timber sales

US Forest Service

Managers of the Chequamegon-Nicolet want to partner with other groups to help achieve timber harvest goals in the national forest.  That’s the message from Forest Supervisor Paul Strong.   

He’s part of a newly formed partnership called the Northeast Wisconsin Forestry Improvement Collaborative that represents logging groups, manufacturers and environmental interests. 

Strong says the hope is that different organizations can help the Forest Service obtain grant money, organize volunteers, or even resolve disagreements. 

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.”

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

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.