Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration & Steven Dewald- Fall 2021

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Ron Weber- Summer 2021

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Paul Lochner- Spring 2021

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Jack & Rosie Bazile- Winter 2020

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Peter Luxenhofer-Fall 2020

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Dale & Fay Lightfuss- Summer 2020

Tom and Margaret Culbert

All members of the Culbert family enjoy spending time in their woodlands and using Margaret’s Gator. Photo by Margaret Culbert.

By Margaret & Tom Culbert

Our woodlands, located in Holcombe, include a 40-acre mixed hardwood forest that backs up against some 2,000 acres of Chippewa County land. We were familiar with the property 25 years before we purchased it, as a friend of Margaret’s family bought the property in the late 1960s and Margaret’s father helped build the rustic A-frame cabin that has become our traditional deer hunting meeting place.

Every November, Tom traveled to the cabin from our home in Virginia with one or both of our sons for deer hunting, and we all gathered there for family celebrations whenever possible. We purchased it in 1993, taking the fam-ily legacy into the next hunting season and beyond.

As our family retirement approached, we had more time to spend at the cabin, traveling to Wisconsin about every other month. Tom purchased a compact tractor (Margaret got a Gator), and with the help of family and friends, carved four trails into the woods. The trails have opened up the woods for recreational enjoyment in all seasons; they also prove useful as “fire lanes,” providing access to county land in the event of a fire.

Tom is a life member of WWOA and, when possible, we attend Chippewa Valley Chapter and Annual Meetings. We look forward to those meetings as we share our interests and concerns with other woodland owners, while the educational sessions continue to help us shape and improve our woodlands. [Read more…]

Geary Searfoss

Share the Passion… for Your Woodlands

By Abby Krause & Geary Searfoss

Geary at a Plantation.

Sudden may be a good word to describe how Geary Searfoss and his wife, Kay, acquired their second piece of property.

The two were not unfamiliar with buying woodlands; they already owned 32-acres in Dunn County. They bought that property shortly after they were married, even before they owned a house, since having a piece of land to call theirs was so important to them.

However, buying their second woodland took a slightly different route than the traditional buyer-seller arrangement.

It started when Geary was looking at tax forfeited properties in Sawyer County. Many of the properties he had been viewing possessed little to no timber value. He was ready to head home when a piece of landlocked woods only legally accessible by river caught his eye. Closer inspection revealed impressive glacial features including eskers, erratics, and a bubbling, cold water stream. Geary fell in love with the property so much that he rushed to the county offices before they closed to put in a bid, as they were due that afternoon. [Read more…]

Dave Hall

Dave Hall strives to engage his kids and grandkids in their woodlands. He wishes they love the smell of sweet, spring air when the wild geraniums are in bloom as he does. But he also wants them to know and care about the biology of managing such a place. That’s why walking and working in the woods with family is his favorite thing to do on the property.

Dave and his wife Eveyln stand in front of their restored barn on a tour during an Annual Meeting. Dave is a charter member of WWOA.

One of Dave’s fondest memories is walking the trails with his 4 year old grandson when he informed him, “You know how you plant seeds in the garden and grow pumpkins and squash and other stuff? Well, all these trees grew from seed.” His grandson’s observation: “The forest is a giant garden.”

Getting the kids and grandkids involved in the property presents its own challenges- from busy schedules and finding activities to interest them, to forcing them to think in the long term of trees’ lives. Still, once they are there, the property offers plenty of space for exploring.

Dave and his wife, Evelyn, have lived on their 160 acre farm in Green County since 2002. The property consists of 90 acres of cropland, 30 acres of creek bottom, and 40 acres of woodlands (with 28 acres in MFL). The forest is central hardwoods comprised of old red and white oak, younger red elm, bitternut hickory, and black walnut. They have a timber sale scheduled for winter 2019.

Dave has employed a variety of practices to achieve his management objectives. He even uses something most landowners don’t want to see in their woods to his advantage: Dutch elm disease. [Read more…]

Aaron Burmeister

Aaron Burmeister has been a life member with WWOA since 1994, and most enjoys WWOA’s field days.

Aaron Burmeister’s passion for sustainable forestry and logging goes back to his high school days when he cut and sold firewood to his teachers. In the 1980s he bought his own land- 5.5 acres of hayfield- that he planted with red and white pine and walnut, with the intention of growing the pines to train the walnut.

Aaron became involved with WWOA because of conversations and involvement in forest with a past member, the late Jim Ring. He was invited by Jim to attend the Annual Meeting in Green Bay that year. Enjoying the organization so much, he decided to purchase a life membership with WWOA in 1994.

“I wanted to help out WWOA more than anything,” Aaron explains. “It’s a great organization that does a lot of good for public outreach and private landowners.”

Burmeister works as a logger in the Fox Valley area. “I want to see the woodlands do well. It’s like Aldo Leopold said, you need all the pieces for something to work. There’s not one aspect of the forest that I’m more interested in than others. Everything is important.”  [Read more…]