Change in Forest Tax Rates (FCL & MFL) Announced

Good news on taxes for owners of MFL acres.

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue has updated the tax rate for land enrolled in the Managed Forest Law and Forest Crop Law, and the rate is slightly lower for MFL.  FCL acres remain taxed at the same or higher rate, depending upon when they were enrolled.

Tax rates are calculated based upon a fixed formula.  They are recalculated every five years for MFL land and every ten years for FCL land.  Here are the new rates:

For 2023 through 2027, MFL acres entered before 2005 (1987-2004):

Open land (acreage share tax):   $0.72/acre    (Currently $0.74/acre)

Closed land (acreage share tax plus $0.96/acre closed acreage fee): $1.68/acre   (Currently $1.75/acre)

 

For 2023 through 2027, MFL acres entered after 2004 (2005 and later):

Open land (acreage share tax):   $1.90/acre  (Currrently $2.04/acre)

Closed land (acreage share tax plus $7.59/acre closed acreage fee): $9.49/acre   (Currently $10.20/acre)

 

For 2023 thrugh 2033, FCL Tax Rates:

Before 1972: $0.10/acre  (Does not change)

After 1972: $3.60/acre  (Currently $2.52)

 

The new rates take effect January 1, 2023.

Powassan Virus – a tick-borne virus

As reported on NBC Channel 26 by: Valerie Juarez

Nov 04, 2022

A Wausaukee man is battling for his life after a tick bit him this summer.

Since August, 71-year-old Al Dennis hasn’t been able to walk or talk.

Doctors said the tick that bit him was carrying an extremely rare disease and it was not Lyme Disease, but was the Powassan virus.

“It was like ten at night, he got up to use the bathroom. He fell down in the hallway, he was having a seizure and he hasn’t moved since,” said Betty Dennis, Al’s wife. “He’s been hospitalized for 86 days now.”

All of this was a result of a tick bite.

Learn more at the CDC website on Powassan virus.

Emerald Ash Borer found in Menominee County

In partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has detected emerald ash borer (EAB) for the first time in Menominee County. County forestry staff detected this ash tree-killing beetle along the roadside right-of-way of non-tribal land in the area of Legend Lake on August 3.

[Read more…]

DNR To Host Intro To Hunting Webinar Series Beginning July 28

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host the first of several educational hunting webinars beginning July 28 for members of the public that are new to hunting or hunting curious.

The webinar series is in partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever and Becoming an Outdoorswoman. The series is designed for those interested in learning about hunting, fishing and trapping.

EVENT DETAILS

What: Wanna Go Hunting? Let’s Get Started! Webinar

Who: New hunters Andrea Lutz, Michael Menon and Martin Perales

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, July 28

Where: Tune in via YouTube here. The webinar will be recorded and can be viewed on YouTube any time using the same link.

[Read more…]

New Report on WI Forests and Carbon Sequestration

Wisconsin Academy Announces 10 Forestry Recommendations to Fight Climate Change

The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters has identified ten key forestry recommendations that will offset the impact of climate change in Wisconsin. The recommendations are outlined in the newly released report, Wisconsin’s Forested Lands: Opportunities for Carbon Sequestration and Storage.

This report is part of the Wisconsin Academy’s Climate-Critical Lands project, a research initiative which looks at the potential for carbon storage in Wisconsin landscapes. The Academy’s Climate & Energy Team collaborated with researchers and specialists from around the state to develop the report and its recommendations.

“To create an insightful and actionable report, it was imperative that we listen to people with expertise but different perspectives,” said Wisconsin Academy Environmental Initiatives Director Lizzie Condon. “We spoke with foresters, experts who work on building codes, tax law, policy, economics, research, urban wood, and forest products. As a result, the ten recommendations are realistic and achievable for Wisconsin, economically beneficial to the state, and will help mitigate climate change.”

With 17 million acres of forested landcover comprising 46 percent of the total land area of the state, Wisconsin has significant opportunities for carbon sequestration, storage, and emissions reduction through forestry practices on public, Tribal, and private lands.

[Read more…]

WDNR Division of Forestry, 5-year Strategic Direction published

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)’s Division of Forestry’s Strategic Direction is a five-year plan that builds off of the Wisconsin forestry community’s 10-year Statewide Forest Action Plan. It allows us to connect our vision for the future using tangible strategies and actions.

