Tom Olson

A Case of Influential Public Comment
12:00 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Wednesday: Natural Resources Board to Consider Van Vliet Changes

DNR's management plan for a small portion of the Van Vliets drew substantial public comment.
Credit 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. 

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Forest Management Controversy
1:53 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

New Plan for Van Vliets Goes Up For Approval

Controversy over a plan for active management in the Van Vliets has prompted the DNR to change its recommendation.
Credit 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.

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An Old Growth Goal
4:00 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Science and Social Values in the Van Vliets

Even small diameter hemlocks can be hundreds of years old.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

In the far reaches of Northern Wisconsin, a remote stand of old growth hemlocks has been cast into the public eye.  The 400-acre Van Vliet Hemlocks are known to many as one of the few old growth stands left in Wisconsin.  Over the past century forest managers have mostly taken a hands-off approach.  But a proposal from the state Department of Natural Resources to log part of the area has community members up in arms.

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