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Contact information
For more information, contact:
Kirsten Held
Forestry outreach specialist
Division of Forestry

Wisconsin ForestsImproving the quality of your life

The link between healthy natural resources and human health has been recognized for many years. More than 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in urban areas and urban natural resources are crucial to livability of cities and suburbs. Trees, parks, greenways and yard trees are all elements of what is called the urban forest. Read this Urban Forestry brochure [PDF] to learn about some of the ways urban forests promote human wellness.

Learn how trees benefit human health (Minnesota DNR).

Benefits of the urban forest

Management of the urban forest can significantly influence human health and environmental quality in and around cities. Like electricity and water, an urban tree canopy is a vital part of a community's infrastructure, providing valuable economic, environmental and social benefits. An abundant, healthy urban tree canopy increases property values, reduces storm water runoff and erosion, improves air quality and reduces energy used for heating and cooling.

Discover the value of the benefits provided by individual trees around your home and in your community with the National Tree Benefit Calculator [exit DNR]. Well-managed urban forests pay back [PDF exit DNR] nearly three times the cost to plant and maintain them.

Learn more about how trees benefit our communities and improve our quality of life (U.S. Forest Service).

Wisconsin's rural forests are a great recreational destination

By enjoying Wisconsin's forests, you not only reap the health and stress-reducing benefits that outdoor recreation activities provide, but the money you spend helps strengthen the economic well-being of our local communities.

Where you can go

Investing in the health of our forests so they can support YOUR well-being

Invasive species pose profound threats to Wisconsin forests. Through their varied forest-based activities, hikers, hunters, horseback riders, anglers, birders and motorized vehicle riders can unknowingly cause new infestations of harmful invasive species in previously unaffected forest ecosystems. Recreational forest users can take an active role in halting the spread of invasive species by following voluntary best management practices developed in 2008 by a broad-based committee convened by the Wisconsin Council on Forestry [exit DNR].

One easy way YOU can help protect the health of Wisconsin forests is to get your firewood from a certified vendor close to your destination when you go camping. Don't pack your own firewood! Invasive insects and diseases in dead and dying wood threaten our native trees and forests. If you move firewood, you could be giving these pests a free ride to new territory.

Just one example of a pest moving in firewood is the emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive insect from Asia. Visit Wisconsin's emerald ash borer information source [exit DNR] to learn more about this destructive pest in our state and visit the Forest Health section of the DNR website to learn about other health challenges facing Wisconsin forests.

Links to learn more

Last revised: Tuesday July 02 2019