Public Comment Period Opens for 36 Interim Forest Management Plans
Interim plans to guide the management of forest resources on 36 state-owned properties until formal master plans are completed are now available for review and comment through Nov. 21, 2012.
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, district land program manager with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
“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 are increasingly preferring 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.
DNR expects to complete master plans for the 36 properties at some point in the future, but until then, the interim plans will guide the management of forest resources for the identified properties:
- Benson – Beverly – Hauer Creek Fishery Areas
- Big Rib River and Rib River Fishery Areas
- Bill Cross & New Wood Wildlife Areas & Ice Age Trail Group
- Borst Valley Wildlife Area
- Chilsen Demonstration Forest
- Green Bay West Shores Wildlife Area
- Hartman Creek State Park
- Horicon Wildlife Area
- Jefferson County – Extensive Wildlife Habitat
- Kickapoo River Wildlife Area
- Lakes Coulee Wildlife Area
- Mecan River – Pine River – Willow Creek- White River Fishery Areas
- Mullet Creek Wildlife Area
- North Branch Beaver Creek Fishery Area
- Observatory Hill State Natural Area
- Peninsula State Park
- Pine – Popple Wild River
- Plainfield Tunnel – Channel Lakes State Natural Area
- South Beaver Creek Wildlife Area
- Spread Eagle Barrens State Natural Area
- Tank Creek Fishery Area
- Upper Wolf River Fishery Area
- Waupaca River Fishery Area
- Weirgor Springs Wildlife Area and Eddy Creek Fishery Area
- White River Marsh Wildlife Area
Information and links to individual interim plans for these properties, as well as directions on how to submit comments, can be found online on the DNR website dnr.wi.gov by searching keyword IFMP.
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. Nov. 21, 2012.