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USFS Looks For Outside Help With Timber Sales

US Forest Service

Managers of the Chequamegon-Nicolet want to partner with other groups to help achieve timber harvest goals in the national forest.  That’s the message from Forest Supervisor Paul Strong.   

He’s part of a newly formed partnership called the Northeast Wisconsin Forestry Improvement Collaborative that represents logging groups, manufacturers and environmental interests. 

Strong says the hope is that different organizations can help the Forest Service obtain grant money, organize volunteers, or even resolve disagreements. 

“My hope is that this collaborative can in fact gain their own internal capacity to start helping us in one of those three ways, or perhaps there are some other ways that they can in a sense put more gas in our engine – so that we can get more work done.”

The Chequamegon-Nicolet has come under criticism from many in the forest products industry…for harvesting only about half as much timber as its forest plan calls for. 

Wisconsin’s U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson both visited the Northwoods last month and said they wanted to see higher levels of cutting. 

Strong says the Forest Service doesn’t have enough resources to meet its longterm goals, but says harvesting more timber would be a win-win situation. 

“The timber sales are important to the communities in which we’re located. They’re important to us because we can meet the conservation goals described in our comprehensive forest plan.”

Strong notes that for several years legal battles were tying up Forest Service resources, but he says that isn’t a problem right now, and says things are moving in the right direction.  

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