in favor of online and phone registrations.. Other changes include a reduction in deer management units, the creation of county committees to advise state wildlife experts on deer population goals.
Deer hunters may be lamenting the end of the gun season…but there’s still plenty of time for tree hunting.
Individuals searching for a Christmas tree can cut one in the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest…with a five dollar permit. Spokeswoman Megan Healy says part of the appeal of cutting your own tree is the experience.
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.”