The Potential for Forest Management

A recent timber harvest on State owned land near Spring Green, ongoing fuel reduction harvesting in the Pineland community near Lone Rock, and the management of the River Valley School Forests demonstrate State of Art forestry in the State of Wisconsin.


Timber Harvesting on State of Wisconsin owned land along the Wisconsin River near Spring Green.

75 acres of forest was marked for harvest by DNR foresters, put up for sealed bids,
and harvested in the fall of 2006.
600 cords of small diameter logs were hauled away, producing an income of about $4,700
and 39,000 board feet of sawlogs were trucked away for a payment of about $4,000.

The loggers were from 100 miles away in Western Wisconsin, the pulpwood was hauled 100 miles to a foreign owned paper mill in Central Wisconsin, the pallet logs were hauled 60 miles to be sawn into pallet parts, and the sawlogs were trucked out of the county to a modern sawmill. The logging was done by one person in a computerized and hydraulically driven timber harvesting machine, and the logs were carried from the forest by another person in a huge prehauler.
A total of 8,000 miles were driven by the log trucks to get the wood to the mills.

The only benefit from this timber harvest to the River Valley area
was if the workers stayed in a motel or bought food/fuel at a local business.
The timber sale income to the State goes to pay part of the cost of the DNR forester position.

If the wood had been harvested, manufactured, and used in the River Valley area, the story would be quite different. Loggers using small, modern equipment could have earned 20 times the wages of the few workers running the big rigs. 300 tons of wood could have been used as fuel to heat our schools. 200,000 square feet of hardwood flooring could have been manufactured and sold in S Wisconsin, earning local businesses over a million dollars. Thousands of gallons of diesel fuel would not be used hauling the logs from the region.

In the Home News, a local store advertises on February 13, 2007 - Hardwood flooring from "famous manufacturers... " the big corporations out east and around the world.

A neighboring family farm near Timbergreen has several hundred acres of timber. The brothers operate home construction businesses. They sell timber from their land to industry loggers, then go buy hardwood flooring, cabinets, millwork, and lumber from industrial suppliers for their business.

The ongoing fuel reduction thinnings in the Pinelands between Spring Green and Lone Rock and the past thinnings of the River Valley School Forests are similar.


In each case, a DNR forester or government paid consultant marks and administers the timber sale.
Big machines from up north come in to cut the trees and the wood is hauled away 100 miles to a foreign owned paper mill.

Tons per acre of wood waste are left on the ground, creating a fire hazard for 5-10 years.

There is an alternative!

Local harvesting, manufacturing, and use of the wood from these areas could produce a dozen new jobs, hundreds of tons of fuel, and millions of dollars in annual wood product sales.
These lands could make a significant annual income for the owners.

We are growing millions of board feet of timber in the River Valley area each year. We sell it off to big corporations from out to the region who take it away, leaving little local benefit. Then we go to the store and buy wood that has likely been manufactured in a foreign country and shipped half way around the world!

Are we not smarter that this?

The Timber Growers Alliance now offers the alternative of local wood products in the market!

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