DNR Invites Public to Participate in Bat Habitat Conservation Efforts

Cave-dwelling bat populations in Wisconsin are rapidly declining due to a fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome.  Some species may soon be listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). In preparation for this listing, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is teaming up with the Michigan and Minnesota DNRs to develop a large-scale Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The purpose of this HCP is to obtain a federal incidental take permit under ESA section 10 requesting authorization for the incidental take of bats during forest management activities. The goal of this project is the protection of federally endangered bat species and the continuation of forest management activities in the Lake States. [Read more…]

Jack Rasmussen

What would you plant on a cleared 50 acre parcel? A veneer plantation? Well, that’s what WWOA member, Jack Rasmussen of St. Croix County, did, with a little push from his older brother, of course.

Jack purchased the property in 1993. It was an open piece of land after having been enrolled in CRP following years of agriculture. He didn’t have plans for the property when he bought it, but his brother, Dane, convinced him it was best to plant trees on the land.

With a background in research and development, Jack applied the same critical thinking skills to his land, and invested a year’s time to study and plan the reforestation of his newly purchased property.

After much thought, Jack decided to pursue a veneer plantation. He knew it was a lofty goal and not something he would see in his lifetime, but someone’s children would, and that is what made it worthwhile to Jack. [Read more…]

AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordinator Position Available

Will you be WWOA’s next AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordinator? [Read more…]

2018 EQIP Sign up Announced

NRCS Announces 2018 EQIP funding sign up until October 20, 2017 [Read more…]

NRCS Announces EQIP Signup for 2018 Funding, Apply by October 20, 2017

Providing Conservation Practices to Protect Natural Resources

Madison, Wis. – July 24, 2017 – Farmers and forest landowners will want to plan ahead and sign up early for USDA conservation funding. Angela Biggs, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist in Wisconsin, announced farmers and forest landowners interested in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) need to apply by October 20, 2017, for funding in 2018. Applications are being taken at all USDA Service Centers in Wisconsin.

EQIP is the primary program available to farmers for farm and woodland conservation work, offering payments for over 110 basic conservation practices. Last year, Wisconsin received about $25 million in funds for EQIP practices. “By getting applications in early, we have time for staff to visit individual farms to help plan all practices needed and offer advice,” said Biggs. “It’s easier to do an accurate plan before the snow starts, when you can better see the landscape.”

All eligible applications received by October 20, 2017, will be evaluated, prioritized and ranked for funding in 2018. Farmers may contact their local USDA Service Center to get started on producer eligibility and planning. Biggs reminds farmers who are interested in practices that may require permits, such as manure storage or streambank restoration, to begin planning and seeking permits as soon as possible. Applicants with shovel-ready projects (designs completed and permit applications submitted) will receive higher priority. [Read more…]

Update on DNR Alignment

The DNR Division of Forestry is transitioning to a new structure for private lands foresters. Find the new staff assigned to your area and their contact information here. [Read more…]

New DNR Tax Law Section for MFL and FCL

From: WI DNR Forestry News

As part of the DNR Strategic Alignment, the Division of Forestry has consolidated the tax law programs (Managed Forest Law and Forest Crop Law) and associated work into fewer positions under a new Tax Law section.  This section will focus on the tax law programs, allowing us to better meet our customers’ needs. 

Within the new section, six staff are located in Madison:  Tax Law Section Chief, Tax Law Administration Specialist, Tax Law Enforcement Specialist (vacant), Tax Law Operations Specialist, Tax Law Policy Specialist, and Tax Law WisFIRS Data Specialist (vacant).  There are also four teams of tax law specialists located throughout the state.  Each team consists of a team leader, 8 or 9 forestry specialists (field foresters working on tax law) and 1 or 2 administration specialists  (similar to administrative positions previously located in Madison) assigned to cover specific counties.

To find contact information for the tax law specialists that serve your area, visit dnr.wi.gov, keyword “Forester” and select “DNR tax law specialists.”  There you’ll also find a description of the specialist’s roles and services offered.

You can find the new staff assigned to your area and their contact information directly in the Tax Law Directory.

Thanks for your patience through this transition and into the future as we continue our commitment to work together to sustainably manage and protect Wisconsin’s forest resources.

Contact:  R.J. Wickham, Forest Tax Section Chief, 920-369-6248 (mobile phone), Richard.Wickham@Wisconsin.gov

My Land Handbook Evaluation

Beat the heat this summer! Dive deep into your My Land Handbook. Let us know what you find! [Read more…]

Storm Damage

What do you do after your woodlands experience unexpected storm damage? [Read more…]

Wild parsnip blooms early, time to mow or take other control steps

MADISON- Wild parsnip, an invasive plant that can cause painful burns to people who come into contact with it, is blooming early in Wisconsin. Invasive plant experts encourage property owners to mow this plant or take other actions now to prevent its spread.

“The warm weather last week probably pushed wild parsnip to bloom. The earlier you can control it the more successful your efforts will be,” says Kelly Kearns, invasive plant coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Conservation program. “Mowing is the easiest way to prevent it from seeding – it won’t kill it but it will prevent it from spreading.”

Wild parsnip grows very successfully in habitats where soil was recently disturbed and invades prairies, oak savannas, roadsides, and pastures throughout Wisconsin. The species can be easily identified by its 4 to 6 foot stems and yellow, flat-topped, umbrella-shaped flowers that bloom from late spring to midsummer. [Read more…]