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Outdoors, Leisure, and Sports

New Vilas County 15-year forest plan delayed

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The Vilas County comprehensive 15-year forest plan being renewed for the 43,000 Vilas County forest will be delayed with former forest administrator Al Murray leavings to take a similar position in Langlade County.

According to Chad Keranen, assistant forest administrator, he told the county forestry, recreation, and land committee last week he has been reviewing the plan but there are a number of chapters that need a lot of work.

“I’m working on the plan but there are four chapters that need a lot of work including changing the formatting and forest compartment maps to be included,” Keranen said.

Supervisor Ron DeBruyne asked how extensive was the former 15 year plan indicating “we don’t need to make this a 50,000 page document, only comply with DNR requirements. Can we just modify our last plan to conform to what DNR wants?”

Supervisor Art Kunde felt complex plans become cumbersome and “some things don’t need the details; it’s a plan, let’s get it done and get it behind us.”

Committee chair Holly Tomlanovich pointed out there are obvious errors that need to be corrected.

DNR forest liaison Jill Nemic felt the plan doesn’t need to be detailed and said “my recommendation is to be as general as possible since it will be modified from time to time.”

Keranen said he will continue working on the plan with a goal to get it ready for adoption at the December committee meeting.

Timber sales revenue for October was $20,679 bringing the years total so far to $157,960.

Trail, road issues

ATV/UTV trails on the county forest will officially be turned over to snowmobile clubs on November 15 and that generated considerable discussion particularly on the county forest roads.

These roads need to be graded with such things as ruts and water holes leveled out prior to them freezing and making grooming snowmobile use almost impossible.

Tomlanovich indicated it was the county responsibility and they “are usually graded by the county

highway department and graveling and grooming are not the same” with DeBruyne stating “the county has to get involved in maintaining the county forest roads.”

Roger Flaherty felt the roads need to be rebuilt and “get a center crown to get rid of water” but

snowmobile clubs “don’t want a crown which interferes with grooming.”

Recreation administrator Todd Bierman said “we will get them graded” indicating he will be working with the various clubs” to identify areas needing work.

Finally, the proposed ATV/UTV challenge area needs to have a reclamation plan. It’s a former gravel site no longer being used.

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