Partners in Forestry

Ben Meyer/WXPR

The Upper Peninsula is known for its natural beauty.

There’s no shortage of waterfalls, unique geological features, and old growth forests.

What makes wildcat falls unique, according to Joe Hovel, is finding them all in one place.

“To find all those things in such close proximity where you can enjoy and appreciate all of those features in a short hike in less than a mile. That makes this project pretty special,” said Hovel.

Hovel is the President of Partners in Forestry Cooperative and the acting director of Northwood Alliance.

Dan Dumas/Kim Swisher Communications

As the crow flies, Wildcat Falls near Watersmeet and the Upper Wisconsin River Legacy Forest near Land O’Lakes are only 15 miles apart, on opposite sides of the Michigan-Wisconsin border.

But in some ways, these protected places couldn’t be more different.

From one, water flows north to Lake Superior. From the other, it flows south, eventually to the Gulf of Mexico.

Huge old-growth trees dominate the area near Wildcat Falls, while a young forest supporting threatened species is common near the Upper Wisconsin River.

But they do have one thing in common.

Mining Action Group

A beautiful spot in the Upper Peninsula might be brought back in public control if conservation groups can raise enough money to get the property. Joe Hovel is Director of Partners In Forestry Landowners Cooperative based in Conover, one of the groups hoping to get enough money to buy the land around Wildcat Falls, not far from Watersmeet, about a half hour from Land 0' Lakes.

The land was swapped by the U.S. Forest Service with land owned by a private interest within the last decade, but the possibility of getting the 160 acres back has arisen.

Partners In Forestry

Partners in Forestry Landowner Cooperative is holding its annual meeting November 5 at Big Bear Hideaway in Boulder Junction. Director Joe Hovel says among other topics,  the meeting will host a discussion on another aspect of property rights.

He says conservation is also a property right and owner property is not just a single item, but a bundle of rights...

Partners In Forestry

More than 1,000 acres located along the headwaters of the Wisconsin River in Vilas county has been preserved as part of the state's Forest Legacy program. This partnership involves two private landowners and the State of Wisconsin protects wooded forest land and 2 miles of Wisconsin River riparian habitat, and contributes to existing public lands. This project adjoins the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest along the east border, and is in close to the Ottawa National Forest, the Spruce Grouse State Natural Area and the Vilas County Forest.

Joshua Mayer

Partners In Forestry Landowner Cooperative is having its annual meeting Saturday in Boulder Junction. 

  Part of the meeting will be a session open to the public discussion on the Economics of Land Conservation. Ken Krall spoke to Director Joe Hovel about some topics during the public session.

The Partners in Forestry Landowner Cooperative meeting is Saturday at the Big Bear Hideaway in Boulder Junction. You can contact Hovel at 715-479-8528 or the Partners In Forestry website for more information.