Annual Meeting

2018 Annual Meeting

We are now less than 2 months away from our 39th Annual Meeting! Check back frequently as new details about hotels, tours, the field day, and other events are being are being added all the time. We hope you can join us in Northeast Wisconsin and experience all the hard work the Phoenix Falls Chapter has put into planning this event over the last year. 

WHEN: Thursday, September 20 – Sunday, September 23
WHERE: Potawatomi Carter Casino and Conference Center | 618 WI-32, Wabeno, WI

The page is organized as listed below. Click on the green links to jump to the section you wish.


Lodging Options

You can view a list of possible lodging options here


Option 1 

Standard King Room at Potawatomi Carter Hotel

WHERE:Potawatomi Carter Hotel| Wabeno, WI 
COST:$83/night + tax during convention with WWOA special rate
RESERVATIONS:Call (715)-473-6785 or toll free at (800)-487-9522 and mention you are with WWOA to receive the special rate
INCLUDED:Every hotel room includes a 47″ TV, Simmons™ Beautyrest Recharge Pillow Top bed, extra firm MicroLoft™ Gel Pillows, Keurig™ coffee machine, compact refrigerator, microwave, in-room safe, iron & ironing board, hair dryer, complimentary Wi-Fi, and bottled water. They also have a pool area, whirlpool, sauna, and fitness room.
DISTANCE: on site 

Cabins & Cottages 

Option 2

WHERE: Camp Lake Resort | Mountain, WI 
COST: varying costs ($250 – $370)/weekend + tax (different daily rates and fees) 
RESERVATIONS: Call 715-276-6431 or email
INCLUDED: varying depending on cottage, pets accepted with a nightly fee
DISTANCE: ~14 miles from Annual Meeting | ~16 miles from Sunday Field Day


Option 3

RV parking spots at Potawatomi Carter Casino

WHERE: Potawatomi Carter Casino RV Campsites| Wabeno, WI 
COST: FREE- up to 3 nights 
RESERVATIONS: Sites are on a first come, first served basis- sites are limited. Once you arrive, you can select any open site. Then go inside the casino to the Carter Club to register your vehicle and receive a paper to put in the window.  
INCLUDED: electric hookup, water, dump station 
DISTANCE: on site

Option 4 

WHERE: Boulder Lake National Forest Service Campground| White Lake, WI
COST: $18/night
RESERVATIONS: online reservations can be made here
INCLUDED: varying amenities- see website 
DISTANCE:~26 miles from Annual Meeting | ~35 miles from Sunday Field Day

Option 5 

WHERE: Governor Thompson State Park| Crivitz, WI 
COST: varying costs ($16 – $28)/night + reservation fee
RESERVATIONS: online reservations can be made here
INCLUDED: varying amenities- see website
DISTANCE: ~35 miles from Annual Meeting | ~7 miles from Sunday Field Day

Option 6 

WHERE: Heaven’s Up North Campground | Lakewood, WI
COST: varying costs (~$30/night)
RESERVATIONS: contact information and online reservations can be made here
INCLUDED: varying amenities- see website
DISTANCE: ~15 miles from Annual Meeting | ~14 miles from Sunday Field Day


The above are just some suggestions, feel free to look around for an option that works best for you! You may be able to find pet friendly lodging or cabins/housing using the websites below:


Tentative Schedule & Events 


The meeting kicks off with your choice of two fun tours! 

Shoreline of the lake at Governor Thompson State Park

  • Option A: Flowing Forest Amenities Tour – OPEN
  • Includes Lunch | Moderate Activity Level | Longer Bus Ride | Parts of Tour NOT handicapped accessible  

The tour will start with an excursion to the Crivitz area to view the High Falls hydroelectric power plant on the Peshtigo River. Afterwards, enjoy lunch and a tour of Governor Thompson State Park. The Park was established in 2000, the Wisconsin State Park System’s centennial year. Governor Thompson State Park has more than 2,800 acres of woods and six miles of shoreline on the Caldron Falls Flowage. Hear about the history of the land as Paust Woods Lake Resort before it became a park from WWOA member and tour host, Dale Paust. 

