RHINELANDER – Department of Natural Resources staff planted four young trees in the boulevard in front of the Wisconsin Forestry Headquarters at Rhinelander in today’s celebration of Arbor Day.
DNR Secretary’s Director James Yach spoke on the importance of healthy forests, including those in cities such as Rhinelander. Those benefits include economical, environmental and social.
The state’s 24.7-billion forestry industry generates nearly 65,000 jobs, he explains, adding the benefits don’t stop there. “Every job in forestry supports 1.7 other jobs in other industries throughout the state. Forestry is the number one employer in ten counties, and most of those are across the north. Hence the move of the forestry headquarters building to north of Highway 29 in the beautiful city of Rhinelander.”
Yach cited other benefits from trees, including providing habitat for wildlife and fish, recreational opportunities, protection of streambeds from erosion, an increase air quality, and the beauty of the natural landscape. The DNR tapped the Wilson State Nursery in Boscobel to select native Wisconsin trees to replace the four ash trees that became infected by the emerald ash borer, an invasive species that kills them.
Don Kissinger, urban forestry coordinator for the DNR, says the river birch, hackberry, swamp white oak, and basswood were good choices. “They are very different, but they are very resistant to the insects and diseases that are in Wisconsin. They are a great street tree and that’s why we have them planted here. They will do wonderfully.”
Afterwards, tours were offered of the Forestry Headquarters where program managers outlined some of their duties and goals. In addition to Forestry, the building houses a DNR Service Center.