Calling All Teachers – Wheels to Woods Funding Available

The Wisconsin Society of American Foresters (WI-SAF) Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee announces a call for applications for Kindergarten through Twelfth grade (K-12) school assistance for transportation to a school forest, public forest, or forest products facility through the Wheels to Woods program. Wheels to Woods grants will fund up to $350 per trip to give young people experience and exposure to forests and/or forest product processing facilities.
Our goal in offering this funding is that exposure to the forest and/or manufacturing environments will foster curiosity surrounding sustainable forest management and products processing and support the communities and professions that work in, and around, the forest via educational lessons about, and in, the natural environment.
The WI-SAF DEI Committee, with generous support from the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers (WSST), has established this Wheels to Woods transportation to provide opportunities to foster interest and recruitment of a diverse workforce within the broad realm of forestry.
The program is open for application to any Wisconsin schoolteacher, however underrepresented student populations will receive priority funding. Underrepresented populations can mean, but are not limited to, people of diverse color, culture, gender, age, and economic status.
Visit our website https://www.wisaf.org/w2w/ for grant application, links to educational resources, and grant timelines.

Dept of Transportation announces end to Frozen Road Period for Zones 4 and 5

The Frozen Road Period ends and Class II and Posted Roads restrictions begin in Zones 4 and 5 Friday, March 4, 2022, at 12:01 AM CST. The Frozen Road Period remains in effect in Zones 1 through 3.

The frozen road declaration is normally in effect from mid December to late February or early March. Eligibility for increased weight limitations is restricted to vehicles hauling abrasives or salt for highway winter maintenance and peeled or unpeeled forest products cut crosswise not to include woodchips. For legally licensed vehicles hauling these loads, no special permit is required during this period. Legally licensed means currently registered for 80,000 pounds, or the maximum Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), if less than 80,000 pounds.

Local county or township road maintenance authorities are responsible for determining when local and county roads are frozen or thawing. Questions related to frozen road conditions on local or county roads should be referred to the maintaining authority for those roads.

See DOT interactive map for more information.

Emerald Ash Borer Detected in Lincoln Co

In partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has detected emerald ash borer (EAB) for the first time in Lincoln County. This ash tree-killing beetle was found at multiple locations in the city of Tomahawk and on county forest land in the town of Harrison on January 31. It appears to have been present in Lincoln County for some time prior to detection, with several symptomatic trees showing dieback, woodpecker flecking, epicormic sprouts, and D-shaped exit holes.

Lincoln County is the first new county detection of 2022 and marks the 62nd county detection since EAB was first confirmed in the state in 2008. There are no regulatory changes as a result of this detection. EAB was federally deregulated as of January 14, 2021, and Wisconsin instituted a statewide quarantine in 2018.

For more information about EAB and where it has been found, visit https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/EAB.aspx.

Note: DATCP will send notifications only when EAB is found for the first time in a county.

Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for the 2021 Tax Year

Tax season is upon us once again! The USDA and U.S. Forest Service have released a helpful collection of tax tips for woodland owners, including examples for common situations you may run into throughout the year that can affect your taxes, as well as deductions and other incentives that you may qualify for.

This information is intended to assist woodland owners and tax preparers for the 2021 tax year. As always, consult with your tax advisor for your specific tax situation, and for more helpful information, check out our Landowner Tax Assistance page.

WWOA updates By-Laws at 2021 Annual Meeting

WWOA members met for the Annual Business Meeting on Saturday, September 18, 2021 in Hudson.  More than 180 members gathered for the meeting.  While WWOA in person activities were suspended until May 1, 2021 due to COVID-19, President Randy Cooper noted how nice it was to be together at the Annual Meeting after not holding a meeting in 2020.

On the agenda, the WWOA Board of Directors proposed changing WWOA’s By-Laws by removing Article IV-Purpose and replacing it with Article IV-Mission Statement (below). [Read more…]

$25 Rebate On Endangered Resources License Plates

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is celebrating Bat Week Oct. 24-31 by offering a $25 rebate on new purchases of the Endangered Resources license plate now through Dec. 31, 2021.

Sales from the Endangered Resources license plate help protect Wisconsin’s rare species in need such as the state’s native cave bat population. Wisconsin is home to four cave bat species, all of which have been in steep decline since the discovery of white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that causes extensive mortality in the species, in the state in 2014.

Since 1995, sales from the Endangered Resources license plates have played a critical role in funding DNR conservation work for more than 400 wildlife species and 300 plant species listed as endangered, threatened or special concern. Wisconsin’s Endangered Resources Program works to identify, protect and manage native plants, animals and Wisconsin’s natural communities from the common to the critically endangered. [Read more…]

Forestry Exploration Center in Wauwatosa Opens New ADA Trail

The Forest Exploration Center (FEC) in Wauwatosa, a nonprofit organization in joint partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry recently celebrated the completion of an ADA accessible nature trail of natural crushed granite material, property entrance road, and parking area that now set the stage for future endeavors in recreation, education and forest stewardship. The trail is designed and built specifically for wheelchair, foot traffic and strollers only, and offers a one-mile loop to experience the solitude and beauty of this 60-acre hardwood woodland. “Our main focus at the Forest Exploration Center is to sustain this unique woodland environment while providing opportunities in education, recreation and stewardship. This trail improvement project enriches that focus by not only engaging and inviting the broadest spectrum of learners and abilities, but by also providing the opportunity and freedom to learn and recreate outdoors at their own pace and ability.” Tom Gaertner, FEC President and WWOA member.  Learn more at www.forestexplorationcenter.org

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.” [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…]