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Gov. Walker Signs Managed Forest Law Changes In Rhinelander


Governor Scott Walker Thursday signed a bill updating the state's Managed Forest Law which one of the bill sponsors says will provide more money for local towns.

The Managed Forest Law is a landowner incentive program encouraging sustainable forestry on private woodland. In exchange for following sound forest management, the landowner pays reduced property taxes. One of 11 points signed into law allows some of the money going to the state to stay in the local towns says Representative Jeff Mursau of Crivitz who worked for four years to get it passed...

"....it will be great for our townships to get some of that money that's leaving the towns and going to the state. It's going to help their infrastructure and keeping their roads in good working condition...."

Governor Walker says the bill will help a critical industry in the north...

".....it's a big driver for the state, about $22 billion in economic impact when you think of forest products in the state. Certainly logging, but throughout our mills and other places are interrelated to that, and about $5 billion alone related to tourism and recreation..."

Walker says this change is part of a process to help preserve the forest products industry in Wisconsin. He says the full spectrum of woods to production is worth about $22 billion dollars to the state's economy....

".....we're better equipped  to handle the full spectrum of use when it comes to forest products that come out of the forests in this state than just about any state in the country...."

The bill lifts the 160-acre cap on closed land for non-industrial landowners, enabling property owners to close off as much land as they want while still enjoying the larger tax break on those acres. It also allows for leasing rights to land owners. Tom Tiffany introduced the bill in the State Senate.

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