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…]

Become a Tree Seed Collector

The WI DNR Reforestation Program continues to purchase seed from private collectors. Over the years, our seedling demands have changed; thus, so does our need for seed.  In 2017, WI DNR will be purchasing seeds for the following species: american hazelnut, american plum, black cherry, bitternut hickory, black walnut, butternut, shagbark hickory, sugar (hard) maple, and the following oaks – bur, red, swamp white, white.

Please read the following information carefully to understand changes in 2017.  Before collecting any seed, please contact the nursery first to ensure purchasing is still open for species you intend to collect. Nursery staff can assist with species identification.  If you have any questions, call the nursery before you begin to collect seed!

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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…]

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

CDACs Accepting Applications until July 1 for 2018

The County Deer Advisory Councils (CDACs) were established in 2014. All CDAC seats are now available for anyone interested in representing deer management interests in their county.

CDACs are comprised of seven members, plus two additional members of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress who serve as the chair and alternate chair. Members represent the major aspects of deer management in Wisconsin including hunting, landowners, tourism, agriculture, forestry, transportation, and urban/metropolitan areas.

CDAC members will recommend deer population objectives for the three year period of 2018 through 2020, as well as help set antlerless harvest quotas, tag levels, and season structure on an annual basis. Council recommendations can benefit from having all major interests involved in the discussions. [Read more…]

2017 NRCS Local Working Group Notice Dates Announced

The Local Working Group (LWG) is a diverse group of people with agricultural and natural resource interests. Members may be agricultural producers representing the variety of crops and livestock raised within the local area; owners of nonindustrial private forest land; representatives of agricultural and environmental organizations; and representatives of governmental agencies carrying out agricultural and natural resource conservation programs and activities for the area.

To ensure that LWG recommendations take into account the broad scope of people served by USDA, members will include historically underserved groups, such as women and minorities; persons with disabilities; beginning and limited resource farmers, and socially and economically disadvantaged groups. Individuals or groups wanting to become a LWG member may submit a request to the Designated Conservationist explaining their interest and credentials for becoming a member. [Read more…]

Wisconsin Council of Forestry Announces Strong Support for Funding the Mill Tax

The Governor’s Council on Forestry has announced it’s support for the continued funding of the Forestry Mill Tax. Read the full letter here.

Others in the Forestry Community Now Join WWOA’s Efforts on the Forestry Mill Tax

Lake States Lumber Association, Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association, and Wisconsin Consulting Foresters released their letter to the Joint Committee on Finance opposing the defunding of the forestry mill tax. Read the full letter here.

LAST CHANCE to speak out on the Forestry Mill Tax

VERY SOON the Joint Committee on Finance (JCF) will be taking up the Forestry Mill Tax (or as legislators have been calling it the State Property Tax) issue.  The Committee is split on this issue and needs to hear from WWOA members and citizens about the benefits of the Forestry Mill Tax. Your voice and a few minutes of your time CAN make a difference on this very important issue!

HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE:

  1. WWOA members are encouraged to call Joint Committee on Finance members to express their opinion on the Forestry Mill Tax or WI Property Tax on Wednesday, May 24 or Tuesday, May 30, if possible.  
  2. If you are a constituent (a voter in the district) of a member of the Joint Committee on Finance, try to meet in person with your legislator either at their office in Madison as soon as possible or when they are home in their district over Memorial Day Weekend.
  3. Email or send letters to members of JCF with your thoughts on this issue.
  4. Share your thoughts with your State Legislators in addition to members of JCF.

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Joint Committee on Finance Members

Please select Read More for the full listing of all Joint Committee on Finance Members and their contact information. [Read more…]