Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Ben Meyer/WXPR

A major logging project in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest near Eagle River will go forward despite strong objections from an environmental law group.

The Fourmile project will include cuts from almost 12,000 acres of National Forest property, yielding timber valued at $4 million.

U.S. Forest Service

Imagine trudging up a mountain carrying heavy gear or trying to navigate a bulldozer on a steep mountain side through the trees.

Now picture doing those things with a wildfire burning right next you.

“For a lot of us it’s just a normal day job,” said Jeremy Erickson. Erickson is the Assistant Fire Management Officer at Blackwell Job Corps.

He’s also one of the 10 wildland firefighters that make up the new Badger State Wildland Fire Module.

Katie Thoresen/WXPR

Every five years the U.S. Forest Service conducts visitor use surveys.

It looks for things like where you’re visiting, how many people are with you, how long is your visit, and how many sites you plan to visit.

Tim Vetter is the Recreation, Wilderness and Lands Program Manager on the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest. He says the information collected helps shape the future of the forest.

National Park Service

Most of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest campgrounds and recreation sites are open to visitors. But Forest Supervisor Paul Strong has closed the group campsites for the rest of the recreation season because of the COVID outbreak and the need for social distancing.

The group sites closed include Boulder Lake group site, and group sites at Chippewa Campground(Hardwoods Loop), Morgan Lake, Picnic Point and Stockfarm Bridge.

Forest spokesperson Hilary Markin says while the group campsites are closed at those locations, the non-group sites remain open...

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

The water flow on a little creek in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is modest.

In fact, the stream is small enough that it has no name. Officially, it’s Unnamed Tributary to Morgan Creek.

But on July 11, 2016, it was just one of the unassuming streams that heavy rainfall turned into rushing rivers in this area of the National Forest.

“Roads were gone. Bridges were gone. Culverts were gone,” said Jim Mineau, a hydrologist for the National Forest.

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest


Heavy rains earlier this week near Laona damaged several National Forest roads and Waupee Dam, which is located about five miles from Mountain.

Minor flooding is occurring below the dam.

The area remains closed to visitors, including the Waupee Dam boat landing.

Repairs to Waupee Dam had begun last month.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

On a sunny day in a shaded forest, Don Waller and Dave Zaber, two environmental professionals, came across an orchid growing on the forest floor.

This part of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest near Eagle River is maturing, with tall trees, a shady canopy, and a cooler temperature.

It’s good orchid habitat.

But that might change soon, Zaber said.

“We’re in a proposed cutting unit of the Fourmile timber sale,” he said.

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Last July, a strong windstorm damaged about 137,000 acres of Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest trees in Langlade and Oconto counties. There were thousands of other acres of damage outside the national forest as well.

About 61,000 acres are located within areas where homes are built near or among lands prone to wild land fire. Officials say about 6,700 structures within the areas are at risk of wildfire due to increased downed trees.

Forest spokesperson Hilary Markin talks about the work being done...

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

More recreation facilities are opening on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, but many facilities remain closed.

As the Memorial Day weekend arrives, officials say the Forest will be open for dispersed camping and campfires, lifting the campfire ban across much of the Forest. Fire and campfire restrictions will remain in place for Forest Service lands in Langlade and Oconto counties due to the July 2019 blowdown.

Forest Service staff are working to install boat docks at boat landings except in some closed campgrounds.

Last week, the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest reopened boat landings, just in time for the fishing opener.

Most Forest facilities had been closed due to the pandemic.

In a few days, the Forest will reopen even more recreational options.

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is lifting the closure order for boat landings with the exception of landings within closed campgrounds.

In addition, both motorized and non-motorized trails on the National Forest will be open May 8 or when local conditions allow for opening.

Recreation sites on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest will stay closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Forest made the announcement Friday morning.

The order closes trails, picnic sites, boat landings, restrooms, and all camping on the Forest until further notice.

“We’re more acting on the potential for those crowded conditions,” said spokesperson Hilary Markin.  “We have seen an increase in some areas, but it’s more, we’re delaying the opening, and then, we’ll be monitoring the situation and adjusting accordingly.”

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest-U.S. Forest Service

As spring approaches, the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF) is awarding more construction contracts while implementing its 5- year program to upgrade facilties.

Some of the larger projects are on the western side of the forest, but upgrades in the eastern side are also planned says forest spokesperson Teresa Maday... Free-Photos

The amount of timber harvested for sale last year was down a bit from the prior year, but Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest officials think they had a substantial amount lumber produced.

Forest spokesperson Casey Jardine gives us the numbers...

"The 2019 fiscal year, from October 2018 to the end of September 2019 the (forest) sold 123.7 million board feet(MMBF) of timber. It's a little down from the 2018 numbers but we do expect higher numbers to be sold in fiscal year 2020..." JillWellington

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has forest product permits available for individuals looking to harvest items like boughs or cutting firewood.

Forest spokesperson Hilary Markin details what's available...