June 9, 2019

The WI DNR is accepting public comments on proposed changes to the WI Forest Landowner Grant Program until June 25, 2019.

Information on the proposed changes can be found at WI DNR Proposed Program Guidance page, then under Proposed program guidance open for public comment, Forestry Grants, select the link to the draft document.

WWOA’s comments have been submitted to WI DNR.

If you have used this program in the past or hope to in the future, you may want to comment on the proposed changes, especially if your woodland is in the Managed Forest Law or Forest Crop Law programs.

WI DNR’s Summary of proposed changes:
1. Incorporate updates to the “not‐to‐exceed” rates based on a five‐year review and analysis.
In the past, a significant amount of WFLGP funds went unutilized because the costs of the
practices were over‐estimated. When funds awarded during a biennium are allocated but not
utilized, they are no longer available for future WFLGP grants. Not‐to‐exceed (NTE) rates were
established as the highest rate that a practice can be cost shared at to reduce the amount of
unutilized funds. Not‐to‐exceed rates are set for each component code and are reviewed at
least every 5 years based on actual cost data of installed practices.
Actual cost data of installed practices was analyzed for the years 2014 through 2018 and
changes were made to the NTE rates based on that analysis. Some NTE rates did not change,
some increased and some decreased as is noted on pages 60‐31 through 60‐48 and 60‐50
through 60‐59.

2. Incorporate a recommendation from the Division of Forestry’s 2017‐2022 Strategic Direction.
The WDNR Division of Forestry Strategic Direction 2017‐2022 included an intent statement that
financial incentives should focus on landowners who are not currently participating in tax law
programs. Since those landowners are already receiving significant public incentives, this will
allow the Division to reach out to more landowners who may not otherwise be able to afford
professional assistance.
To reflect this intent from the Strategic Direction, a change to how WFLGP applications are
positioned at various batching periods is described on pages 60‐24 through 60‐25. For the
August 1st batching period only, 100% of the WFLGP applications for lands not enrolled in
Managed Forest Law will be funded before WFLGP applications for lands enrolled in Managed
Forest Law are funded.  Note: the program frequently uses up most of the funds in the August batching period.

3. Make general updates to improve clarity on policy and procedures for staff and partners who use
this chapter.
Chapter 60 of the Private Forestry Handbook was last updated in 2013 and 2014. Various
updates were made throughout the chapter, which do not change intent, but clarify policies and
procedures assuring alignment with Subchapter VII of Chapter NR47, Wisconsin Administrative
Code. These changes will also improve consistent implementation of the policies and procedures
across the state.

Please submit your comments about this proposed guidance no later than June 24, 2019 to:
Jim Warren, Public & Private Forestry Section Chief