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Business & Economics

Vilas County forests generates $416k in 2021

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A report on management of the 41,000 acre Vilas County forest was presented to the county forestry committee identifying the income distribution of stumpage revenue and recreation project improvements.

In 2021 the forest generated $416,107 in revenue from 15 completed timber sales. Of this sum, 80% goes into the county general fund, 10% to municipalities that have forest lands, and 10% to a reserve county forest fund for purchasing lands as they may become available from the state or private landowners and development and maintenance of recreational opportunities.

Forest administrator Chad Keranen indicated the town of Conover received the largest amount of the 10% for municipalities at $24,699. Of the other towns, Cloverland received $7,919, Plum Lake received $5,720, Land O’ Lakes received $2,213, Lincoln received $960, St. Germain received $65, Phelps received $18, and Washington received $17.

Timber sales to the end of April generated $62,548 in revenue. Twenty new timber sales have been established. Sales on the Northern Highland American Legion state forest in 2021 generated 68,432 cords with revenue of $3,421,178.

“One change in our timber sales will be to go from a two-year contract to a three-year contract,” Keranen told the committee. “Currently we have a lot of wood to haul and are waiting for road limits to be lifted.”

Recreation

Two proposals were received to plan the preliminary design on the a route on Highway 45 north right-of-way to link the Hiawatha ATV trail from McKinley Blvd. To Sandbar Drive. The committee approved the proposal from MSA professional services lump sum of $13,200 over the proposal from Ayers of $34,405. The Forest Street landing to replace the deteriorating sea wall received one bid of $26,350 from Advance Solutions.

The committee suggested two on-site visits to view progress and issues. One would be Torch Lake expansion area and Cranberry Island. Staff indicated the actual cost of servicing the island was $3,800 last year. The chain of lakes association again indicated their willingness to assist in servicing the island and suggested an on-site visit after Memorial Day. While the present outhouse is full, it was suggested a port-a-potty be placed there until a new outhouse location is established.

Committee chair Holly Tomlanovich indicated the ATV subcommittee had a good conversation with DNR staff. One item that apparently needs further explanation is DNR allows trucks and jeeps to travel open woods roads but not ATV/UTV’s even though they are licensed by DNR.

Tamarack Springs remote camping area could be expanded however the state board of commissioners of public lands (BCPL)has indicated they would sell 80 acres to the county for the appraised value. The committee had a discussion on a number of BCPL parcels that the county may be interested in.

The committee approved a GaGa ball pit for Oldenburg Sports Park to be financed as an Eagle Scout project estimated to cost $2,000.

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