Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and Nature Conservancy Form New Partnership
Minocqua, Wis. | September 19, 2016
Last week, The Nature Conservancy and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF) signed a Stewardship Agreement that will improve the health and long-term sustainability of the forest while expanding the National Forest’s ability to provide timber to Wisconsin’s forest products industry.
Granted permanently as part of the 2014 Farm Bill, Stewardship Authority allows national forests to enter into partnerships with non-profit organizations, state and local governments, educational institutions and tribal entities to sell timber and use the proceeds of those sales to carry out projects that improve forest stand health, water quality, soil productivity and wildlife and fish habitat.
“Our national forests provide multiple benefits from wood and other forest products to clean air and water, wildlife habitat and great places to walk, hunt, ski and enjoy the outdoors,” said Matt Dallman, the Conservancy’s Director of Conservation Programs. “Investing in activities that improve the health and sustainability of our forests and forest economy is a win for all of us.”
“Stewardship agreements are a great tool to help us meet the goals and objectives in our Forest Plan,” said Linda Riddle, Acting Forest Supervisor on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. “We are very appreciative of The Nature Conservancy for helping us accomplish conservation initiatives and providing economic benefits to local communities.”
Under the Stewardship Agreement, The Nature Conservancy will offer for sale approximately 1.9 million board feet of primarily red pine and mixed conifer timber on 380 acres of National Forest land in Forest County and oversee the harvest in partnership with the National Forest. The public offering of this timber should begin in November 2016. Also as part of this agreement, the Conservancy will set up the sale of an additional 180 acres of northern hardwoods in Forest County; this work will include a stand inventory, harvest prescription writing and timber marking.
Starting in 2017, the Conservancy will begin several restoration projects across the CNNF, including trout stream improvement on Hanson Creek in Forest County and stabilizing stream banks and improving fishing access on the Oconto River for anglers with disabilities. Additional projects may include restoration of pine-oak barrens habitat (one of the rarest forest types found in Wisconsin, supporting endangered species like the Kirtland’s warbler) and the control of invasive species such as garlic mustard, buckthorn and honeysuckle.
“This Stewardship Agreement with the Chequamegon-Nicolet allows us to work toward two goals at the same time—protecting the many benefits that healthy forests provide while also supporting forestry jobs and the livelihoods of people in our rural communities,” said Mary Jean Huston, who directs the Conservancy’s work in Wisconsin.
The Conservancy’s work with the CNNF is part of its Restoring America’s Forest initiative, an effort to accelerate forest restoration across the United States. As part of the initiative, the Conservancy and the Forest Service are currently collaborating on 13 large-scale forest restoration partnerships and on many others that touch down in 23 states.
For more information about this Stewardship Agreement, contact Matt Dallman at The Nature Conservancy’s Minocqua office, 715-892-0858 (cell), or Hilary Markin at the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, 715-362-1354.
About the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest covers more than 1.5 million acres of Wisconsin's Northwoods in parts of 11 counties. The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Its mission is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/R9.
About The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect the land and water on which all life depends. To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have helped protect 120 million acres worldwide. In Wisconsin, the Conservancy has protected more than 232,200 acres of land and water since 1960. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org/wisconsin.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 65 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.