Your Comments are Needed on the WI State Budget

Have you benefitted from these programs – walked in your woods with a WI DNR forester, used WI Forest Landowner Grant Program cost-sharing, met with a Tax Law Specialist about your Managed Forest Law or Forest Crop Law plan, attended a winter woodland owner conference with WDNR speakers, learned from an article in Wisconsin Woodlands magazine that was authored by WDNR staff, or attended a WWOA chapter field day with WDNR staff presenting – don’t take these benefits for granted!

The WWOA Board of Directors met on Monday, March 27, 2023 to discuss proposed forestry budget initiatives for the Wisconsin State Budget 2023-25.   Here is their letter to members of the Joint Committee on Finance regarding forestry budget initiatives WWOA letter to WI Joint Committee on Finance.

WWOA members are encouraged to contact members of the Joint Committee on Finance or their State Senator or Assembly person to express their support verbally or in writing for forestry initiatives within the State Budget.  If legislators do not hear from woodland owners about forestry issues, then forestry items become easy to delete from or not include in the state budget.

In 2017, the Forestry Mill Tax (provided dedicated financial support forestry programs) was sunset.  Funding for forestry programs now comes General Purpose Revenue (GPR).  This means that forestry expenditures compete with other state program needs making it vital that woodland owners speak up to maintain these programs for the health of Wisconsin’s forests.

Voice your opinion by:

Other natural resource budget information can be found at
State Budget – Conservation Fund Report (Informational Paper 65) 2023– the Forestry Account starts on pg 18

WI Conservation Congress and DNR to Host Open Houses in All Counties

WWOA members are encouraged to participate in both of these activities – the WDNR Open Houses and the online Wisconsin Conservation Congress Spring Hearings online survey.  Questions on the survey are not just about hunting and fishing regulations or issues. Your input on natural resource issues ranging from banning the Fall shining of wild animals, lead poisoning of eagles, hazardous wakes from wake surfing boats, to mining regulations is important!

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invite the public to attend an open house the week of April 3-6 to learn about resource management in their area.

Location details for each county open house are available on the WCC/DNR Open Houses webpage.

DNR staff and WCC delegates will be on hand at these open houses to discuss local issues of importance, answer questions from the public, and open a dialogue between the public, the DNR and the WCC about areas of interest and concern.

The WCC will also hold their delegates’ elections at each open house. Two of the five WCC seats will be up for election in each county.  The open houses precede the annual WCC/DNR Spring Hearings.

In addition to the opportunity to engage with DNR staff and WCC delegates at these open houses, the public is also invited to participate in the annual spring hearings the following week that focus on natural resource-related advisory questions and proposed rule changes.

The Spring Hearings will again be held in a virtual format, as has been done since 2020. Anyone can provide input on the 2023 Spring Hearing online questions. There is no age or residency requirement for providing input through this process. This year’s online questionnaire will be open for input from April 10 at noon through April 13 at noon via the Wisconsin Conservation Congress Spring Hearing webpage.

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress is the only statutory body in the state where the public elects delegates to advise the Natural Resources Board and the DNR on responsibly managing Wisconsin’s natural resources for present and future generations. The Congress accomplishes this through open, impartial, broad-ranged actions. Learn more about the WCC and how to become involved in resource management decisions on the Wisconsin Conservation webpage.

Waldbuesser Condolences

Otto Waldbuesser, Menomonie…age 89, went home to his Lord on Friday, February 24, 2023. After living with congestive heart failure for over five years, Otto died at home surrounded by his loving family.

Otto’s focus his entire life was always on putting family first. His entire family –both immediate and extended– meant the world to him, and he was most satisfied with a day spent in their company whatever that may include. All of his other pursuits from hunting and fishing to traveling and piloting his Cessna 172–even tending to his treasured woodlands– took a backseat to his beloved family.

Otto is survived by his wife, Marilyn; daughter Susan (Dan) Caturia of Arkansaw, WI; daughter Carolyn (Dean) Mense of Hailey, ID; granddaughter Savannah (Lucas) Wayne of Durand, WI; foster son David (Vicky) Larson of Ottawa, IL; and other relatives and friends.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 pm Friday, March 17, 2023, at Olson Funeral Home in Menomonie, WI. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am Saturday, March 18, 2023, at United Methodist Church in Menomonie, WI with Reverend Craig Conklin officiating. Family and friends are invited to attend a visitation at the church beginning at 10:00 am and a lunch following the service for more fellowship and sharing. Olson Funeral Home in Menomonie is serving the family.

Memorial contributions may be made to Menomonie United Methodist Church (2703 Bongey Dr, Menomonie, WI 54751), Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association Inc., or a charitable organization of your choosing.

Fisher Condolences

Robert “Bob” Fisher, La Crosse… passed away February 27, 2023, at his home.

He spent most of his professional career as a planner with the Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission in La Crosse, where he prepared harbor plans, bicycle trail plans, and land use plans for many local communities in a nine county area.  Bob served four terms on the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Valley Conservancy and placed his Genoa farm property in a Conservancy Easement with that organization.

