Renewal Options for Expiring Conservation Stewardship Contracts

Agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to renew their Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contract.

Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation.

Participants with existing CSP contracts expiring on Dec. 31, 2018 can access the benefits of the recent program changes through an option to renew their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands.

NRCS will mail contract renewal notification letters to all participants whose contracts expire in 2018, which will contain instructions on how to apply for renewal.

Applications to renew expiring contracts are due by April 13.

[Read more…]

Plant Identification Workshop Series

Continuing Education through UW-Stevens Point (UWSP) will be offering a plant workshop identification series during the months of June & July that covers four different habitats. The workshops to be included in the series are woodland, aquatic, wetland, and prairie plant identification. Each habitat occurs on a different week and can be taken individually, or the series can be taken as a whole.

[Read more…]

Volunteer training set for Rare Plant Monitoring Program

MADISON — People who enjoy looking for plants can see some of the state’s rarest and most beautiful native species up close in 2018 by participating in volunteer training for the Wisconsin Rare Plant Monitoring Program in coming weeks. For more information click here

2018 Inductees into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame

The Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame (WCHF) will honor four new leaders who have contributed much to Wisconsin’s Conservation Legacy. This year’s ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday April 14th at the Sentry Theater in Stevens Point. The public is invited.

The Inductees this year include: (1) a couple who have spent their lives as “Partners in Nature” protecting the natural heritage of Door County, (2) a Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources who never retired, and (3) an almost forgotten UW-Madison Wildlife Professor and philanthropist who contributed directly to Leopold’s Conservation Legacy.

[Read more…]

New Finds of EAB in Quarantined Counties

Eleven new communities in previously quarantined counties have been added to list of confirmed Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) since the last Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) update:

  • Adams County — Town of Preston
  • Crawford County — Town of Marietta
  • Dane County — Village of Maple Bluff
  • Dodge County — Town of Portland
  • Grant County — City of Fennimore
  • Jefferson County — City of Waterloo
  • Juneau County — Town of Armenia
  • Marquette County — Town of Moundville
  • Sauk County — Town of Spring Green, Village of Spring Green
  • Waushara County — City of Wautoma

The complete list and an interactive map are available at emeraldashborer.wi.gov. New locations are expected to continued to be found within the quarantined counties.

Reminder that human activity has caused scattered infestations in some quarantined counties, not natural spread of the insect. So, it’s still important for people not to move firewood out of infested areas, even within their own quarantined counties. That precaution can delay introduction to new areas of quarantined counties for years.

DATCP Hosts Open House Meetings On Gypsy Moth Treatment Plans

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will host four meetings in mid-March to explain this year’s gypsy moth spray plans.

“The gypsy moth is a serious invasive pest that threatens our forests and urban trees. It threatens Wisconsin’s timber, paper, nursery and tourism industries,” said Christopher Foelker, coordinator of DATCP’s gypsy moth program.

Beginning in May and continuing through late July or early August, DATCP plans to apply selected areas in western Wisconsin with biological treatments and mating disrupters, using low-flying planes. About 89,684 acres at 36 sites in 14 counties are scheduled for treatment. These areas have expanding gypsy moth populations.

Counties scheduled to receive aerial treatments are: Barron (3 sites covering 2,736 acres), Bayfield (1 site, 787 acres),Buffalo (6 sites, 11,754 acres), Burnett (2 sites, 4,529 acres), Chippewa (4 sites, 12,794 acres), Crawford (4 sites, 5,971 acres), Douglas (1 site, 789 acres), Dunn (5 sites, 43,986 acres), Eau Claire (1 site, 674 acres), Grant (1 site, 497 acres),Green (1 site, 392 acres), Lafayette (2 sites, 527 acres), Rusk (1 site, 463 acres), and Vernon (3 sites, 3,785 acres).

[Read more…]

Learn About the Conservation Stewardship Program

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) works with landowners and farmers through their Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to help them plan and implement conservation practices and enhancements that address natural resource concerns on their property. The program covers an array of focuses from livestock, dairy, and crops to forestry, wildlife, and soil health.

What does that exactly mean for you and your woodlands? CSP is a great program whether you already have your land enrolled in Managed Forest Law (MFL) or if you do not. The NRCS has an acre goal, so there is only an 1 acre minimum to be enrolled in the program. The benefit of having a MFL plan or current management plan is you will receive enhancement options that are best suited to your conditions. To determine which enchantments you are eligible for as a landowner, NRCS field staff use an eligibility worksheet called a CAET. With a MFL plan or current management plan, you worked with a professional forester to determine the current conditions of your woodlands. That is the information that will be used in the CAET. Without a plan (which is completely okay!) NRCS field staff fill out the CAET and may make assumptions that may or may not be true. For example, NRCS staff might say that the stocking is adequate when reality is it is overstocked (NRCS will not do an inventory), so incorrect enhancements may be offered.

Some of the forestry enhancements offered include the following (For a full enhancements list click here or to filter enhancements to your specifications click here):  [Read more…]

Which WI DNR forester do I contact?

The WI DNR realignment has changed how woodland owners interact with their WI DNR foresters. The realignment created two different types of WI DNR foresters – integrated service and tax law foresters – that will serve woodland owners. [Read more…]

Find Your Forester

Looking for a forester to help with the vision you have for your woodlands?  You can use the Forestry Assistance Locator to find cooperating foresters or DNR service foresters for your county or view the current Directory of Foresters.

Types of foresters listed in the directory include DNR Tax Law Specialists, DNR Foresters, Cooperating Foresters, & Certified Plan Writers. [Read more…]

Updated Forest Tax Rates

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has released the new tax rates for use in 2018 through 2022 for land in the Managed Forest Law (MFL). These new tax rates are effective January 1, 2018.

The updated MFL tax rates saw an all around decrease. Open land entered before 2005 saw a decrease of 5¢ to $0.74 per acre. Closed land entered before 2005 dropped 12¢ to $1.75 per acre. Open land entered after 2004 decreased 10¢ to $2.04 per acre. Lastly, closed land entered after 2004 saw a reduction of 38¢ to $10.68 per acre.

Land in Forest Crop Law (FCL) will have the same tax rates in 2018. The current FCL tax rates were recalculated in 2012 and are effective until 2022. They are scheduled to be recalculated in 2022.