Next up, the group will head to Blaser’s Acres, a local farm that produces everything from produce to Christmas trees. One of their specialties is being a certified organic maple syrup operation. It is one of the largest such operations in the state, and they run 40 miles of plastic tubing to collect the sap and then use reverse osmosis to filter out the water in the sap.

  • Option B: Rock and Roll Bike Tour – OPEN
  • Includes Lunch | Moderate Activity Level 

Bring your bicycles to ROLL with hosts Karen and Randy Cooper on a leisurely bike ride down a scenic, mostly flat, asphalt US Forest service road (Forest Service Road 2308). The ride will start and end at their woodlands near Mountain. Karen and Randy (a retired forester) will share their knowledge of the local area and natural features along the way. If you have the time (and energy) after your ride and lunch, the Coopers invite your to climb their ROCK outcropping for a beautiful, panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.

  • Sharing Experiences 

Members will share their personal experiences in managing their woodlands on Thursday evening.

    1. Ross Prior, of Coleman, will share his extensive knowledge and tips for white pine management.
    2. Tom Jacobs, of Crivitz, will talk about building and maintaining a “do-it-yourself” wooden bridge at his Waupee Pines Tree Farm over Little Waupee Creek. When the Jacobs needed access to their northern 40 for a timber harvest, they decided it was time for a bridge. They wanted a bridge that would handle at least 10 tons and have longevity, but it had to be something they would build.
    3. Kurt Schuh, of Kaukauna, will discuss their shelterwood harvest followed by the planting of white oak seedlings with tree tubes to protect them. He will also cover the history of their land and vision for the future.
    4. Judith Padour, of Crivitz, will share about Perch Lake and the surrounding Wetlands and the public benefits they provide.



Friday’s four tours will highlight the area’s history, current forest management, showcase members’ Tree Farms, and provide an opportunity to learn more about a unique program. We’ll finish off the day with our evening program.

  • TOUR #1: Mountain & Waupee Pines Tree Farms Tour – FULL
  • Includes Lunch | Moderate Activity Level | Handicapped Accommodations Available 

The first  full-day tour will highlight two woodlands owned by fellow WWOA members who are also foresters. In the morning at Randy and Karen Cooper’s Mountain Tree Farm learn about how their red pine plantation is marked for its fourth thinning and aspen harvest with Wild Rivers Forestry. Wood turtles are found on their property and they will share their experiences in helping this species. After lunch, a short distance away Tom and Leslyn Jacobs welcome members to their Waupee Pines Tree Farm where you can see their “do-it-yourself” bridge over the Little Waupee Creek. Other stops will include their management of an oak stand, pine stand, and prairie. Tour includes walking on mostly level roads, and wagon rides.

  • TOUR #2: Peshtigo Historical Tour – FULL
  • Includes Lunch | Easy Activity Level | Longer Bus Ride | Not All Handicapped Accessible

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    Peshtigo Fire Museum

For the history buff there will be a full-day tour with a longer bus ride, but it’s worth the trip! Take a step back in history to learn about October 8, 1871, when the deadliest fire in U.S. history swept through Peshtigo and NE Wisconsin. The Peshtigo Fire Museum is located in the first church built after the fire and preserves the heritage of the era, artifact exhibits, and a cemetery to memorialize the thousands that died in the fire. 

Then enjoy lunch at Harmony Gardens Arboretum while learning about this unique 460-acre farm, which contains a majestic hardwood old-growth forest, restored prairie, and demonstration garden. A partnership of the Marinette County Land and Water Conservation, UW-Extension, and a variety of local nonprofit organizations such as the Northern Lights Master Gardeners care for the Arboretum.

The final stop will be at the Stephenson Island Logging Museum located on Stephenson Island between Marinette, Wisconsin and Menominee, Michigan. The museum includes artifacts from the Menominee Indians, lumber barons, and logging artifacts. 

