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Politics & Government

VC Timber Sales Top $600,000

Pixabay.com Didgeman

Bids were opened and awarded for the annual timber sales on the Vilas County forest recentlythat will generate more than $600,000 in revenue over the next two to four years.

Of 17 tracts available for sale, only three did not receive any bids and will be re-advertised, according to county forest administrator John Gagnon. Harvesting operations will be restricted where oak is involved until after July 15 due to oak wilt concerns. The highest minimum bid was $91,650 by Cloverland Logging for a 72 acre tract in the town of Cloverland east of Honeysuckle Lake.

Total minimum bids for all tracts were $639,013 covering 739 acres of the 40,000 acre county forest. The committee approved accepting the high bids in each of the tracts contingent upon review and approval by forestry staff.

Assistant forest admistrator Jeremiah Oftedahl reported May timber sale revenue was $51,967 bringing the years total so far to $181,451. Total revenue by the end of the year is expected to exceed $500,000. One bid was received for timber stand improvement from Northwoods Forestry of Aleva, Wisconsin for $16,510. 

In other actions, the committee was informed a Federal Aviation Administration lease for the radar tower on the west side of Stormy Lake is under review. Gagnon said they wanted exclusive rights to the road leading to the site which the county is not in favor. Committee members comments included lack of any maintenance to the road for over 20 years with no crack sealing. County board chairman Ron DeBruyne said “tell them to move it to Michigan” and maybe “send them a letter that we're terminating the lease” while supervisor Steve Doyen said “just put it back to a gravel road.”

The committee reviewed Chapter 16 that governs the county forest operations. They will add language that no explosive targets are allowed on the Vilas County shooting range but would not consider having this pubic shooting range open all year. A request to establish six of ten geocache sites on the county forest was approved. 

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