Partners in Forestry Landowner Cooperative


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Partners in Forestry Landowner Cooperative


6063 Baker Lake Road
Conover, WI 54519
715 - 479 - 8528


"For global good, use local wood"


Partners in Forestry (PIF) is grateful to be recognized by our peers and colleagues for our conservation efforts in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula. This leadership award, from Gathering Waters: Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts, is named after the late (former) DATCP Secretary Rod Nilsestuen, and is greatly appreciated and fitting as we benefitted from an ongoing working relationship with the Secretary that included a working lands meeting with him in Vilas County in 2008. Read more about PIF conservation efforts in land preservation and the Gathering Waters working land preservation award.


If you like the progress Partners in Forestry is making on important northwoods issues, such as the new Legacy Forest near Land O' Lakes, consider being a part of our important work by becoming a member.

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Partners in Forestry Landowners Coop (PIF), serving north central Wisconsin and western U.P., is dedicated to providing information, educational opportunities, and sustainable forest management for its members (Our Mission and Goals)  


News from PIF: 

NEW PARTNERS IN FORESTRY ANNUAL MEETING Nov 3rd to Highlight the Benefits of Land Conservation
    This year’s Partners in Forestry (PIF) Annual Gathering will take place on Saturday, November 3, with the theme “Appreciate Our Common Lands; A Hands-on Celebration of the Benefits of Forest Land Conservation”. This topic was chosen to complement ongoing partnerships between PIF and the Northwoods Alliance and the UW Center for Cooperatives. The gathering will be held in Boulder Junction, WI.
    The program’s morning session will feature a forestry tour on the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest (NHAL), with emphasis on wildlife habitat and forest health. Featured leaders include DNR Wildlife Biologist (retired) Ron Eckstein, WDNR Forest Health Specialist Linda Williams, DNR NHAL ranger-forester Paul Stearns, and PIF VP John Schwarzmann, who is Forest Supervisor for the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. We will car-pool to the forestry tour from the Big Bear Hideaway, located near downtown Boulder Junction, at 9:15 AM; please gather by 9 AM. In case of inclement weather, the same leaders will host the morning session indoors to cover these important topics.
    Lunch and the afternoon session will be held at the Big Bear Hideaway. Featured speakers are an esteemed panel of notable and deeply rooted conservation land managers. They include Paul DeLong, who was State Forester in Wisconsin from 2003 through 2016 and now represents the American Forest Foundation as Senior Vice President of Conservation. Paul is passionate about engaging the family forest owner with sustainable, conservation-based management. During Paul’s career with WDNR he oversaw some of the most notable Forest Legacy projects accomplished in Wisconsin, as well as the expansion of the NHAL boundary in 2005.
    The next notable speaker is Mike Dombeck, who was the Chief of the USFS from 1997-2001, after serving as acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management from 1994-1997. Dr. Dombeck has a background in aquatic ecology, and early in his career he was instrumental in bringing water quality issues to the forefront of forest management while serving in the Upper Peninsula. Today, we recognize these guidelines as Best Management Practices. Mike later served as Professor of Global Conservation at UW Stevens Point and directs the Smith Fellowship, which guides post-doctorate students with innovative ideas in natural resources. Interestingly, it was during Mike’s time at the USFS when the Forest Legacy program made roots.
    The third panel member is PIF board member Dick Steffes. Dick served the people of Wisconsin as real estate specialist with DNR, retiring in 2013. Since then Dick has made several trips to Washington DC to advocate for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and he guides conservation projects through his company American Acquisitions LLC. During his career with DNR Dick negotiated most of the Forest Legacy projects benefiting Wisconsin, as well as steering the Stewardship Fund to fulfillment in fee-simple purchases. Some of these include projects in the expanded NHAL.
    “We are very fortunate to have this deep quality of conservation specialists for our program, for the benefit of our members and the public at large, and we appreciate our ongoing support of these quality programs from the UW Center for Cooperatives,” said PIF director Joe Hovel.
PIF hosts these programs to bring sustainable, conservation-based forestry to the forefront. Any one with an interest in natural resources is welcome, and all questions concerning conservation, sustainable forestry and natural resource management are encouraged. PIF hopes to attract younger folks to this mission and especially encourages their participation.
    Please contact us for more information and to register in advance for this informative day. Phone: (715) 479-8528; email:    Biographies of Paul DeLong, Mike Dombeck and Dick Steffes

