“Sustainable forestry" means the practice of managing dynamic forest ecosystems to provide ecological, economic, social and cultural benefits for present and future generations.
Purposes and benefits of state forests. 28.04(2)(a)
The department shall manage the state forests to benefit the present and future generations of residents of this state, recognizing that the state forests contribute to local and statewide economies and to a healthy natural environment. The department shall assure the practice of sustainable forestry and use it to assure that state forests can provide a full range of benefits for present and future generations. The department shall also assure that the management of state forests is consistent with the ecological capability of the state forest land and with the long-term maintenance of sustainable forest communities and ecosystems. These benefits include soil protection, public hunting, protection of water quality, production of recurring forest products, outdoor recreation, native biological diversity, aquatic and terrestrial wildlife, and aesthetics. The range of benefits provided by the department in each state forest shall reflect its unique character and position in the regional landscape.
In managing the state forests, the department shall recognize that not all benefits under par. (a)
can or should be provided in every area of a state forest.
In managing the state forests, the department shall recognize that management may consist of both active and passive techniques.
The department shall prepare a plan for each state forest that describes how the state forest will be managed. The department shall work with the public to identify property goals and objectives that are consistent with the purposes under sub. (2)
. The department shall identify in each plan the objectives of management for distinct areas of the state forest.
In this paragraph, “
forest production area" means an area in a state forest that has been classified by the department in preparing plans under par. (a)
as an area in which the primary management objective relates to the production of timber and other forest products.
Notwithstanding par. (a)
, the department shall do all of the following with respect to managing a forest production area:
Establish the primary management objective of a forest production area to be the production of timber and other forest products.
Maximize timber production on forest production areas while using accepted silvicultural practices.
Notwithstanding par. (a)
, the department may not do any of the following with respect to a managing a forest production area:
Classify the area under any other land management classification.
Authorize or prescribe timber management techniques and activities, including commercial timber harvests, that are not consistent with the specific management objectives in the plan and with locally accepted timber production practices common to the industry.
Use management activities or techniques in the area that are not authorized in the plan for that area.
The department may do all of the following with respect to managing a forest production area:
Vary the specific objectives for different forest production areas, taking into consideration only the site's capability to produce timber, the type of timber produced in the area, the market for forest products, and the economy.
Establish the specific objective of extracting economic value from land while managing for timber products.
Authorize any management activity or technique that is consistent with the management objective specified in the plan for that area and compatible with the area's ecological capability and the practice of forestry.
The department shall establish procedures for the preparation and modification of these plans, including procedures for public participation. In preparing and modifying plans under this subsection, the department shall use the best available information regarding the purposes and benefits of the state forests that the department acquires through inventories, evaluations, monitoring and research. In evaluating such information, the department shall consider both regional and local scales, including the impact on local economies. As new information becomes available, the department shall adapt its management of the state forest and, if necessary, the plan for the state forest.
History: 1995 a. 257
; 2015 a. 55
See also ch. NR 44
and s. NR 1.24
, Wis. adm. code.
The department has no authority to construct spectator sport facilities in state forests, nor has it authority to lease state forest lands for such purpose. 63 Atty. Gen. 519.
Forestry inventory; implementation. 28.042(1)(1)
The department shall undertake and maintain an inventory of forested areas on land owned by the state, including the areas of timber in these forested areas that have been or are to be harvested for purposes of state forestry management.
The department, in performing its duties under this chapter, shall give priority to the completion of the inventory described in sub. (1)
and the completion of the harvesting of timber that has been identified for harvesting in this inventory.
History: 2005 a. 25
Educational requirements for field foresters. 28.045(1)(1)
Every person hired as a field forester by the department on or after November 20, 2003, shall have received a bachelor's or higher degree in forestry from a school of forestry with a curriculum accredited by the Society of American Foresters or an equivalent degree, as determined by the chief state forester.
