State Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst, and Representatives Rob Swearingen of Rhinelander and Jeff Mursau of Crivitz Wednesday issued a statement following a recent announcement that about 11 percent of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest recreation areas will either be closed or have reduced services.
Tiffany says if the state was given the authority to manage the forest, they would use the increased timber production to fund recreation...
"....if they would turn over the management of the Chequamegon-Nicolet to the state of Wisconsin, we could take the timber revenues, half of the Chequamegon-Nicolet where no timber harvest is allowed, we could take the revenues generated off those lands and use it to help keep those recreational facilities open...."
He says the possibility of state management might be remote right now, but some things have changed. ..
"....it's a process. While I think it's remote at this point. I think if we work at it and give it a concerted effort...I think people want to see control of these land management activities get back to the local level..."
The Good Neighbor Authority allows the Forest Service to enter into cooperative agreements or contracts with states to allow the states to perform watershed restoration and forest management services on National Forest System lands.