Public comment period for HRD treatment guidelines revision closes October 16

By Kyoko Scanlon, forest pathologist, Fitchburg. Kyoko.Scanlon@wisconsin.gov; 608-235-7532

Wisconsin DNR is seeking public comments on a proposed revision to preventative treatment guidelines for Heterobasidion root disease (HRD). Stand-level HRD treatment guidelines were originally released in 2013. A DNR technical team and stakeholder advisory committee proposed a revised version using recent research findings, operational experience, and economic considerations.

The draft document and information about the public comment process can be found at  https://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/Guidance.html#open throughTuesday, October 16, 2018. All comments must be submitted by that date.

Leaf-browning on white and burr oaks

During late August and September of this year, Forest Health staff received several comments about problems with white and burr oaks. (read more…)

Oak branch tips laying on the ground this fall

Forest health specialists in the northern part of the state recently received reports of oak trees suddenly losing branch tips (complete with attached leaves). (read more…)

Public comment period for EAB silviculture guidelines revision closes October 9

The Wisconsin DNR is seeking public comments on a proposed revision to silviculture guidelines for emerald ash borer (EAB).

Stand-level EAB silviculture guidelines were originally released in 2007, with periodic reviews and updates. A DNR technical team and stakeholder advisory committee prepared the current version using multiple sources of information, including recent research findings, identification and locations of new EAB infestations, economic considerations, and experience gained from implementing previous versions of the guidelines.

The draft document and information about the public comment process can be found at  https://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/Guidance.html#openthrough Tuesday, October 9, 2018. All comments must be submitted by that date.

Celebrate Wisconsin Forest Products Week

Wisconsin has 17.1 million acres of forestland covering nearly half of the state and is home to more than 1,200 forest products companies producing a variety of products that we use daily. In recognition of the importance of forest products to Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker proclaimed the third week of October (October 21-27, 2018) as Wisconsin Forest Products Week.

The proclamation encourages citizens to recognize the many products that come from forests and the people and businesses that work in and care for forests. Forest businesses and organizations are encouraged to host an event or open house to commemorate this event. For ideas or suggestions or to learn more about hosting an event, please contact a member of the DNR forest products team.

Let’s celebrate Wisconsin’s diverse forest products sector during Forest Products Week on October 21-27, 2018!

Homes Can Survive a Wildfire

With fire season still lingering in the north, the DNR has reported 53 structures destroyed by wildfires so far this year. The good news is, 439 were also threatened yet saved with firefighter assistance.

To find out if your home or cabin is a high wildfire risk area, ask yourself these questions: Is your place surrounded by oak or pine trees? Are your rain gutters full of pine needles? Is your lawn covered with leaves? Is there a Smokey Bear fire danger sign in your community?

If you answered “yes,” you might have some work to do! As we head into the long weekend, grab a rake and gloves, and take a peek at ways you can prepare your property for wildfire. Avoid burning by hauling the debris to a brush & leaf drop-off site or compost the material. https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestFire/preparing.html

Wisconsin First Detector Network

The Wisconsin First Detector Network (WIFDN) is a citizen science network that empowers people to take action against invasive species through invasive species monitoring, management, and outreach. WIFDN provides training and resources through a combination of webinars, instructional videos, and hands-on workshops, in addition to providing volunteer opportunities to citizen scientists. Click here to get to their website.

Oak Harvesting Guidelines During Unusually Cold Spring Weather

This year’s cool spring weather has caused people to wonder if the oak harvesting restrictions that usually begin on April 1 (south of the tension zone) or April 15 (north of the tension zone) might be pushed back due to unusually cold temperatures. The simple answer is no. Even during unusually cold springs, consistent messages about preventing the spread of oak wilt disease apply – “Stop pruning in April” and “Avoid harvesting in April (south of the tension zone)”. Delivering the same messages at the same time every year helps ensure that the public protects Wisconsin’s oak resource.

That said, the Wisconsin DNR’s oak harvesting guidelines allow flexibility at the stand level, if landowners/property managers and other affected parties (foresters, loggers, etc.) all agree on modifications based on local conditions. For example, “unusual weather patterns in early spring” is listed as one of the allowable modifications in the DNR’s oak harvesting guidelines.

[Read more…]

Report Occupied Bald Eagle Nests in Southeastern Wisconsin

MADISON – State ecologists conducting aerial surveys for occupied bald eagle nests this spring are asking for the public’s help in locating nests in southeastern Wisconsin. 

If you observe an active bald eagle nest, with adults incubating eggs or exhibiting other breeding behaviors, you are encouraged to report your sightings in one of these ways:

[Read more…]

Gear Up for Fire Season

Fire season is just beginning. Each year an estimated 1,100 wildfires burn in DNR protection areas (about half the state, generally the more forested areas) and another estimated 2,500 wildfires burn in parts of the state where fire departments are the primary responders. Two-thirds of these fires occur in spring. There is a great deal of dry vegetation and fallen leaves and other debris present this time of year, which is quick to dry out. Accompanied by warmer weather, drops in humidity and gusty winds, wildfires can quickly ignite and spread. (read more…)