Notwithstanding s. 230.14 (3m)
, the department may require as a condition of application that an applicant for the position of field forester has met the educational requirements specified under sub. (1)
History: 2003 a. 66
Timber sales; state forests. 28.05(1)(1)
Cutting shall be limited to trees marked or designated for cutting by a forester employed by the department or by an individual determined by the department to be qualified to do such marking or designating and who is under the oversight of a forester employed by the department. The department may sell products removed in cultural or salvage cuttings and standing timber designated in timber sale contracts, but all sales shall be based on tree scale or on the scale, measure or count of the cut products. The department may require that a person purchasing products or standing timber under a timber sale contract provide surety for the proper performance of the contract either directly or through a bond furnished by a surety company authorized to do business in this state.
Sales of cut products or stumpage having an estimated value of $3,000 or more shall be by public sale after 2 publications of a classified advertisement announcing the sale in a newspaper having general circulation in the county in which the timber to be sold is located. Sales with an estimated value of $3,000 or more requires approval by the secretary.
The department shall, by rule, establish a program that allows private cooperating foresters to assist the state in the harvesting and sale of timber from state forest lands to meet the annual allowable timber harvest established under s. 28.025
. The rule shall include provisions authorizing the department to contract with cooperating foresters for the purpose of harvesting and selling timber from state forest lands and authorizing cooperating foresters to receive a portion of the proceeds from each timber sale. The department shall establish in the rule a method for determining what portion of the proceeds received from each timber sale shall be paid to the private cooperating foresters for their services in assisting the division in the harvesting and sale of timber from state forest lands. The division shall ask the council on forestry to recommend a method for determining what portion of the proceeds received from each timber sale shall be paid to private cooperating foresters under the rule.
The department shall, by rule, establish a program that allows cooperating foresters and private contractors to assist the state in regenerating harvested areas of state lands to meet the annual allowable timber harvest established under s. 28.025
. The rule shall include provisions authorizing the department to contract with cooperating foresters and private contractors to conduct activities that promote artificial and natural forest regeneration including site preparation, invasive species control, and tree planting. The rule shall authorize cooperating foresters and private contractors with whom the department contracts under this paragraph to receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale of timber harvested from state lands on which the cooperating forester or private contractor provided assistance under the contract.
Each private cooperating forester with whom the department contracts under par. (a)
to harvest and sell timber from state forest lands shall be entitled to receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale of such timber in the amount determined by the department under par. (a)
Each cooperating forester or private contractor with whom the department contracts under par. (am)
shall be entitled to receive the amount determined by the department as specified in the rule promulgated by the department under par. (am)
Of the amount received by the department from each timber sale for which the department used the services of a cooperating forester or a private contractor under this subsection, the department shall credit to the appropriation account under s. 20.370 (2) (cy)
an amount equal to the portion of the sale proceeds that the department is required to pay to the cooperating forester or private contractor.
Although the DNR has authority to sell firewood, there is no requirement that it do so. 71 Atty. Gen. 23
Forest nurseries. 28.06(1)(1)
Only planting stock of species and sizes suitable for forest and woodlot planting and for planting by school pupils, including pupils at a tribal school, as defined in s. 115.001 (15m)
, to celebrate arbor day under s. 118.025
shall be produced in state forest nurseries. The department may employ labor at prevailing local wages for nursery operation or reforestation.
In addition to use of planting stock on state lands, the department may distribute stock for growing forest products, for establishing windbreaks or shelterbelts, for control of soil erosion, and for game food or cover, but not for ornamental or landscape planting except by school pupils celebrating arbor day. Prices of planting stock shall be approved annually by the department and shall be based on the total cost of administering the forest nursery program under this section, including the cost of processing applications and producing, packaging and distributing nursery stock. To encourage forest planting, free stock may be allotted to any nonprofit organization or any school for the celebration of arbor day under s. 118.025
A person who purchases a seedling under sub. (2)
shall pay, in addition to the price of the seedling charged under sub. (2)
, a surcharge for each seedling purchased. Beginning on September 1, 2001, and ending on June 30, 2002, the surcharge shall be 2 cents for each seedling. Beginning on July 1, 2002, the surcharge shall be 3 cents for each seedling. All surcharges collected under this subsection shall be deposited in the conservation fund.
Exchange, sale or purchase.
