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August 27, 2013

Forest industry reps think ahead: They see the forest and the trees in state's economy

MADISON -- Representatives from nearly every sector of Wisconsin's job-supporting forest industry will meet in Mellen August 29 to discuss how best to use the latest in science and real life experiences to ensure forests sustain their economic and environmental vitality.

The new Silviculture Guidance Team, a 16-member panel, will provide on-going review and recommendations of forest management strategies. Their work will be incorporated into what the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry calls its Silviculture Handbook. Silviculture is the practice of controlling forest composition, structure and growth to maintain and to enhance the forests' utility for any purpose.

Chief Forester Paul DeLong says Wisconsin's forests are the base of one of the state's most diverse and strongest economic sectors.

"It is imperative we work with our public and private sector partners, including those the forest industry, to sustainably manage this natural resource statewide and to create more jobs," De Long said." Earlier this year, new figures from the 2011 U.S. Census showed Wisconsin's forests were growing jobs to approaching 60,000 statewide in nearly 1,300 businesses."

Silviculture Guidance Team Co-Chair Carmen Hardin, chief of the DNR Forest Management Science Section, calls the Silviculture Guidance Team an invaluable partnership that will foster a unified approach to implement management updates to maintain—and to strengthen - the forests' economic, environment and social benefits.

"Continual improvement in how forests are managed should be expected," Hardin said. "This guidance team is a way to accomplish this - and that's good news for the entire state."

Doug Brown, assistant county forest administrator in Marathon County, who serves as the team's other co-chair representing the Wisconsin County Forest Association's 2.3 million acres, says it is great the department has decided to take a more inclusive approach to reviewing and updating the Silviculture Handbook.

"The Silviculture Handbook establishes what practices are acceptable when managing forests in Wisconsin - whether it's for a publicly-owned county forest like I manage or for a private landowner participating in the Managed Forest Law Program. With the new Silviculture Guidance Team, people who need to use and follow the Handbook will be involved in determining what management practices and considerations are appropriate," Brown said.

The Silviculture Guidance Team includes representatives from: professional loggers, landowners, saw timber industry, paper and pulp industry, researchers, national forests, county forests and conservationists.

The team will be meeting quarterly to assess progress on the Silviculture Handbook and to provide input on other forest management related guidance.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Carmen Hardin, Division of Forestry - Forest Management, 608-235-3261,; Joanne Haas, public affairs manager, 608-209-8147,

Last Revised: Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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