In his later years Bob operated Nature’s Way, a tree and shrub care consultancy and tackled the Emerald Ash Borer Epidemic of the early 21st Century by being the first arborist company in La Crosse to inject trees with the appropriate insecticide. He was an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m., on Monday, March 6, 2023, at Fredrickson Funeral Home, Woodruff Chapel, La Crosse. Pastor Jason Derr will officiate. A visitation will be held from 12 noon until the time of service, Monday, at the funeral home.

Adleman Condolences

Charles “Chuck” Adleman, Luck… age 83, died February 12, 2023 at home in Luck, WI with family and friends by his side.  After teaching for 33 years in the Mound View School District, he retired to the land where his Swedish grandparents settled on Bone Lake near Luck, where he loved life in the woods.

Chuck was instrumental in getting the new Luck Museum and Library built and established as a source of local history. He was the President of the Luck Area Historical Society for 10 years. He also worked as a volunteer on the Ice Age Trail, in Polk County, for many years.  Each spring he was eager to make maple syrup and share it generously with others. Being at the lake with his children and grandchildren was a big part of his life.  A celebration of Chuck’s life will be held later this Spring.

Krumenauer Condolences

Gary L. Krumenauer, Chippewa Falls…  age 72, died peacefully at his home under the care of St. Joseph’s Hospice on Friday, January 20, 2023.

Gary’s pastime passions were showing cattle, restoring tractors, and building hot rods. He and his daughter Emily traveled each year to Denver, Colorado, to show their award-winning Highland beef cattle. Over the years, they proudly won more blue ribbons than anyone else ever achieved! Gary also loved searching for old cars to buy, his most recent project was a 1956 Chevy Bel Air. Other pastimes that Gary enjoyed included hunting, fishing and farming. He loved the outdoors, exploring the woods, landscaping conservation projects, and traveling.

Memorials in Gary’s honor may be designated to NextGen ALS who is dedicated to finding a cure for genetic ALS or the ALS Foundation for research and in hopes of one day finding a cure. Gary had ALS, but ALS didn’t have Gary.

Potts Condolences

Gregory Potts, Hubertus…age 67, passed away on Thursday, December 8, 2022, while surrounded by his wife and two sons. Greg lived a life of generosity and had a deep love for nature.

Greg loved nothing more than spending time with his family. Greg was also a proud steward of the environment, dedicating himself with woodland management with his family’s land in central Wisconsin, growing and canning his own fruits and vegetables, and maintaining beehives at home.

In lieu of flowers, Greg requested that memorial donations be directed toward St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Wooden YOU Like to Join WWOA’s Team?

Wooden YOU Like to Join WWOA’s Team?

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Call for Nominations- WWOA Board of Directors

The WWOA Nomination Committee is looking for you or someone you know to fill three WWOA Board of Director positions that will become vacant at the close of the 2023 Annual meeting in the Wisconsin Dells this September. Directors whose terms are expiring are Kirk Dahl, Keith Dobberstein and Arlene Roehl.

To qualify as a candidate for the WWOA Board of Directors, one must be a woodland owner and voting member of WWOA, and agree to uphold WWOA’s Mission Statement 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 and the ability to use email and Zoom are essential for communication purposes.

Biographical sketches must be received by May 20, 2023 at the WWOA Office, PO Box 285, Stevens Point, WI 54481. Ballots will be mailed to all voting members in June 2023. If you are interested in serving on the WWOA Board or nominating someone, please contact the WWOA office (715) 346-4798 or for more information.

Adam N. Payne to Serve as WDNR Secretary

MADISON  Gov. Tony Evers today announced his appointment of Adam N. Payne to serve as secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) effective Jan. 3, 2022. The appointment fills the vacancy created by former Secretary Preston D. Cole’s retirement.

“Adam has deep Wisconsin roots and understands that our vast and valuable resources—from our waterways to our farmlands—are core to who we are as a people and a state,” said Gov. Evers. “He is an outdoorsman, a conservationist, and has been a strong, successful leader for Sheboygan County. I know he will bring that same dedication and spirit of service to this role as secretary.”

Payne currently serves as the county administrator for Sheboygan County, a position he has held for more than two decades. As county administrator, Payne has served as the chief administrative officer, coordinating and directing countywide administrative and management functions, initiating program and policy changes, working with state government for the betterment of the county, and leading Sheboygan County’s annual budget development process. Prior to serving as county administrator, Payne was the executive director of the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association and served for five years at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection from 1990 to 1995, including as the director of the Farmland Preservation Program.

“It is an honor to accept Gov. Evers’ appointment to serve as Secretary of the DNR,” said Payne. “I have always had a passion for protecting and enhancing our natural resources and am an avid outdoorsman. I look forward to working with a strong and diverse team of DNR staff, the Board and its many partners and stakeholders to problem-solve, protect, and enhance our natural resources for people today and for generations to come.”

Payne is from Plymouth, where he raised his family and as a boy, worked on his grandmother’s farm. Originally from Stevens Point, Payne grew up learning how to fish, trap, and hunt from his father along the Wisconsin River, and as an active outdoorsman to this day, Payne understands the importance of protecting Wisconsin’s natural resources for generations to come. During his time as county administrator, Payne led the County through two major conservation projects, including cleaning up the Sheboygan River and Harbor and purchasing and preserving the Amsterdam Dunes, which encompasses 328 acres of undeveloped shoreline along Lake Michigan.

Payne has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Communications and Urban and Regional Planning, respectively.

A photo of Payne is available here.