Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

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.

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

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.”

Suzanne Flory/Submitted photo

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.

Submitted photo

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.

MDuchek via

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.

The Forest Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites this weekend in honor of Veterans Day.

This is the fourth year the Forest Service is waiving fees says spokesperson David Melancon...


"....we've been waiving fees for Veterans Day and a couple other major holidays for many years now and it's basically one way for the Forest Service to say thank you to our veterans..."

The fees are also waived for non-veterans.

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.”

The Oneida county board has joined other counties asking the U.S. Forest Service and Congress to make changes in policy allowing more cutting in Wisconsin's national forest and other forests.


Federal and state officials are reminding campers this holiday weekend to buy firewood close to your campsite.

With the most recent discovery in Superior of the ash-tree-killing Emerald Ash Borer, the insect has moved into the north. To slow the spread of the borer, officials have put a quarantine on firewood from areas away from the campsites.

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest spokesperson Megan Healy explains...

US Forest Service

Some Northwoods school districts could be getting a financial boost next year, thanks to a proposal included the state budget.

The version of the budget passed by the joint finance committee would send 25 percent of timber sales from the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest to local schools.  School districts would receive different amounts based on how much forest acreage falls within their district.  Republican State Representative Rob Swearingin describes the proposal as a shot in the arm for rural schools.

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, in partnership with Nicolet Area Technical College, has produced seven promotional videos featuring the state's only national forest.  The short videos were created by Digital Graphics students as a way to help people to learn more about the forest's recreational opportunities and history.

Forest spokesperson Suzanne Flory says they wanted to have a new way to see the forest.