The DNR and the U.S. Forest Service have announced an agreement where the state and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest will partner on forest management within the 1.5 million acres of the state's only national forest. It's under the 2014 Farm Bill called Good Neighbor authority.
Under the agreement, the amount of timber offered for harvest that's in an approved plan will increase 25 percent to more than 100 million board feet in 2016.
Forest Supervisor Paul Strong says the extra revenue will be trusted to the state...
"...the state is going to sell the timber sales and they are going to hold that money. It can only be used to reinvest back into the national forest..."
While timber harvest will rise, the DNR and the Forest Service will eventually use the extra money to fund restoration within the forest.
Chief State Forester Paul DeLong says they also will ask county forestry departments to help out. He says after initial training, the DNR will start it's management work soon...
"....and then still this fall get work done on the ground..."
Director of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals based in Rhinelander, Henry Schienebeck says the increased cutting is good news for Northwoods communities....
"....for our rural communities that are sometimes struggling sometimes financially to survive and having that extra raw material is going to help a great deal...."
Wisconsin is the first state east of the Mississippi to begin this state-federal partnership.