  • TOUR #3: Forest Management Tour – OPEN
  • Includes Lunch | Moderate Activity Level | Visit 4 Different Sites | Wood Sites Are NOT Handicapped Accessible

This tour will be a full-day tour focusing on the Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) in the Mountain area. This partnership between the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and Wisconsin DNR lets the state administer timber harvests on federal lands. This tour will visit a few GNA timber sales near Wabeno to learn how this program works on the ground. Tour stops will include timber sales with various timber types and goals such as regenerating white pine, red pine rotation techniques, and oak shelterwoods. Tour will also discuss the U.S. Forest Service’s work on the historical Waupee Barrens project. There will be some off trail walking.

  • TOUR #4: Blackwell Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center – OPEN
  • NO Lunch | Easy Activity Level | Handicapped Accessible

This half-day tour will take place at the Blackwell Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center in Laona. The Blackwell Center has been in existence for more than 50 years. The center is associated with the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and serves about 160 students living and training on its residential campus, a former Civilian Conservation Corps camp. Blackwell offers training in office automation, carpentry, construction crafts, health occupations, masonry, and welding. After visiting the center, the tour will stop at some of the local projects they have completed. Learn how this special partnership provides education and hands on training for students and benefits to the local community. 

  • Evening Meet Your Neighbor Social & Reception

Friday evening enjoy visiting with other members at the cash bar, WWOA’s gift shop, exhibitors, bidding on silent auction items, and purchasing raffle tickets all followed by dinner with friends from across the state and nation. Members are encouraged to donate items for the silent auction including tools to use in your woods, nature books and prints, beautifully made crafts, or items created from wood. There will be time for members to vote for the Members’ Choice photo of the Photo Contest. It is the perfect way to end a wonderful day in the woods.

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  • Keynote Speaker

Saturday starts bright and early with the opening of the exhibit hall. Then hear from our keynote speaker John Rajala Jr., from Rajala Companies in Minnesota. As a fourth generation caretaker of northern Minnesota’s white pine forests, hear the Rajala family’s inspirational story of caring for their 25,000-acre timberlands, companies, and community. Their forest management mimics natural disturbance through the use of continuous, irregular shelterwoods to create high value forests of white pine, red oak, paper birch, and northern hardwoods. Rajala Companies started with the family’s purchase of a small sawmill in the early 1900s. The sawmill is now the longest running mill in Minnesota. It is the foundation of their 100 year old vertically integrated company which includes Minnesota Timber and Millwork. The Rajala family strives to align their forests, primary and secondary manufacturing to focus on creating high value, specialty products.   

  • Afternoon Breakout Sessions
  1. WWOA member and attorney, Andrew Schmidt from Wausau, will cover boundaries, easements, and wood roads. Can you pass his easement quiz? Wisconsin law is especially difficult when it comes to limitations on timing and having your land surveyed is important.
  2. Nurse Practitioner, Rebecca Keith from Minong, will help you better understand Lyme disease and update you on other tick-borne diseases.
  3. Bill McNee and Greg Edge of the WDNR will discuss the updated Emerald Ash Borer silvicultural guidance and offer management suggestions.
  4. Brad Pagels of Eagle River, a member of the Wisconsin Forest History Association, will share his interest in the exploration of northern Wisconsin’s historic logging railroad corridors and railroads owned and operated by lumber companies.
  • Landowner Café

Food for thought and your woodlands. Come and go as you please to learn more about a topic or get your questions answered by experts.

  1. Managed Forest Law (MFL) Program – WDNR Tax Law Specialist
  2. Herbicides & Invasives – Dave Hall, WWOA member
  3. Cost-Sharing Programs – TBD
  4. WWOA Volunteer Opportunities – WWOA AmeriCorps Member
  5. My Land Handbook – WWOA Board Members (bring your MLH & share your questions/ideas)
  • Evening Meet Your Neighbor Social & Award Banquet

Before dinner, visit with friends at the cash bar. Saturday evening’s award banquet kicks off with the drawing of the Annual Fundraiser prizes followed by the chapter basket raffle. What theme will your chapter basket have this year? WWOA’s Photo Contest will then recognize the winning photos and coveted Members’ Choice Award. Finally, help us recognize the 2018 Wisconsin Tree Farmers of the Year and fellow WWOA members who have given so much of their time to educate the next generation or to better the WWOA organization. 

