WWOA members, Jim and Katie Matykowski, featured in USDA, NRCS’s Newsletter

Early in the morning, if you listen intently, the distinct song of the Golden-winged Warbler can be heard on the five acres of recently sheared tag alder in Marinette County, Wisconsin. Through an RCPP project, Jim and Katie Matykowski managed their tag alder to create early successional habitat for the Warbler, helping to bring back the population from decline.  Learn more and see photos at NRCS.

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WI DNR Wood Products Webinar

The DNR Forest Products Service Team will host a webinar titled “Wood: Sustainably Grown, Locally Available“ on June 16, 2020. This webinar is intended to promote the diverse application of Wisconsin’s oldest grown, locally available, and environmentally friendly material—wood. Architects, designers, consumers and anyone interested in learning about Wisconsin wood products should consider attending.

Following these two presentations, there will be time for questions with the presenters:
A New Age of Wood: New Products Create New Opportunities by Jim Bowyer, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, and a specialist in wood-based bio-products and environmental life-cycle assessment.
Wisconsin Wood Resources and Wood Products by Scott Bowe, Professor and Wood Products Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Event Date: Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Time: 10:30 a.m. Central Time (US and Canada)
Registration: Please register in advance for this meeting using following link:
https://uwextension.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwkfuqtrToqH9T3xTpRI8qg1jGc7BsShW0H

Verso Corp closing Wisconsin Rapids Mill

WAOW from Wausau is reporting that Verso Corporation announced Monday that it will be closing it’s Wisconsin Rapids paper mill indefinitely.

According to Verso’s press release the closure is resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic that decline in demand for graphic paper and reduced use of print advertising in various industries.

“It is critical that we maintain a healthy balance sheet and focus on cash flow, while balancing our supply of products and our customers’ demand,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Adam St. John, in a news release. “After a comprehensive review of post-pandemic demand forecasts and capacity, we made the difficult decision to idle the Duluth and Wisconsin Rapids mills. We expect the idling of these facilities to improve our free cash flow. The sell through of inventory is expected to offset the cash costs of idling the mills.”

Verso expects to idle the Wisconsin Rapids Mill by the end of July 2020, and the Duluth mill by June, 2020. The two closures will result in the layoff of approximately 1,000 employees.

The Wisconsin Rapids Mill employs around 900, and according to Verso, “a majority of the employees will be laid off.” An unknown number of employees will be kept on after July 31 for an unknown amount of time to continue limited operations and maintenance of the mill.

According to the press release, Verso is going to explore “viable and sustainable alternatives” for the paper mill, including restarting if market conditions improve, selling, or closing permanently.

EQIP funding applications due June 26, 2020

NRCS EQIP Funding Signup for 2020, Apply by June 26, 2020

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EQIP Application Deadline June 26, 2020

NRCS Announces Second EQIP Signup for 2020 Funding, Apply by June 26, 2020

Providing Conservation Practices to Protect Natural Resources

Madison, Wis. – May 22, 2020 – Farmers and forest landowners will want to plan ahead and sign up early for the second round of 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 June 26, 2020, for funding in 2020. Applications are being taken at all USDA Service Centers offsite link image     in Wisconsin.

EQIP is the primary program available to farmers and landowners for farm and woodland conservation work, offering payments for over 110 basic conservation practices. Last year, Wisconsin received over $38 million in funds for EQIP practices.

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WWOA In Person Activities Cancelled Through June 30

On May 28, 2020, the WWOA Board of Directors decided to continue our CANCELLATION OF ALL IN PERSON WWOA activities running through June 30, 2020. The WWOA Board will monitor the ever changing situation on a month by month basis going forward. The WWOA website calendar will continue to list changes as they occur.

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NRCS CSP application deadline is May 29, 2020

MADISON, WISCONSIN, April 17, 2020 – The next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for funding this year is May 29, 2020. Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps forest landowners earn payments for expanding conservation activities while maintaining agricultural production on their land. CSP also encourages adoption of new technologies and management techniques.

“CSP continues to be a very effective tool for private landowners working to achieve their conservation and management goals,” said Angela Biggs, NRCS state conservationist in Wisconsin. “It is the largest conservation program in the United States with more than 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled.”

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WWOA’s 2020 Annual Meeting Weekend Postponed to 2021

The WWOA Board of Directors, after much discussion, has decided to postpone the 2020 Annual Meeting weekend to 2021. The Board is concerned for members’ health and safety. There is so much that we still do not know about COVID-19.

The 2021 Annual Meeting weekend dates will be September 16-19, 2021.  The Hudson House Grand Hotel in Hudson has agreed to offer us the same hotel rates as this year – $70 plus tax per room per night. If you booked a hotel room for the 2020 meeting, the hotel staff has moved your reservation to the new dates. If you do not want to keep the reservation for now, you can call and cancel your reservation at 715-386-2394. Remember to mention that you are with Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association and your reservation is now under the new meeting dates.

The Board greatly appreciates and recognizes the hard work of the West Central and Chippewa Valley Chapters in creating a wonderful meeting weekend. Because of their efforts, the decision was made to keep the meeting in Hudson in 2021. We are looking forward to visiting that part of the state next year!

WWOA Board of Directors Call for Nominations

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 2020 Annual Meeting in Hudson in September.   Directors whose terms are expiring are Keith Dobberstein, Lois Raether, 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 Purpose and ByLaws.  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 are essential for communication purposes.

Biographical sketches must be received by May 16, 2020 at the WWOA Office, PO Box 285, Stevens Point, WI 54481.  Ballots will be mailed to all voting members in June 2020.  If you are interested in serving on the WWOA Board or nominating someone, please contact the WWOA office at 715-346-4798 or wwoa@uwsp.edu for an informational packet or Nominating Committee Board members Arlene Roehl (see About Us, Board of Directors) or Lois Raether (see About Us, Board of Directors) for more information.

 

2020 Annual Spring Fish & Wildlife public hearing and WCC county meeting

April 13 – 7 p.m. to April 16 – 7 p.m.

Individuals interested in natural resources management have the opportunity to provide their input and testimony to the DNR and WCC on proposed rule changes and advisory questions relating to fish and wildlife management in Wisconsin.

NOTE: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person portion of the spring hearings has been cancelled.
Starting at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2020, citizens may go online and provide their input on the proposed questions by utilizing the online option found at DNR.WI.GOV and searching the keywords “spring hearings.” The online input form will remain open for 72 hours.
2020 Spring Hearing Questionnaire
Public hearing/meeting notice [PDF]