Public comment period opens for five interim forest management plans
Interim plans guiding the management of forest resources on a number of state-owned properties across the state are now available for review and comment through Jan. 23, 2015. The interim plans will guide forest management on the properties until formal master plans are completed.
The Interim Forest Management Plans are important because they will allow timber taken off these lands to continue to be certified as sustainably managed, a "seal of approval" that gives the public confidence these properties are well managed. Such plans also will benefit sawmills and other companies using timber from those properties, according to Craig Thompson, a land program manager with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in La Crosse.
The properties with interim forest management plans are: Red Banks Alvar State Natural Area in Brown County, Merrick State Park in Buffalo County; Cady Marsh State Natural Area in Sauk County; and Myklebust Lake State Natural Area and Skunk and Foster Lakes State Natural Area in Waupaca County.
"These interim plans are very important for forest certification, which in turn is very important for business," Thompson says. "People want to know we are managing their lands well, and consumers increasingly prefer products from sustainably managed forests. A guaranteed stream of certified wood means sawmills and other forest products companies will have the competitive edge they need to do well in domestic and global markets."
Forest certification is a process that assures consumers that timber (and products made from certified wood) has been grown and harvested in a way that meets strict environmental and social standards. The Wisconsin forest products industry is a $16 billion per year business that directly supports more than 56,000 jobs and generates $228 million in state and local tax revenues.
People can fill out an electronic survey to submit comments, or can download the form and mail it in. Comments, either electronic or written, are due by 4:30 p.m. Jan. 23, 2015.