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Progress is being made!

Partnering to Sustain Forests and Communities

The 2004 Statewide Forest Plan is setting a new standard for tackling forestry issues affecting Wisconsin's forests. The vision of the Statewide Forest Plan is to work in partnership to protect and sustainably manage Wisconsin's public and private forests lands to ensure the ecological, economic, and social benefits of forests for the citizens of Wisconsin now and into the future.

With this vision as its foundation, the Statewide Forest Planning Process is built as a continuum with a diverse set of partners engaging in the development, implementation, as well as the evaluation and updating of future assessments and plans. Partners and collaborative efforts are critical to the success of statewide ownership and implementation of the plan.

Statewide Forest Planning Process

In partnership with the Council on Forestry and the Division of Forestry, Champions and their Leadership Teams are committed to realizing the vision of the plan and are making progress towards this goal. The following bullets document some of the progress made so far in implementing the plan:

  • The 2004 Governor's Conference on Forestry was successful in engaging a diverse set of forestry partners, laying the groundwork for initiating action and building ownership to address many of the issues identified in the Statewide Forest Plan.
    See outcomes from the Conference
  • The Council on Forestry recognizes the importance of the plan's vision, demonstrated by their sponsorship of the Conference on Forestry as well as their continued commitment to supporting the implementation process.
  • In December, Champions and Leadership Teams reported on key outcomes of the conference to the Wisconsin Council on Forestry. The Council appointed a Steering Team to support and help guide the work of leadership teams around the state in the implementation of the Statewide Forest Plan.
    • Paul DeLong will serve as the Chair of the Steering Team, as his staff oversees the process of maintaining the Statewide Forest Plan.
    • Other members of the team include Mike Strigel (Executive Director, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters), Ken Genskow (Director, Wisconsin Basin Education Initiative) and Fred Souba (Chair, Wisconsin Council on Forestry).
  • We have made great progress in bringing partners together that have not traditionally worked together; in the creation of the plan, at the Governor's Conference on Forestry, as well as through the commitment of the Champions and their Leadership Teams to continue to coordinate and implement collaborative action plans on issues with partners from around the State.
  • Champions and their Leadership Teams are at the core of building a network of partnerships that can implement the Statewide Forest Plan through collaborative and concrete action plans. DNR Division of Forestry will continue to coordinate the planning process, including updating the assessment.
  • The Council on Forestry recognizes the importance of aligning their work with the issues outlined in the Statewide Forest Plan. Most recently they designated the Champions & their Leadership Teams as subcommittees of the Council on Forestry.
  • The Steering Team has met several times over the last 4 months, including meeting with the Champions to develop a realistic plan for taking action.
    See summaries of their meetings.

The Statewide Forest Planning Process serves as the framework for what could be a new way to address forestry issues in Wisconsin. The dialogue that began at the Governor's Conference on Forestry will help us to begin to articulate our common ground and the work to be done, while embracing the possibility that we'll get more done together if our recognized disagreements don't distract us from our common goals. The product will be the ongoing development of a road map for collective commitment to the goals outlined in the plan, with action as the bottom line.

For a review of planning process, the plan and the vision for its implementation, visit this overview document.

Invasives Team Leading a Hot Issue

The Invasives Leadership Team met on March 15th to lay out the next steps on initiatives from the 2004 Governor's Conference on Forestry. The meeting had four objectives: to update and finalize the former Invasives Task Force report to the Governor's Council, to revisit and evaluate the top priorities for action, to identify needs and sources of support, and to review the structure, composition and role of the leadership team.

The Governors Conference on Forestry Invasives Session was attended by 67 stakeholders. Prior to the conference a leadership team met for several months to identify and help frame the issues best suited for development at the conference. The team included representatives of forest industry, foresters, WDNR, the USFS, tribal interests and private landowners. The Conference Invasives session focused on four sub-issues - Best Mangement Practices, Research and Monitoring, Information and Education, and Co-operative Management. During the conference participants discussed and developed strategies around these four issues.

The leadership team has been meeting regularly to develop action plans around the key strategies coming out of the conference. Most notably as a result of that effort work has begun to frame the process for development of Forestry Best Management Practices for Invasives Species. The Leadership Team expects that process to involve input from the full spectrum of forestry interests in Wisconsin and to reflect the best available science on invasives species monitoring, management and control. With ongoing committment from its partners, and endorsement of the Council on Forestry, the Invasives Leadership Team will continue to advance strategies needed to meet the challenges of invasive species in Wisconsin Forests.

New Forest Economy Champion takes on challenge of tackling issues facing Wisconsin's forest economy.

Tim Laatsch, Senior VP of Communications for Stora Enso North America joins the Champion Team replacing Brent English from the Center for Technology Transfer. He is currently building his leadership team and determining the best way to move action forward on issues related to Wisconsin's Forest Economy. If you are interested in becoming involved please contact Tim at the contact information below.

Tim Laatsch
Senior VP of Communications
Stora Enso North America
Phone: 715-422-4023
Email: [email protected]

August 11, 2005: Champion and Steering Committee Meeting
April 4, 2005: Champion and Steering Committee Meeting
February 4, 2005: Steering Team Meeting
January 10, 2005: Steering Team Convenes for First Meeting
Dec 16, 2004: Wisconsin Council on Forestry

This meeting gave the Champions and Leadership Teams the opportunity to present the outcomes of the Conference to the Council, as well as make recommendations for next steps for taking action. Fred Souba announced the creation of a Steering Committee to guide the Implementation of the Statewide Forest Plan. The committee will be chaired by Paul DeLong, Chief State Forester. The Division of Forestry is responsible for guiding the process for developing the Plan and therefore will continue to play a leadership role in supporting its implementation. They are excited to be a partner with the many other stakeholders that will be needed to successfully take action on the plan?s ambitious goals. The Committee will be comprised of the following people as a starting point with the understanding that this team may grow in time.

Mike Strigel, Executive Director, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters
Ken Genskow, Director, Wisconsin Basin Education Initiative
Fred Souba, Chair, WI Council on Forestry
Paul DeLong, WI Chief State Forester

There was good discussion and enthusiasm from the Council on the outcomes presented. The Council continues to be a partner and is committed to support the ongoing work on the issues addressed at the Conference.

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