Schendel Condolences

Dale Schendel, Bloomington, MN – passed away February 11, 2019. Dale was a life member and active Chippewa Valley Chapter member with his deceased wife, Bev (former WWOA Board of Director member). Memorial service will be held Saturday, Feb. 16th at 3:00 P.M. at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, 5025 Knox Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN at mtolivet.org or 612-926-7651.

Public Hearings on Forest Tax Law Administrative Code

WI DNR has announced public hearings on proposed permanent rules to revise administrative code chapter NR 46 relating to the forest tax law programs – Forest Crop Law and Managed Forest Law.  Administrative codes are used by the WI DNR to interpret state statutes and set policies in administering the laws.

These proposed language changes are a result of 2015 Act 358 which made numerous changes to WI State Statute chapter 77 subchapters I (Forest Cropland) and VI (Managed Forest Lands).

To review the proposed administrative code changes and overview summary by WI DNR, read FR-23-16

Proposed changes include:

  • changes in how forest productivity is determined
  • definitions of buildings, hunting blinds, grazing, material changes to the MFL program, restoration, productivity, utilities
  • eligibility for renewals and additions to MFL
  • requirements under mandatory practices
  • when you can enter into leases or agreements
  • public access requirements for open MFL lands
  • how DNR can amend your MFL contract
  • determines when restoration efforts are needed to regain productivity and what the landowner will have to pay
  • how withdrawals and voluntary withdrawals will be handled

[Read more…]

Evergreen Inspections Find New Insect Pest; Burn or Bag Decorations, Officials Say

 

Note:  High-resolution photo available: https://www.flickr.com/photos/widatcp/32486931208/in/dateposted/.

MADISON – Plant health officials are cautioning consumers to burn wreaths and other evergreen decorations, or bag them and put them in the trash, after inspectors found invasive insects on many such items sold at large chain stores in Wisconsin this holiday season. 

Inspectors found an insect called elongate hemlock scale, or EHS, on wreaths, swags and boughs, and in arrangements of evergreen boughs in hanging baskets, porch pots, mugs, and sleighs. EHS saps nutrients as it feeds on the underside of conifer needles, and threatens Wisconsin’s Christmas tree farms, native hemlock and balsam fir forests, and ornamental conifers in yards and parks. 

“It’s fine to keep your decorations up for the holiday season, but when it’s time to dispose of them, don’t put them on the compost pile or set the greens out for brush collection. Burn them if you can. If you can’t do that, bag them and send them to the landfill,” advised Brian Kuhn, director of the Plant Industry Bureau in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. “EHS has survived in the northeastern U.S., so winter weather will not kill it. As a result, if you compost this material, the insects may well attack conifers in your yard or neighborhood, and spread from there.” 

[Read more…]

2018 USFS Timber Tax Tips

The U.S. Forest Service has released the 2018 Tax Tips for Forest Landowners

[Read more…]

2018 Timber Tax Tips

The U.S. Forest Service has released the 2018 Tax Tips for Forest Landowners.  The Federal income tax provisions that apply to timber have changed for the 2018 tax year from the December 2017 new tax legislation.

To help family timber owners, foresters and their tax preparers in filing their 2018 tax returns, this bulletin provides income tax guidance that is current as of September 30, 2018.

Share these with your accountant!

Snowy Owls are Back

 

Snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus)

snowy owl

Snowy owls rank among the most charismatic wildlife species in the world. The heaviest of all North American owls, tipping the scales at 3 to 6 pounds, their bright white plumage, large yellow eyes, massive feathered feet and diurnal tendencies appeal to even the most casual nature lover. Equally appealing to some are their unpredictable movement patterns and the remote arctic wilderness they represent.

As their name suggests snowy owls are generally a northern species, nesting worldwide on the treeless tundra above the Arctic Circle. During a typical winter some remain close to their breeding areas while others head south into southern Canada and the northern United States. At least small numbers reach Wisconsin each year. Every handful of years, however, large numbers move into the state, an event known as an “irruption”.

Learn about the Snowy Owls visiting Wisconsin.

Boxwood Wreaths Warning

Plant Health Experts: Don’t Compost Those Boxwood Wreaths

Contact:   Donna Gilson (608) 224-5130, donna.gilson@wi.gov
                Bill Cosh, Communications Director, (608) 224-5020, William2.Cosh@wi.gov

MADISON – If you’re decorating with boxwood wreaths or boughs this holiday season, watch where you place them and be sure to dispose of them properly when January rolls around.

“If you decorate with boxwood, keep it away from boxwood or Pachysandra plantings in your yard,” says Brian Kuhn, director of the Plant Industry Bureau in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. “At the end of the season, don’t compost the decorations. Place them in sealed plastic bags and put them in your garbage.”

The reason to take these precautions is boxwood blight, a fungal disease found in Wisconsin for the first time this past July. Although it’s been detected in only one nursery in southeastern Wisconsin, boxwood decorations may come from other states that have the disease. State plant health officials are on the lookout and would like holiday decorators to do the same. [Read more…]

Qualified Charitable Distributions from your Individual Retirement Account

If you are over 70 ½ years old you are required to take money out of your individual retirement account (IRA). Normally when you take money out of your IRA this becomes a taxable event and raises your adjusted gross income. If you intend to give this money to charity, your taxable income is reduced by the amount of the gift after the donation. However, your adjusted gross income remains higher.

A way around this is through a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). [Read more…]

WI Storm Damage Cost-sharing Available

The WI DNR and USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are both offering cost-sharing funds to assist Wisconsin woodland owners with storm damage clean up.

WI DNR Chief State Forester, Fred Souba, approved the use of emergency Wisconsin Forest Landowner Grant Program (WFLGP) funds for woodland owners statewide affected by high winds, tornadoes, and flooding which commenced on August 20, 2018 and is outlined in Governor Walker’s Executive Order #306.

Applications through your local WI DNR forester will be accepted on a continuous basis through the end of the fiscal year and if approved will receive immediate funding.  Emergency Funding Request should be written at the top of the application for priority processing.  Application must meet WFLGP requirements and eligibility criteria.  The maximum cost share amount is $10,000.  Landowners will be reimbursed for up to 60% of their expenses for practices approved by their WI DNR forester.  Landowners will have 24 months to complete the approved practices.

NRCS is offering cost-sharing assistance for storm damage through their Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) Special Incentive Opportunities – 2018 Storm Relief.  These funds are only available for select counties as designed on the MAP. 

Both Foresters and Landowners should communicate with their local NRCS District Conservationist in their local Service Center as soon as possible.  Landowner eligibility rules apply, however, Forest Management Plans are not required for this sign up.  All applications are due to select NRCS service centers by November 16, 2018.   This sign up is targeting but not limited to Conservation Practices Standards Forest Stand Improvement and Woody Residue Treatment.  The resource concern for these practices are degraded plant condition; wildfire, excessive biomass accumulation and or degraded plant condition; excessive plant pressure (insect & disease).

 

Federal Federal Funding Available for Conservation Practices

NRCS Announces EQIP Signup for 2019 Funding, Apply by November 16, 2018

Providing Conservation Practices to Protect Natural Resources

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 November 16, 2018, for funding in 2019. Applications are being taken at all USDA Service Centers  in Wisconsin.

EQIP is the primary program available to woodland conservation work including writing management plans, offering payments for over 110 basic conservation practices. Last year, Wisconsin received over $35 million in funds for EQIP practices.

 

[Read more…]