WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today applauded an announcement from the United States Forest Service (USFS) that the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is expected to meet and exceed its 2016 timber sale goal of selling at least 100 million board feet (MMBF) of timber this fiscal year. The last time the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest sold more than 100 MMBF of timber was in 2001.
This is an important step forward for Wisconsin’s timber economy. This announcement comes as a result of management tools passed as part of the 2014 Farm Bill, which Senator Baldwin supported. The Farm Bill authorized the use of Good Neighbor Authority, which allows the Forest Service to enter into agreements with states to have them perform forest, rangeland and watershed restoration services on National Forest System lands. The bill also permanently authorized Stewardship Contracting, which allows the Forest Service to partner with stakeholder groups to accomplish forest management and wildlife habitat restoration projects.
“The announcement from the Forest Service confirms what I have seen on the ground – policies passed in the Farm Bill are improving forest management and helping the Forest Service deliver on its management goals,” said Senator Baldwin. “Our Wisconsin timber economy is facing a number of challenges and thanks to the hard work of the Forest Service, Wisconsin DNR, and many stakeholders, we are making more progress on them. That is why I was proud to champion the use of Good Neighbor Authority and Stewardship Contracting here in Wisconsin.”
“Through partnerships and the use of tools such as Good Neighbor Authority and Stewardship authorized by Congress, Senator Baldwin has been fully engaged and communicating with all forest users. Taking every opportunity to safeguard forest health while ensuring the economic well-being of Wisconsin’s rural communities has been a priority for Senator Baldwin,” said Bill Hennigan, President of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association. “It’s good for ecology, it’s good for our social well-being and its good for the economy.”
“It is great to see CNNF move closer to achieving forest plan goals,” said Norman K. Bickford, President of Wisconsin County Forests Association. “Wisconsin’s forestry community and congressional delegation have been working hard to develop appropriate mechanisms for use in assisting CNNF staff with meeting NEPA approved forest plan goals. Providing wood fiber through sustainable forest management and improving forest ecosystem health are important here in Wisconsin. We commend CNNF staff for the job they are doing. We would like to thank Senator Baldwin for all of her effort and engagement on this important issue.”
Baldwin, a long-time supporter of Wisconsin’s timber economy, toured an active logging site in Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest last week to highlight the importance of Good Neighbor Authority for Wisconsin’s timber economy.
As a strong supporter of Wisconsin’s timber economy, Senator Baldwin championed the use of Good Neighbor Authority in Wisconsin, which was established by an agreement signed by the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and the Wisconsin DNR in 2015. After hearing frustration from the forest products industry, Baldwin invited the head of the U.S. Forest Service, Chief Tom Tidwell, to visit Wisconsin in the fall of 2014. During that visit, forest products industry stakeholders shared their hope that the new Farm Bill tools could be put to use in Wisconsin. One year later, the Forest Service and the State of Wisconsin entered into a Good Neighbor Authority agreement. Since the Chief’s visit, the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has also entered into additional Stewardship Contracts with stakeholder groups.