Since 2012, the division has used strategic planning to define our niche within the broader statewide and national forestry community to:

  • Maximize the value delivered to the people of Wisconsin
  • Efficiently use available resources and collective capacity
  • Effectively adapt to new and emerging opportunities and challenges

The Division of Forestry has been working on developing our next Strategic Direction for the past year.

Earlier this spring, we notified you that we had reviewed and incorporated feedback received on the Strategic Direction and provided a document summarizing that feedback and how it was addressed. We are now proud to present the final Division of Forestry Strategic Direction for fiscal years (FY) 2023-2027. Thank you again for your interest and to all who participated in the development of this plan.

You can find the complete document and learn more about the process used to develop the plan by visiting:

FY2023-2027 Strategic Direction

DATCP to Survey for Spongy Moth in 47 Wisconsin Counties

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will be setting more than 10,000 traps for spongy moth (formerly known as gypsy moth) in 47 counties from mid-May through early June. DATCP requests that property owners allow trappers access to place traps and not disturb the traps once in place.

“The data we gather from these traps provide an estimate of the state’s spongy moth population and is used to plan for next year’s spray treatment,” said Michael Falk, DATCP Spongy Moth Program Manager. “It also helps DATCP nursery and Christmas tree inspectors check trees for spongy moth egg masses in the fall.”

Traps are small green boxes tied to tree branches. The trap contains the scent of a female spongy moth that is undetectable to other insects and is used to attract and catch adult male spongy moths.

Trappers will monitor traps until male moths stop flying and the traps are removed in August. Trappers wear fluorescent vests and carry identification cards. Each trap is labeled with a phone number that property owners can call if they have questions or decide they want it removed.

For more information on spongy moth trapping:

USDA Biological Control Lab Seeks Green Ash Trees

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect from Asia that was first introduced into the United States in 2002. The Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been found in 64 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.  Since its discovery, EAB has caused the death and decline of tens of millions of ash trees. Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is using ash trees against the pest to help preserve and protect the tree species. They are asking Wisconsin landowners for their help.

Wisconsin landowners have donated live, infested ash trees to USDA’s EAB biological control program. The staff will then use the wood to rear EAB’s natural enemies and release them in Wisconsin and 28 other EAB-infested States. The biocontrol staff will need more ash trees to continue producing and releasing these stingless wasps that attack and kill EAB and are hoping more Wisconsin residents will consider donating their ash trees this year.

Biological control (Biocontrol) helps to reduce pest populations by using natural enemies such as parasitoids (stingless wasps), predators, pathogens, antagonists (to control plant diseases), or competitors. It is a practical option to suppress pest populations and an environmentally sound method of pest control.

“Our facility in Brighton, Michigan, is one of a kind,” said EAB biocontrol manager Ben Slager. “We rear almost a million wasps each year and provide them at no cost to our State cooperators for release. We’ve harvested EAB-infested ash in Michigan, Ohio, and last year in Wisconsin. Over the years we have had to travel farther to find the material we need.”

[Read more…]

Northern long-eared bat proposed as endangered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on March 22, 2022, a proposal to reclassify the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The bat, currently listed as threatened, faces extinction due to the range-wide impacts of white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease affecting cave-dwelling bats across the continent.

Bats are critical to healthy, functioning ecosystems and contribute at least $3 billion annually to the U.S. agriculture economy through pest control and pollination. The growing extinction crisis highlights the importance of the ESA and efforts to conserve species before declines become irreversible.

“White-nose syndrome is devastating northern long-eared bats at unprecedented rates, as indicated by this science-based finding” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Charlie Wooley. “The Service is deeply committed to continuing our vital research with partners on reducing the impacts of white-nose syndrome, while working with diverse stakeholders to conserve the northern long-eared bat and reduce impacts to landowners.”

White-nose syndrome has spread across nearly 80% of the species’ entire range and nearly all of its U.S. range since it was listed as threatened in 2015. The proposal to change the status of the northern long-eared bat comes after an in-depth review of the species found that the bat continues to decline and now meets the definition of endangered under the ESA.

[Read more…]

Pixelle sells Stevens Point paper mill

The Stevens Point Journal is reporting that the Stevens Point paper mill has been sold to a Miami-based private equity firm.

Pixelle Specialty Solutions and other affiliated paper mill plants have been sold to H.I.G. Capital.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The Stevens Point mill employs about 300 people. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.