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  • Field Day at Thunder Mountain Ranch
  • Registration includes breakfast buffet at hotel, morning coffee and catered lunch in the field, field day presentations and tours, handouts and activities 

Sunday’s field day will be hosted by the Thunder Mountain Ranch situation 20 miles northwest of Crivitz, WI. This historic 3,000 acre ranch containing lakes and streams has been owned and operated by the same family since the 1920’s. Some acreage is in tree plantations and others in hay production. Throughout the years the ranch has employed many local people to care for and run the ranch.

The field day will offer a variety of natural resource based stations and wagon rides to see more of the property. Tentative topics for stations include: the recent timber harvest, forest insect and disease issues, trout stream habitat, water quality, geology of the area, forest fire protection, and older hemlock stand, and wildlife habitat. Pick four topics you would like to learn more about and between the 1-hour stations. 

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Registration Packets

NEW this year, annual meeting packets will be emailed out to members in early July. Please make sure WWOA has your current email address on file. If you do not have an email address, you will receive a packet in the mail. If you already receive the News from Wisconsin Woods newsletter as a hard copy instead of by email, you will automatically receive your annual meeting packet in the mail. If you prefer a packet mailed to you, contact the WWOA office and let us know. 

WWOA’s four-day Annual Meeting will offer a variety of registration options. Come for a tour, a day, or the whole weekend. New meeting attendees are welcomed by the WWOA Board and Chapter Chairs with a reception on Friday evening.

You cannot register online. You still need to print off your registration form and mail it to the WWOA office with a check.

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Photo Contest Themes

Stepping Stones: Photos submitted in this category should portray one of the many varied steps we take to manage our woods. These steps may be “baby” and small in size or giant and grand in nature and scope. Whatever the size step you have taken, capture the moments working with a professional forester, resource manager, logging contractor, road maintenance worker, legacy planner, habitat improvement laborer, or other activities that focus on conservation efforts in the woods. Photos should include people and be stunning, action-oriented representation of the “steps” taken in our woods.

Arrivals and Departures: This category is looking for photos illustrating the Spontaneity of Spring or the Farewell of Fall. Photographs should showcase the attributes and qualities of these two drastically different season in the woods. Whether it is buds breaking or leaves falling, song birds nesting or geese flying. April showers bringing May flowers or frosty freezes, consider submitting a photo that highlights the best aspects of either an arrival or departure in your woods. Photos must not include people.

Entry forms for the contest will be included in the Annual Meeting registration packet, but you do not have to attend the Annual Meeting in order to participate. (But we will miss celebrating with you when your name is announced as a winner at the meeting!)

Remember, photos must be of a WWOA member’s property and taken by a WWOA member or immediate family member. Photo quality is important so set your camera for the maximum resolution setting. There are two categories – youth and adult – so share the fun with your next or next, next generation!

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Annual Meeting Fun! 

Deciding if you want to attend the 2018 Annual Meeting? Hopefully looking at some of these 2017 Annual Meeting highlights will make that answer a definite YES!

Why should you consider attending if you’ve never come before? Hear what our members have to say:

  • “Wealth of information in speakers, members, and exhibitors. They will learn something new.”
  • “Meet new friends, old friends, & see other parts of the state.”
  • “To get ideas to improve your woodland & meet people or organizations to help you.”
  • “To broaden their knowledge of the value of good management & especially meet members with experience and also camaraderie.”
  • “We have attended many annual meetings and still learn new things at every one.”



Thursday & Friday Tours

Paddling down the Namekagon River 

Members spent the day out on the water on part of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. The river flows through a variety of community types including black ash swamps and marshy grasslands, making it ideal for wildlife sightings.

Madeline Island 

Madeline Island (Mooningwanekaaning in Ojibwe) is a spiritual home to many Ojibwe (Chippewa) people. Members visited the Historical Museum to learn more about the island and visited Big Bay State Park.

Forest Industry Tour

Members felt the aftermath of Wisconsin’s sometime unpredictable weather as they had to deal with flooding and power outages on their tour. They did, however, get to see lovely managed white pine stands at the Uhrenholdt Memorial Forest.

