Deppeler Condolences

Donna Lee Deppeler, Monroe – passed away unexpectedly at home on Wednesday, December 22, 2021.
Donna and her husband, Jim, reverse-downsized by moving to the farm in Monroe in 2019 – a move which puzzled their children but delighted the two of them. She is survived by her husband and WWOA Black Hawk Chapter chair, James F. Deppeler of Monroe along with their daughter and WWOA members, Debra (Lynne Deppeler Hess) of Madison and their daughter, Tajenay.

Donations may go to the St Clare of Assisi Parish tuition-assistance program for youth education at St. Victor Church, 1760 14th Street, Monroe, WI 53566 or 608- 325-9506.  Condolences may be shared at Newcomer Funeral Home.

Martin Condolences

Allen Jeffrey “Jeff” Martin, PhD, Middleton – passed away on  Monday, December 13, 2021.
Jeff spent his life working in and for our forests, first with the US Forest Service as a research forester and then as a forestry professor/extension for UW-Madison. He was very supportive of WWOA and volunteered his talents over many years to help us grow.  Jeff mentored incoming WWOA executive director Nancy Bozek and worked with WWOA’s Board of Directors on various projects such as creating WWOA ‘s first slide program.  Jeff authored many publications for woodland owners including the popular Forestry Facts series.  He assisted with the planning and implementation of the winter woodland owners conference series and could easily be found at each one in his khaki pants and a plaid shirt. Jeff donated his time taking photos at many WWOA events, donating his framed photos for WWOA’s Silent Auction, and assisting many WWOA members in the preparation of their Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year applications.

A celebration of Jeff’s life will be held on May 22, 2022 at Lakeview Park, in Middleton. A complete obituary and additional service details will be published at a later date.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Middleton Historical Society or to the family where a scholarship fund will be established and presented to a forestry student. Online condolences may be made at Gunderson Funeral and Cremation Care.

Manhart Condolences

Harold E. Manhart, MD, Montrose, CO and Barneveld, WI – passed away on December 5, 2021.
In 1966 he purchased a dairy farm in western Wisconsin with plans to turn it into a productive conservation tree farm specializing in American Walnut. Over the ensuing 55 years his effort has been rewarded with multiple recognitions, including Conservation Farm of the Year on two occasions. He was a member of the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association, American Walnut Council and the American Chestnut Foundation.

Memorial services will be held later in the upcoming year (2022) at the farm. Any donations can be made in his name to the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association.

Lehrer Condolences

Janet L. Lehrer, Iola – passed away on Friday, November 26, 2021.  Jan was a very active WWOA volunteer for decades.  She served on the WWOA Board of Directors from 2006 through 2015, and as Vice President from 2012-14.  During this time she became chair of the very successful Fundraising Committee.  She also chaired the Education and Nominating Committees and served on the Membership Committee.  Prior to serving on WWOA’s Board of Directors, Jan served on the local Wolf River Chapter board of directors for many years.  Until her death, she represented WWOA on the Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee.  WWOA recognized Jan for her extraordinary volunteer efforts by presenting her with WWOA’s Distinguished Service award in 2013-14 and WWOA’s Special Recognition award for her volunteer efforts during Annual Meetings in 2014.

A Memorial Mass will be held on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, 2:00 pm at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church 182590 County Road C, Galloway Wisconsin. Visitation will be held Wednesday from 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm at the church. Burial of cremains will take place in the parish cemetery. Online condolences can be given at  Memorials may be donated in Jan’s name to Waupaca County Crime Stoppers, 1402 E. Royalton St. Waupaca, WI  54981 or Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association.

Plante Condolences

John P. Plante, Osceola – passed away on October 10, 2020 after a brief run-in with cancer.  John married his wife, Marty, because she was smart and pretty and owned 40 acres of land which adjoined his 160 acres.  He proved to be an excellent steward of this land by means of logging, milling, and replanting trees.  He and Marty worked hard to build their hobby farm.  Memorials may be sent to Sharing & Caring Hands, 525 N 7th St, Minneapolis, MN 55405 or

WWOA updates By-Laws at 2021 Annual Meeting

WWOA members met for the Annual Business Meeting on Saturday, September 18, 2021 in Hudson.  More than 180 members gathered for the meeting.  While WWOA in person activities were suspended until May 1, 2021 due to COVID-19, President Randy Cooper noted how nice it was to be together at the Annual Meeting after not holding a meeting in 2020.

On the agenda, the WWOA Board of Directors proposed changing WWOA’s By-Laws by removing Article IV-Purpose and replacing it with Article IV-Mission Statement (below).


