Gypsy Moth Areal Spraying Update


WHAT: Gypsy moth aerial treatments by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s Gypsy Moth Slow the Spread (STS) Program. The STS aerial program for 2019 consists of 49 treatment sites, involving approximately 117,000 acres across 16 counties in western Wisconsin. [Read more…]

WI DNR Spring Hearings & Conservation Congress Spring County Conservation Meeting

On Monday, April 8, there will be 72 public hearings, one in each county starting at 7:00 p.m. where individuals interested in natural resources management have an opportunity to provide their input and testimony to the Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) on proposed rule changes and advisory questions relating to fish and wildlife management in Wisconsin.  Learn more about the Spring Hearings.  Read the hearing questions.

NEW in 2019 there is an online option for providing input, the results of the Spring Hearings will not be available the following day as they have been in the past. Results will be posted on the WI DNR website as soon as they are available.  The election of WCC delegates and input on citizen introduced resolutions will remain unchanged and will require in-person participation.

There are two forestry related questions this year within the hearing questions.  The WWOA Board decided not to take a position on either question.

#71. Creating a centralized list of timber sales.

#80. Designate the hickory nut as the state nut.

County residents have the option to run for a seat on the Conservation Congress and to elect delegates from their county to represent their county views regarding natural resources on the Conservation Congress. Also, individuals have the opportunity to bring forth new conservation issues of a statewide nature to the attention of the Conservation Congress through the citizen resolution process.


USDA Seeks Public Comments

USDA Seeks Public Comments on Conservation Practice Standards

March 11, 2019, WASHINGTON – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today it is seeking public input on its existing national conservation practice standards as part of implementing the 2018 Farm Bill. NRCS offers 150-plus conservation practices to America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to help them meet their business and natural resource needs on their working lands.

“With the help of NRCS, agricultural producers across the country are taking voluntary steps to improve their operations while benefiting natural resources,” NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr said. “As part of our process of implementing the 2018 Farm Bill, we are asking agricultural producers, conservation partners and others to provide feedback on our practice standards in an effort to refine and enhance them.”

NRCS is requesting public comments on how to improve conservation practice standards that support programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program, which help producers cover part of the costs for implementing these practices. The comment period ends April 25, 2019. More information can be found in the Federal Register. offsite link image    

These standards provide guidelines for planning, designing, installing, operating and maintaining conservation practices. [Read more…]

Apply for Available Federal Funding for Conservation Practices

NRCS Announces Second EQIP Signup for 2019 Funding, APPLY BY May 17, 2019

Providing Conservation Practices to Protect Natural Resources

Madison, Wis. – February 25, 2019 – Farmers and forest landowners can apply now for a 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 MAY 17, 2019, for funding in 2019. Applications are being taken at all USDA Service Centers      in Wisconsin for select special initiatives. Don’t delay; contact your local USDA Service Center NOW to get started.

[Read more…]

Public Hearings on Forest Tax Law Administrative Code

WI DNR has announced public hearings on proposed permanent rules to revise administrative code chapter NR 46 relating to the forest tax law programs – Forest Crop Law and Managed Forest Law.  Administrative codes are used by the WI DNR to interpret state statutes and set policies in administering the laws.

These proposed language changes are a result of 2015 Act 358 which made numerous changes to WI State Statute chapter 77 subchapters I (Forest Cropland) and VI (Managed Forest Lands).

To review the proposed administrative code changes and overview summary by WI DNR, read FR-23-16

Proposed changes include:

  • changes in how forest productivity is determined
  • definitions of buildings, hunting blinds, grazing, material changes to the MFL program, restoration, productivity, utilities
  • eligibility for renewals and additions to MFL
  • requirements under mandatory practices
  • when you can enter into leases or agreements
  • public access requirements for open MFL lands
  • how DNR can amend your MFL contract
  • determines when restoration efforts are needed to regain productivity and what the landowner will have to pay
  • how withdrawals and voluntary withdrawals will be handled

[Read more…]

Public Input wanted on Updated Wetland Determination Guidance

USDA Continues to Seek Public Input on its Updated Wetland Determination Guidance

Public comment period for wetland conservation compliance rule open through February 5

Jan. 18, 2019, WASHINGTON – Farmers are reminded that updated guidelines for wetland determinations are posted and available for public input. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants to remind the public that the 60-day comment period for the updated guidance is open through February 5. This opportunity to comment is not impacted by the lapse in appropriations. Those interested in participating are encouraged to review and comment on the interim final rule on the Federal Register offsite link image    .

Comments may be submitted using any of the following methods: [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).


Federal Federal Funding Available for Conservation Practices

NRCS Announces EQIP Signup for 2019 Funding, Apply by November 16, 2018

Providing Conservation Practices to Protect Natural Resources

Farmers and forest landowners will want to plan ahead and sign up early for 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 November 16, 2018, for funding in 2019. Applications are being taken at all USDA Service Centers  in Wisconsin.

EQIP is the primary program available to woodland conservation work including writing management plans, offering payments for over 110 basic conservation practices. Last year, Wisconsin received over $35 million in funds for EQIP practices.


[Read more…]