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.

[Read more…]

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.

WWOA In Person Activities Cancelled Through August 31, 2020

On July 29, 2020, the WWOA Board of Directors decided to continue our CANCELLATION OF ALL IN PERSON WWOA activities running through August 31, 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.

[Read more…]

PRESS RELEASE: Wisconsin State Parks & Forests to Reopen MAY 1st

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 27, 2020
Contact: DNRPress@wisconsin.gov

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will reopen 34 state parks and forests on Friday, May 1 at the direction of Gov. Evers with special conditions.

Under Gov. Evers’ Badger Bounce Back Plan, which outlines important criteria for Wisconsin to be able to reopen its economy in phases and includes steps to make sure workers and businesses are prepared to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so, the DNR will modify current operations to maintain the safest environment for visitors and staff.

Due to unprecedented crowds, litter, vandalism and the need to protect the health and safety of our visitors and staff, Gov. Evers directed the DNR to close 38 Wisconsin State Parks, Forests and Recreational Areas on Friday, April 10.

[Read more…]

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.

 

Get trained to be a rare plant detective!

WI-DNR: Natural Heritage Conservation

Last year Rare Plant Monitoring Program volunteers rediscovered the state threatened white lady’s slipper orchid at a site where it had not been seen in over 45 years. Help us make more amazing discoveries this year by participating in the Rare Plant Monitoring Program.

Required trainings are scheduled for March and April. Sign up for one of our sessions in Waunakee, Stevens Point, Menomonie or Sheboygan. Plant identification will not be taught so some skill is required.

Volunteers’ observations and reports on the plants they see are critical to native plant conservation in Wisconsin. They alert land managers to pressing threats and inform on-the-ground management necessary to maintain these known populations. 

Learn how to sign up here.

“The Kid in You”, reaching to our next generation of woodland owners

Author Bruce Grierson published an article called “The Kid in You” in Psychology Today, that sparked an interest with us at WWOA.  Grierson poses the question, “What if what we loved doing between ages 9 and 11, is what most of us ought to be doing for our actual jobs as adults?” Could you dig deep and recall what you were doing at age 10? Things that you were passionate about at that age? Grierson goes on to say that, “at age 10, kids graduate from being biologist, searching for a theory of life, to philosophers.”

Could this be a vital key to engaging some of our younger generation woodland owners?

To view the full article of “The Kid in You” click here.

Grierson also published a second part, “The Kid in You Part 2,” which can be found here.

 

USDA Invites Input on Environmental Quality Incentives Program Rule

Contact:
FPAC.BC.Press@usda.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 16, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) seeks public comments on its interim rule for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), USDA’s flagship program that helps producers plan and implement 150-plus conservation practices on working lands. The rule – now available on the Federal Register – takes effect upon publication and includes changes to the program prescribed by the 2018 Farm Bill.

“The Environmental Quality Incentives Program gives farmers, ranchers and forest landowners the tools they need to improve their agricultural operations while conserving natural resources,” NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr said. “The 2018 Farm Bill further strengthens this popular conservation program to enable NRCS to better support locally led conservation efforts while also expanding producers’ ability to address significant resource concerns.”

NRCS will make available $1.2 billion for interested producers in fiscal 2020. NRCS state offices will announce signup periods for EQIP in the coming weeks. 

[Read more…]

Bought Rhododendrons or Azaleas This Season? Check for Disease, Plant Health Officials Caution

MADISON – State plant health officials are advising consumers who bought rhododendrons or azaleas this spring and summer to be on the lookout for signs of a disease that could spread to oaks and kill them. [Read more…]

Storm Damage – More Resources added!

What do you do after your woodlands experience unexpected storm damage? [Read more…]