For the purpose of adjusting forest planting programs, the department may exchange stock with, sell stock to or purchase stock from a county, another state or the U.S. forest service.
Resale of nursery stock.
Any person who sells forestry stock secured from the department shall forfeit not more than $100.
Any person who uses planting stock which he or she knows was produced in state forest nurseries for any purpose other than those specified in sub. (2)
or for ornamental or landscape planting except as specified in sub. (2)
shall forfeit not more than $500.
See also s. NR 1.20
, Wis. adm. code.
The department may cooperate with the University of Wisconsin System, with departments and agencies of this or other states, with federal agencies and with counties, towns, corporations and individuals, to promote the best interest of the people and the state in forest surveys, research in forestry and related subjects, forest protection and in assistance to landowners to secure adoption of better forestry practice.
History: 1985 a. 13
All income from state forest lands shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the conservation fund.
History: 1977 c. 418
The department shall allocate for forest grants under s. 26.38
, for the forestry education grant program under s. 26.40
, for school forest transportation funding under s. 26.39 (5)
, for transfer to the appropriation under s. 20.292 (1) (km)
for master logger apprenticeship grants under s. 38.04 (29)
, or for forestry internships under s. 26.39
History: 2005 a. 25
; 2007 a. 20
The county board of any county may by resolution establish a county public forest and acquire land by tax deed or otherwise for that purpose.
Administration of county forests. 28.11(1)(1)
The purpose of this section is to provide the basis for a permanent program of county forests and to enable and encourage the planned development and management of the county forests for optimum production of forest products together with recreational opportunities, wildlife, watershed protection and stabilization of stream flow, giving full recognition to the concept of multiple-use to assure maximum public benefits; to protect the public rights, interests and investments in such lands; and to compensate the counties for the public uses, benefits and privileges these lands provide; all in a manner which will provide a reasonable revenue to the towns in which such lands lie.
“County forests" include all county lands entered under and participating under ch. 77
on October 2, 1963, and all county lands designated as county forests by the county board or the forestry committee and entered under the county forest law and designated as “county forest lands" or “county special-use lands" as hereinafter provided.
Powers of county board.
The county board of any such county may:
Enact an ordinance designating a committee to have charge of the county forests and specifying the powers, duties, procedures and functions of such committee. The members of such committee shall be appointed pursuant to s. 59.13
and may include well-qualified residents of the county who are not members of the county board.
Establish regulations for the use of the county forests by the public and to provide penalties for their enforcement.
Appropriate funds for the purchase, development, protection and maintenance of such forests and to exchange other county-owned lands for the purpose of consolidating and blocking county forest holdings.
Enter into cooperative agreements with the department for protection of county forests from fire.
Establish aesthetic management zones along roads and waters and enter into long-term cooperative leases and agreements with the department and other state agencies or federal agencies for the use of the county forests for natural resources research.
Establish transplant nurseries for growing seedlings, from the state forest nurseries, to larger size for planting in county forests, but no ornamental or landscape stock shall be produced in such nurseries.
Establish forest plantations and engage in silviculture, forest management and timber sales.
Engage in other projects designed to achieve optimum development of the forest.
Enter into leases or agreements, for terms not exceeding 10 years, to explore and prospect for ore, minerals, gas or oil upon any county forest lands. These leases or agreements shall contain proper covenants to safeguard the public interests in the lands involved and to guard against trespass and waste. The county board shall require proper security to ensure that the person engaged in exploration or prospecting fully informs the county of every discovery of ore, minerals, gas or oil and restores the land surface to an acceptable condition and value if no discovery of valuable deposit is made or if county forest lands are not withdrawn from entry under this section. Before a lease or agreement under this paragraph is effective, approval of the lease or agreement by the department is required. If the department finds that the proposed lease or agreement fully complies with the law and contains the proper safeguards, it shall approve the lease or agreement.
Enter into leases for the extraction of valuable deposits of ore, minerals, gas or oil upon any county forest land. If the extraction can be accomplished without permanently affecting the surface of the land, extraction leases may be entered into and extraction may occur while the land remains county forest lands. If the extraction cannot be accomplished without permanently affecting the surface of the land, extraction may not commence until the land is withdrawn as county forest land. Before an extraction lease under this paragraph is effective, approval of the lease by the department is required.
