Plan ahead for spring 2020 tree planting

The Wilson State Nursery gave a preview of what their tree stock is anticipating for spring 2020 plantings. This list is preliminary, as it is possible that some species will be added or subtracted depending on health, growth, and several other factors as the growing season begins to wane. However, most of these trees and shrubs listed will be available to purchase starting October 7, 2019.

View the full list HERE.

Heterobasidion Root Disease Treatment Guidelines

Are you worried about HRD (formally Annosum Root Rot) in your pine plantations? 

Heterobasidion root disease causes a decay of the roots and lower stem, attacks the cambium and kills infected trees. Infected trees show thin foliage, reduced height, diameter and shoot growth and eventual mortality. Three to eight years after nearby trees are cut down, mortality of individual trees becomes noticeable. Understory seedlings and saplings that are near infected older trees may also become infected. The number of infection centers in a stand can vary widely. As these pockets of trees die, gaps are created in the forest canopy where brush and early successional trees can grow. 

Learn more about HRD on the WI DNR Website and read through their Treatment Guidelines.

Can we count on you to help bats this July 19-21?

From WI DNR Bat Program

Thank you to everyone who pitched in during our Great Wisconsin Bat Count in late May; now it’s time to count again!

Bat pups are testing their flying skills and our second summer count is set for July 19-21. On any one of these nights, go out at sunset to a bat house or other site where bats are roosting and count how many bats fly out.

Depending on your location, we may be able to provide you with a site to count if you don’t have one; contact us at DNRbats@wisconsin.gov. Your information helps us assess bat populations.

 Learn more and enter the information you collect.

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…]

Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin

The Wisconsin DNR publication,  Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin, written for land and water conservation planners and managers, administrators, researchers, educators, students, landowners, and others interested in Wisconsin’s natural resources has been updated and released.  

The Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin is a compilation of ecological, social, and economic information about Wisconsin’s 16 distinct ecological landscapes that can help identify, locate, and sustain Wisconsin’s ecological resources.

The publication describes Wisconsin’s landscapes at the time of European settlement, how our natural communities have changed over time, and the emerging challenges facing them today.  It identifies opportunities in each landscape to restore and maintain ecosystems.

The Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin also identifies and prioritizes Wisconsin’s most ecologically important resources relative to the rest of the Great Lakes region, the North American continent, and the world.   [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!

Proposed Forest Tax Law Handbook Update Available for Public Comment

The Division of Forestry, Tax Law Section is soliciting public comment on proposed update to the Forest Tax Law Handbook (Handbook 2450.5), Chapter 20, Harvesting on MFL.

The draft is available on the Proposed DNR Program Guidance webpage  and comments will be accepted through December 5, 2018. Click on the link for more information.

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).

 

USDA Resumes Continuous Conservation Reserve Program Enrollment

One-Year Extension Available to Holders of Many Expiring Contracts through Continuous Signup

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2018 – As part of a 33-year effort to protect sensitive lands and improve water quality and wildlife habitat on private lands, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will resume accepting applications for the voluntary Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Eligible farmers, ranchers, and private landowners can sign up at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office between June 4 and Aug. 17, 2018.

“The Conservation Reserve Program is an important component of the suite of voluntary conservation programs USDA makes available to agricultural producers, benefiting both the land and wildlife. On the road, I often hear firsthand how popular CRP is for our recreational sector; hunters, fishermen, conservationists and bird watchers,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “CRP also is a powerful tool to encourage agricultural producers to set aside unproductive, marginal lands that should not be farmed to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, provide habitat for wildlife and boost soil health.”

FSA stopped accepting applications last fall for the CRP continuous signup (excluding applications for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and CRP grasslands). This pause allowed USDA to review available acres and avoid exceeding the 24 million-acre CRP cap set by the 2014 Farm Bill. New limited practice availability and short sign up period helps ensure that landowners with the most sensitive acreage will enroll in the program and avoid unintended competition with new and beginning farmers seeking leases. CRP enrollment currently is about 22.7 million acres.

2018 Signup for CRP

For this year’s signup, limited priority practices are available for continuous enrollment. They include grassed waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration and others. To view a full list of practices, please visit the CRP Continuous Enrollment Period page.

FSA will use updated soil rental rates to make annual rental payments, reflecting current values. It will not offer incentive payments as part of the new signup.

USDA will not open a general signup this year, however, a one-year extension will be offered to existing CRP participants with expiring CRP contracts of 14 years or less. Producers eligible for an extension will receive a letter with more information.

[Read more…]

2018 Omnibus Bill Nixes DUNS and SAM Requirements for Farmers

Madison, Wis. ‒ April 23, 2018 ‒ Effectively immediately, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) financial assistance program participants will no longer need a Dun and Bradstreet Universal Number System (DUNS) number, or to register in the System for Award Management (SAM). The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (2018 Omnibus Bill), signed by President Donald Trump on March 23, eliminated these requirements.

According to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, DUNS and SAM were designed for billion-dollar government contractors, not everyday farmers trying to support their families. These changes help streamline the customer experience of farmers, which is a top priority at USDA, he said.

“This change greatly simplifies the contracting process for our customers and staff,” said Angela Biggs, Wisconsin State Conservationist. “Conservation program participants will soon receive letters from their local NRCS office with more details.”

The exemption does not apply to any current or future agreements or federal contracts with eligible entities, project sponsors, vendors, partners, or other non-exempt landowners or producers.

[Read more…]