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If you have questions, contact:
Kristen Tomaszewski
608-266-5202

Statewide Forest Action Plan Part 2: StrategyTheme A: Fragmentation and parcelization

The goals, strategies and actions below describe possible steps to address the issues that have the potential to significantly impact Wisconsin’s forests. You can also read detailed descriptions [PDF] about the goals and strategies on this page.

A. Goal: The amount of forest land increases and is focused in desired landscapes

1. Strategy: Encourage planting to enhance, protect and connect larger tracts of forested land in appropriate locations consistent with ecological landscapes.

Possible actions:

  • 1.1. Provide tax credits for landowners who conduct forest reclamation (reclamation refers to changing land in uses such as abandoned brownfields, mines or borrow pits and restoring them to forests).
  • 1.2. Encourage the afforestation of abandoned and marginal agricultural lands to expand the benefits from forests and enhance, protect and connect larger tracts of forested land.
  • 1.3. Coordinate landscape-scale planting projects in targeted areas.
  • 1.4. Increase cost-share for tree planting and seeding in areas identified as priority for enhancing and protecting larger tracts of forested land in cases where natural regeneration methods have been found to be insufficient.

2. Strategy: Reduce the rate of conversion of forestland to alternative uses.

Possible actions:

  • 2.1. Utilize comprehensive planning and zoning restrictions to prevent conversion of forestland.
  • 2.2. Monitor and respond to effects of agriculture use assessment on conversion of high value forests to agriculture.
  • 2.3. Increase the number of working forest easements and land trusts.
  • 2.4. Consider regulations, incentives and easements to discourage the deforestation of wooded wetlands.
B. Goal: The rate of forest land parcelized is reduced

3. Strategy: Reduce the rate of ownership parcelization of large forest blocks (i.e. greater than 500 acres).

Possible actions:

  • 3.1. Identify and seek to acquire easements or fee title on forests that provide the highest conservation and recreation benefits and are most at risk of parcelization.
  • 3.2. Link financial incentive programs to the quality of conservation and recreation benefits provided.

4. Strategy: Reduce the rate of ownership parcelization of small forest blocks (i.e. less than 500 acres).

Possible actions:

  • 4.1. Work with regional planning commissions and local land use and zoning offices to enact policies that discourage parcelization.
  • 4.2. Increase enrollment in sustainable forest management incentive programs.
  • 4.3 Provide investment tax credits and property tax credits to landowners who do not convert their forest to other land uses.
  • 4.4. Develop educational and outreach materials, tools and resources to understand the ecological and economic benefits of maintaining larger ownership blocks.
  • 4.5.Provide higher incentive (bonus) payments for larger ownership blocks enrolled in a sustainable forest management program.
  • 4.6. Increase incentives for longer incentive program plan lengths.
  • 4.7. Establish disincentives to parcelization through a fee on ownership subdivisions.
  • 4.8. Identify and seek to acquire easements (including development rights) or fee title on forests that provide the highest conservation and recreation benefits and are most at risk of parcelization.
  • 4.9. Create a taxing structure that is a disincentive to subdivision.
  • 4.10. Draft new legislation that addresses fragmentation and parcelization similar to the Working Lands Initiative for agriculture.
  • 4.11. Develop educational and outreach materials, tools and resources on succession planning (e.g. ties to the land).
  • 4.12. Create tax categories for forested land that adequately reflect their cost to the local government(s) providing services.
  • 4.13. Research the true impact of tax burden on the decision of landowners to sell/develop forest land.
C. Goal: Large blocks of forest are maintained/increased

5. Strategy: Pursue the conservation and protection of large, unfragmented blocks of forest lands.

Possible actions:

  • 5.1. Identify remote forests with minimal adjacent development and infrastructure.
  • 5.2. Increase the amount of reserved forest that is committed to be passively managed.
  • 5.3. Continue to identify opportunities to purchase easements through the Forest Legacy program and pursue existing Forest Legacy projects.
  • 5.4. Public agencies continue to acquire land within planned public property boundaries.
  • 5.5. Limit the road density in large blocks of forests in the north.
  • 5.6. Provide tax credits or structure that favors large block forest landowners for the continual ownership and proper management of the resource.
  • 5.7. Create a grant or loan program for large land holding industrial companies in exchange for a long-term commitment of ownership and proper management.
  • 5.8. Provide education and outreach to landowners and the public on the benefits of large blocks of forests.

6. Strategy: Strengthen collaborative and large scale planning at the town, county, state and federal levels.

Possible actions:

  • 6.1. Increase local aid payments for those units of government that have completed landscape level planning and implemented conservation strategies.
  • 6.2. Work with local units of government to influence zoning ordinances that favor conservation of large blocks of forestland.
D. Goal: An increasing amount of land management at small scales is in alignment with landscape scale plans.

Small forest parcels will be effectively managed forests at a landscape scale that accounts for multiple benefits such as ecosystem services and risks such as wildfire.

7. Strategy: Increase the functional size of forest blocks by encouraging coordination of management of clusters of forest owners.

Possible actions:

  • 7.1. Establish criteria that identify where blocks of forest in fragmented ownership could feasibly be managed to achieve broader landscape-scale goals, particularly related to ecosystem services and wildfire.
  • 7.2. Provide incentives for landowners to collectively develop and implement management plans (e.g., provide bonus payments or reduce costs to landowners that manage their forest land as a larger block).
  • 7.3. Encourage that plans for private and public lands incorporate 1) the management plans of adjacent and nearby public lands and lands enrolled in conservation programs and 2) appropriate ecological opportunities as described in the ecosystem management handbook and the Wildlife Action Plan.
  • 7.4. Provide incentives to writers of property management plans to coordinate larger clusters of landowners into a unified management approach.
  • 7.5. Provide incentives to private contracting foresters, loggers and others involved in harvests to coordinate management actions with nearby landowners and incorporate broader forest management goals into harvest actions.
  • 7.6. Educate landowners on the benefits of landscape scale management and how this can be done in a manner that respects landowner rights.
E. Goal: The percentage of sustainably managed forest land will steadily increase.

8. Strategy: Encourage a tax structure that favors well-managed forests.

Possible actions:

  • 8.1. Evaluate forest tax incentive programs for inefficiencies, disincentives, effectiveness and inclusion of other management opportunities.
  • 8.2. Adjust forest land property taxes to accurately reflect the price of public services (e.g., roads, water, utilities) required for forests.

9. Strategy: Increase acreage of privately owned forests managed based on generally accepted forest management practices.

Possible actions:

  • 9.1. Implement procedures to quickly and easily re-enroll MFL properties when expiring.
  • 9.2. Seek opportunities that provide premium pricing on products harvested from properties practicing sustainable forestry.
  • 9.3. Develop programs with the forest certification systems that would target forest landowners not interested in joining other programs.
  • 9.4. Develop incentive programs that benefit landowners for managing for ecosystem services.
  • 9.5 Educate landowners on how to manage based on accepted forest management practices.

10. Strategy: Increase acreage of publicly owned forests managed based on generally accepted forest management practices.

Possible actions:

  • 10.1. Increase third party certification of public forest lands.
  • 10.2. Invest in the management of public lands to produce the desired values and goals the public has outlined in property plans.
Last revised: Monday October 05 2015