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Statewide Forest Plan

Completed in 2004, Wisconsin's latest Statewide Forest Plan articulates a common vision for the state's forest resources and a framework for achieving that vision. It incorporates the full range of trends and issues affecting Wisconsin's forests and their ecological, economic and social implications. Most importantly, the plan is a call to all interested parties to address the challenges facing Wisconsin's forests both now and in the future.

Final plan

An overview document is available that concisely describes the planning process, the contents of the 2004 Statewide Forest Plan, and the vision for implementing it.

Planning process

Coordinated by the DNR-Division of Forestry, the 2004 Statewide Forest Plan was developed over a three-year period through a process involving extensive public comment and review.

Forest assessment

As a springboard to the Statewide Forest Plan, in 2000 the DNR Division of Forestry completed a detailed assessment of all forest resources in the state. Entitled Wisconsin Forests at the Millennium: An Assessment [PDF], the assessment identified 45 trends and issues facing the state's forests.

Trends and issues survey

To ensure the Statewide Forest Plan addressed the most important trends and issues, following the assessment the DNR conducted a forestry trends and issues survey of more than 8,000 people in Wisconsin who had expressed interest in participating in the forest planning process. In the survey, respondents were asked to comment on the importance of each trend and issue outlined in the assessment and whether each should be addressed in the statewide forest plan. Respondents were also asked to identify other important trends or issues. The survey helped the DNR understand which forest issues Wisconsin's citizens cared most about and identify additional forestry trends and issues. Ultimately, 52 such items were addressed in the Statewide Forest Plan.

Over 2000 individuals and organizations participated in this stage of planning.

Developing options survey

Developing options for addressing the trends and issues was the next step in the planning process. Based on feedback from the trends and issues survey and a public meeting, DNR Forestry staff drafted a set of options for tackling each of the trends and issues. A second survey, called the "Developing Options" survey, was then distributed in order to refine the draft options.

Over 800 individuals and organizations participated in this stage of planning.

Draft plan

Next, an objective was developed for each trend and issue to provide a benchmark for future efforts. Objectives were drawn from the preferred options identified through the Developing Options survey. As part of the draft plan's review, the DNR then asked citizens, partners, forestry stakeholders, and all other interested parties, to comment on the objectives. In addition to evaluating the objectives themselves, respondents voiced their opinions about possible actions to address the objectives and which types of organizations (government, industry, university, etc.) should carry out the proposed actions.

Over 200 individuals and organizations provided comments.

Goals, and trends and issues

The Statewide Forest Plan offers a vision for Wisconsin's forests based on five goals.

  • Forest health and protection
  • Forest diversity
  • Forest productivity
  • Forest conservation and stewardship
  • Forest recreation

These five goals also provided a starting point for identifying the most important trends and issues facing Wisconsin's forests now and in the future. The 2004 Statewide Forest Plan ultimately described 52 such items, along with their ecological, economic, and social implications.

Stay informed

With implementation of the plan now being led by the Wisconsin Council on Forestry [exit DNR], we invite all citizens who care about our forest resources to stay informed. We also hope people will take part in implementing the plan, as well as in future assessments and planning processes associated with updating and maintaining it. If you want to staying informed about the progress of the Statewide Forest Plan, please visit the Wisconsin Council on Forestry web site [exit DNR].

Last revised: Friday September 14 2012