Establish energy conservation projects which permit individual members of the public to remove up to 10 standard cords of wood without charge from county forest lands for individual home heating purposes. The county board shall limit removal of wood for energy conservation projects to wood that is unsuitable for commercial sale. The county board may require a permit to remove wood for energy conservation projects and may charge a fee for the permit to administer projects established under this paragraph. A county board shall restrict participation in projects established under this paragraph to residents, as defined under s. 29.001 (69)
, but may not restrict participation to residents of the county. No timber sale contract is required for wood removed under this paragraph.
Entry of county forest lands. 28.11(4)(a)
A county may file with the department an application for entry of county-owned land under this section. Such application shall include the description of the land and a statement of the purposes for which the lands are best suited. Upon the filing of such application the department shall investigate the same and it may conduct a public hearing thereon if it deems it advisable to do so at such time and place as it sees fit.
If after such investigation the department finds that the lands constitute a well blocked county forest unit or that they block in with other established county forest lands and are otherwise suitable for the purposes of this section it shall make an order of entry designating such lands as county forest lands. All county lands entered under and participating under ch. 77
on October 2, 1963 shall be designated “county forest lands" without further order of entry.
If the department finds that the lands are not suited primarily for timber production and do not otherwise qualify for entry under par. (b)
but that they are suitable for scenic, outdoor recreation, public hunting and fishing, water conservation and other multiple-use purposes it shall make an order of entry designating such lands as “county special-use lands".
A copy of the order of entry shall be filed with the county clerk and the county forestry committee, and the order shall also be recorded with the register of deeds.
From and after the filing of such order of entry, the lands therein described shall be “county forest lands" or “county special-use lands", as the case may be, and shall so remain until withdrawn as hereinafter provided.
The department may construct and use forest fire lookout towers, telephone lines and fire lanes or other forest protection structures on any lands entered under this section and the county clerk of such county shall execute any easement on or over such lands which the department may require for forest protection. The general public shall enjoy the privilege of entering such lands for the purpose of hunting, fishing, trapping and other recreation pursuits subject to such regulation and restrictions as may be established by lawful authority.
On or before December 31, 2005, a comprehensive county forest land use plan shall be prepared for a 15-year period by the county forestry committee with the assistance of technical personnel from the department and other interested agencies, and shall be approved by the county board and the department. The plan shall include land use designations, land acquisition, forest protection, annual allowable timber harvests, recreational developments, fish and wildlife management activities, roads, silvicultural operations and operating policies and procedures; it shall include a complete inventory of the county forest and shall be documented with maps, records and priorities showing in detail the various projects to be undertaken during the plan period. The plan may include an application for aids under s. 23.09 (17m)
. The application will be considered an annual application for these aids during the 15-year period of the plan. The initial plan may be revised as changing conditions require. Upon the expiration of the initial 15-year plan period, and upon expiration of each subsequent 15-year plan period, the plan shall be revised and shall be in effect for another 15-year period. If a plan under this paragraph is not revised upon expiration of the 15-year plan period, or if a plan under s. 28.11 (5) (a)
, 2003 stats., is not revised on or before December 31, 2005, that plan shall remain in effect until such time as that plan is revised and the revised plan takes effect.
An annual work plan and budget based upon the comprehensive plan shall be prepared by the county forestry committee with the assistance of a forester of the department. The plan shall include a schedule of compartments to be harvested and a listing by location of management projects for the forthcoming year. In addition the plan shall include other multiple-use projects where appropriate. A budget, listing estimated expenditures for work projects, administration and protection of the forest, shall accompany the annual plan both to be submitted to the county board for approval at the November meeting.
County forest administration grants. 28.11(5m)(a)
The department may make grants, from the appropriation under s. 20.370 (5) (bw)
, to counties having lands entered under sub. (4)
to fund all of the following for one professional forester in the position of county forest administrator or assistant county forest administrator: