Your Comments needed on proposed changes to WI Forest Landowner Grant Program

The WI DNR is accepting public comments on proposed changes to the WI Forest Landowner Grant Program until June 25, 2019.

Information on the proposed changes can be found at WI DNR Proposed Program Guidance page, then under Proposed program guidance open for public comment, Forestry Grants, select the link to the draft document.

WWOA’s comments have been submitted to WI DNR.

If you have used this program in the past or hope to in the future, you may want to comment on the proposed changes, especially if your woodland is in the Managed Forest Law or Forest Crop Law programs.

[Read more…]

WWOA & AmazonSmile

WWOA is discontinuing our relationship with AmazonSmile.
If you have registered to do your shopping through AmazonSmile and selected Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association to receive a donation based on a percent of your sales, please immediately remove WWOA from your AmazonSmile account.
WWOA registered as a charity with AmazonSmile back in August 2018. However, to date we have not received any donations from this program due to their inability to transfer the funds to WWOA’s account.
As a result, we have formally discontinued our relationship with AmazonSmile. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused our members.

WWOA Board of Directors Call for Nominations

The WWOA Nomination Committee is looking for you or someone you know to fill four WWOA Board of Director positions that will become vacant at the close of the 2019 Annual Meeting in Marshfield in September. Directors whose terms are expiring are Mark Erickson, Tom Jacobs, Steven Ring and Richard Wagner.

To qualify as a candidate for the WWOA Board of Directors one must be a woodland owner, a voting member of WWOA and agree to uphold WWOAs Purpose and By-Laws. Candidates must be willing to give time and energy to help enhance and achieve the goals of WWOA through their work on the board, WWOA committees, and chapters. Good communication skills are essential and it is very helpful to have email for communication purposes.

Letters and biographical sketches must be received by May 18, 2019 at the WWOA Office, PO Box 285, Stevens Point, WI 54481. Ballots will be mailed to all voting members in June 2019. If you are interested in serving on the WWOA Board or nominating someone, please contact the WWOA office  for an informational packet or Nominating Committee members Arlene Roehl (see board listing), Lois Raether (see board listing), Mike Bohman, and Chuck Pogorelcnik for more information.

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.

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 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).