Paul DeLong

USDA

The DNR wants to lessen statewide restrictions on the invasive emerald ash borer.

The Natural Resources Board will consider Wednesday whether to downgrade the beetle’s classification from Prohibited to Restricted. 

Chief state forester Paul DeLong says it’s an acknowledgment that emerald ash borer is already established in Wisconsin. 

“The fact that you have it, have emerald ash borer on your property for example – you no longer have to work to get rid of it necessarily.  What we’re trying to prevent is its spreading by humans.” 

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The DNR says it needs more information to determine whether an off road park in Forest County would be eligible for certain grants. 

The nonprofit Wisconsin Off-Road Vehicle Park Incorporated wants Forest County to buy the land for a 10,000-acre park. 

The group is pitching the project as a good deal for the county, saying park tourism and timber management on the land could generate revenue, while the purchase of the land could be fifty percent paid-for by DNR stewardship grants. 

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Presque Isle’s Van Vliet Hemlocks will become a State Natural Area.  And the mostly old-growth parcel will be managed with as little interference as possible.  The state Natural Resources Board voted today to approve the DNR’s recommendation to passively manage the entire area. 

Tom Olson President of the group Friends of the Van Vliet spoke at the meeting, citing widespread public support for letting the hemlock parcel manage itself.

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The state Natural Resources Board is set to decide Wednesday on a plan for the Van Vliet Hemlocks.  DNR officials are recommending the mostly old-growth parcel be managed with as little involvement as possible. 

The agency had originally planned to do some cutting on part of the site that didn’t fit the old-growth profile.  But after overwhelming public comment, the DNR changed its plan to passive management for the entire site. 

Chief DNR state forester Paul Delong says he doesn’t know whether the Natural Resources Board will approve the recommendation. 

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The DNR is changing its tune on a management plan for the Van Vliet Hemlocks.  The agency plans to take a hands-off approach to the 400-acre stand of mostly old growth trees.

Officials had originally proposed to actively manage a section of the forest that didn’t fit the profile of the rest of the site: meaning some trees would be cut in hopes of speeding the process of old growth development.

But community outcry appears to have changed the DNR’s mind.  DNR Chief State Forester Paul DeLong says officials received dozens of letters.