The Ojibwa Way – Then & Now Tour 

On this cultural tour Members visited the Lac Courte Oreille (LCO) Tribe, Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians to learn about their long and rich heritage.  In the evening members were treated to a special cultural expedience with Ojibwa singers, dancers, and a drummer. Members witnessed different dances and even joined in on the action. A thank you to the Marion Mycynek Memorial for making this possible.

Regeneration at Bayfield County Forest 

A rainy morning didn’t stop these members from learning about forest regeneration! They heard about site preparation for plantings, seeding of areas, and planting of containerized seedlings under shelterwoods, and shelterwood harvests when it comes to oak regeneration.

While at the forest, members also talked about the effects deer can have on regeneration and saw first hand at a deer exclosure just what an impact they can make.

The afternoon was spent at the Cable Natural History Museum.

Every year members try to plant a tree on a public piece of land so all can enjoy the new addition. This year’s tree was planted at the natural playground at Natural History Museum.


Natural History Tour

Members spent the day at Copper Falls State Park learning about the history, forestry, and geology of the park.  They also saw part of Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, and gained insight into the elk reintroduction program from Wisconsin DNR employees.



Sunday Field Day

Our Sunday Field day was spent at Forest Lodge. Members could choose from a wide variety of topics to participate in including: oak wilt, wildlife habitat, basic forest measurements, wetland buffer strips, riparian management zone, water in your woodlands, forests & climate change adaptations, forest types & forest composition, and other landowner resources.

Forest Lodge  

At one station, members were also able to learn about the beautiful property we spent the day at. The property was originally developed as a logging camp in 1884. In 1902, the land was purchased by a wealthy businessman whose family turned it into their summer home in the following decades. In 1998/9 the family donated the property to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest through the Trust for Public Land. The property is divided into four management areas: the historic buildings and surrounding grounds, a botanical area of unique plan communities, an area of old growth hemlocks, and a stretch of undeveloped lake shoreline.


Forest Types and Forest Composition 

Dr. John Kotar, emeritus professor of forestry at UW-Madison, shared how different climatic regimes, geology, and soils help determine which plants grow where. 

Wildlife Habitat 

Valerie Johnson, Forest Wildlife Specialist with the Ruffed Grouse Society, NRSC & Wisconsin DNR, educated landowners on how to createor/enhance wildlife habitats on their woodlands for the critters that interested them the most. 

Wisconsin Forests and Climate Change Adaptation 

Stephen Handler with the USDA Forest Service and Nothern Institute of Applied Climate Science talked about climate change and what it means for the future of trees in Wisconsin. Members flagged tree species that were likely to disappear from the area with warmer temperatures in red and species that were likely to still be found in green.

Sunday Funday 

The Annual Meeting is great way to meet other members and to share about your land.


 Meeting Business 

Raffle, silent auction, WWOA store, speakers, and more! 

There’s always a lot to see and do during the conference in addition to all the tours! Members can attend presentations, talk with professionals at the Landowner Café, peruse items in the silent auction, visit the WWOA gift shop, chat with exhibitors, and befriend other members.

Distinguished Service Award 

Distinguished Service Awards are presented to WWOA members for outstanding dedication and achievement in
furthering the goals and principles of WWOA. 

Past President Paul Kienitz was this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. WWOA Treasurer Arlene Roehl, far left, presented Kienitz, center, with the award. From left are Kienitz’s wife, Christine; Kienitz; and Kienitz’s daughter and son-in-law, Ashley & Zach Deering.

Next Generation Award

Next Generation awards are dual awards presented to an educator and WWOA member who work together in a continuous effort to inform the next generation about the value of Wisconsin’s private woodlands and sustainable forest management. WWOA was able to give out two Next Generation Awards at the 2017 Annual Meeting.

First Picture: Chuck Wagner, Luxemburg, and Aerica Bjurstrom, Kewaunee County UW-Extension, received WWOA’s Next Generation Award. (Photo Credit: Warren Bluhm/Kewaunee County Comet) Second Picture: Arlene Roehl, left, presented WWOA’s next generation award to Steven & Lois Raether, Chippewa Falls, and Bridget Ericksen, a teacher in Chippewa Falls 


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