 Section 1.  The mission of the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association is to conserve and enhance the private woodlands of the state through the following actions:

  • Sustainably manage our woodlands with informed management plans that utilize best silviculture* practices;
  • Assist private landowners in achieving their management goals by connecting them with natural resource professionals and fellow woodland owners;
  • Educate the public on the value of woodlands for economic, environmental, recreational, and wildlife habitat purposes.

These actions will ensure future generations can enjoy the natural beauty and benefits of our woodlands.

 Our vision is to be the “go-to” organization to assist woodland owners in achieving their sustainable forestry goals.

 *Silviculture – The care and development of forests in order to obtain a product or provide a benefit.


Director Don Hoffman explained that WWOA’s Purpose had been in place since 2012 and as part of the 2020-25 strategic plan it was time to review this.  WWOA’s Board felt that a Mission Statement better represents WWOA’s people and organization with a vision for the future, where a Purpose speaks to why we were formed.

Director Margaret Parsons made a motion to remove Article IV-Purpose and replace it with Article IV-Mission Statement.  The motion was seconded by Chuck Wagner.  There was little discussion from the members in attendance.  Per the By-Laws, WWOA voting members cast paper ballots. The motion was overwhelmingly approved by the members.

$25 Rebate On Endangered Resources License Plates

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is celebrating Bat Week Oct. 24-31 by offering a $25 rebate on new purchases of the Endangered Resources license plate now through Dec. 31, 2021.

Sales from the Endangered Resources license plate help protect Wisconsin’s rare species in need such as the state’s native cave bat population. Wisconsin is home to four cave bat species, all of which have been in steep decline since the discovery of white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that causes extensive mortality in the species, in the state in 2014.

Since 1995, sales from the Endangered Resources license plates have played a critical role in funding DNR conservation work for more than 400 wildlife species and 300 plant species listed as endangered, threatened or special concern. Wisconsin’s Endangered Resources Program works to identify, protect and manage native plants, animals and Wisconsin’s natural communities from the common to the critically endangered.

Revenues from plate sales, along with tax form donations and state matching funds, have accounted for up to 40% of funding for endangered species conservation in some years, and has supported the recovery of bald eagles, trumpeter swans and other species while preventing hundreds of other species from vanishing from Wisconsin. In 2020, the Endangered Resources license plate sales raised $434,463 for conservation of endangered resources.

“We want to make it more accessible for anyone who wants to participate in the conservation of Wisconsin’s rare and endangered species to do so. The Endangered Resources license plate rebate offer is a great opportunity to join our team of caretakers,” said Drew Feldkirchner, DNR Natural Heritage Conservation Director. “The $25 rebate makes it easier for people to help protect Wisconsin’s cave bats and countless other native species in need.”

How To Buy An Endangered Resources Plate And Get A Rebate 

The Endangered Resources plate costs $40, with $15 going to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), and $25 going to the DNR’s Endangered Resources Fund. After the first year of purchase, Endangered Resources license plate holders pay an annual $25 donation fee to keep their plate, and the donation is transferred from WisDOT to the DNR’s Endangered Resources Fund.

The rebate offer is available through Dec. 31, 2021 for people who buy new Endangered Resources license plates, or for current plateholders who switch from one plate design to another. License plates can be purchased at any time and there is no need to wait for registration renewal.

To buy a new plate, fill out the WisDot Endangered Resources License Plate Application Form (WisDOT form MV2858) and download and print off a $25 rebate coupon from the DNR’s website. After filling out the rebate coupon, send it in with your completed WisDot license plate application. Please allow up to six weeks for processing the rebate checks.

Gabower Condolences

Donnel “Don” Gabower, Janesville – passed away on March 24, 2020.  Don was an active WWOA member, attending many annual meetings and chapter activities, who planted thousands of trees around the Janesville area.  He donated land for the Gabower-Reilly Wetlands located west of Beloit which is now managed by the Green-Rock Audubon Society.  Memorials may be made to Rock Prairie Presbyterian Church, 8605 E County Rd A, Janesville, WI 53546.

Griffith Condolences

Jeannine Griffith, Walnut, IL – passed away on May 1, 2021.  Jeannine was a life member of WWOA and attended many Annual Meetings.  Flowers or memorials may be directed to the Red Oak United Methodist Church, 16961 2900 N Ave, Walnut, IL 61376 or Red Oak Cemetery Fund or the Lee County Fair Association, 1196 Franklin Rd, Amboy, IL 61310.

Stevenson Condolences

Lowell “Steve” Stevenson, Richland Center – passed away September 20, 2021.  Steve was a life member of WWOA.  He served as chair of the Bad Axe Chapter for many years, hosted several WWOA chapter field days, and was active on the Government Affairs Committee.  Many WWOA members enjoyed visiting Steve and Carol at their wonderful Town of Stevenson Museum or sawmill through the years.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in memory of Lowell “Steve” Stevenson to local Richland Center American Legion or Agrace Hospice care located at: