‘You Got to Love Trees’ Wisconsin Chief State Forester Talks of Forest Management

Apr 30, 2021

Credit Science on Tap-Minocqua

As Wisconsin’s Chief State Forester, a lot of Heather Berkland’s life revolves around trees.

“You got to love trees. Trees are really the answer to an overall healthy ecosystem,” said Berkland.

Berkland says forests are essential to the health of the environment and people.

“It filters pollutants, protects water quality, provides wildlife habitat,” she said.

Trees are also a key part of the state’s economy.

“It’s contributing $24 billion annually to Wisconsin’s economy. That’s second to agriculture here in the state. It’s providing over 63,000 jobs to Wisconsin residents directly tied to forestry and forest industry,” said Berkland.

The Division of Forestry has diversified programming to manage Wisconsin’s forests.

It manages state forests and park. It partners and assists on county forests. It works closely with private landowners. The department also works to suppress forest fires throughout the state.

“Just a wide range of ways we connect to ensure that we have healthy and robust forests,” said Berkland.

People can learn more about all the ways the state manages forests at next week’s Science on Tap.

Berkland hopes people come away with a better understand of what the Department of Forestry does.

“As well as just a greater appreciation of what forestry, forest industry, forest ecosystems do and the value they bring,” she said.

It’s Wednesday, May 5 starting at 6:30 via zoom or YouTube.