NEW September 201Newsletter  Partners in Forestry Annual Meeting; Wisconsin Coverts Project; PIF Featured at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Lumberjack RC&D Council, Inc.; Guido Rahr, Sr Tenderfoot Forest Reserve Trip; Mosquito Nightmares; Examining Threats to Monarch Butterfly Migration; Readers’ Comments; New Tick Species Spreading; Relationship of tick density to deer; Relationship between deer density, tick abundance, and human cases of Lyme disease in a residential community; Some Trees; The First Shall Not Be Last; Think Globally; Bits and Pieces; Our Living Ancestors: The History and Ecology of Old-Growth Forests in Wisconsin (and Where to Find Them Book Ad)

NEW Paul Hetzler, Horticulture and Natural Resources Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County, NY, ISA Certified Arborist since 1996 and a frequent contributor to PIF Newsletters, has authored a new book "Shady Characters: Plant Vampires, Caterpillar Soup, Leprechaun Trees and Other Hilarities of the Natural World (The Lexingford Series on the Natural World)". To order the book, click here.  For nature-based essays, visit where humor and science collide--amicably for the most part.


LWCF must be reauthorized, fully funded
The Land and Water Conservation Fund hasn’t cost taxpayers a penny the past 54 years even as it funded everything from wildlife refuges to historic battlefields to Little League diamonds. It has also united groups as diverse as Ducks Unlimited and the Wilderness Society, while inspiring support from Democrats and Republicans alike since President John F. Kennedy first proposed it. Heck, the LWCF even sparked a fiery, supportive speech in late July from Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, a fiscal hawk and darling of the Koch brothers. Even so, nearly every environmental group, conservation organization and outdoor trade association has been working overtime this summer urging members to write letters, blast emails and generally badger lawmakers toward one goal: permanently reauthorizing and fully funding the LWCF before it expires Sept. 30. Click here to read more

1,300 acres near Pilgrim River protected

DNR officials, land owners and local forestry enthusiasts came together on Tuesday, July 24th to celebrate 25 years of work towards the Pilgrim River Forest conservation project.
"This is a great example of a public-private partnership where we have the land owner, the federal government, state government and local governmental coalescing around conservation easements. This actually protects about 1,300 acres, about 3.5 miles of the Pilgrim River," said Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh.

The DNR purchased conservation easements with a $550,000 U.S. Forest Service Legacy Program grant.
Joe and Mary Hovel sold their easement as part of their ongoing passion to protect forests. They wanted to ensure the public will be able to hunt, fish, hike, bike and more in the forest.  Click here to read more about the dedication.


Community forest sought for Wildcat Falls parcel  

Front Page – Ironwood Daily Globe 4/23/18  WATERSMEET — Northwoods Alliance Inc. is seeking to protect Wildcat Falls near Watersmeet. Wildcat Falls is a remote waterfalls about nine miles from Watersmeet. It is one of several features on a 160-acre property Northwoods Alliance is seeking to protect into perpetuity, said Casey Clark, a conservation coordinator with Northwoods Alliance. The property had been part of the Ottawa National Forest until 2016, but was traded away in a controversial land swap. The controversy lagged for several years with legal litigation following U.S. Forest Service administrative appeals. Click here to read full article


Wildcat Falls: A Community Forest Concept  It is likely that most everyone reading this is aware of a very controversial land swap conducted by the Ottawa National Forest in the Upper Peninsula. While Wildcat Falls and its special locale may have been lost from the Ottawa in what was termed the Delich Land Exchange, the story is not over yet.

A conservation minded partnership in the Northwood Alliance (NWA) network went through a lengthy negotiation process with Mr. Delich in order to reach agreement to purchase the former public (Ottawa) parcels, in turn preventing improper logging and fragmentation of the landscape and its features. Upon completion of the purchase, the conservation buyer tendered to NWA a Letter of Intent which requested and engaged NWA and its conservation partners in the Upper Peninsula to assist with a permanent and publicly beneficial conservation solution to 160 acres including Wildcat Falls and the overview of County Line Lake. Click here to read full concept proposal


Managing Woodlands with a Conservation Land Ethic:  Renowned Cabin Builder Protects 3,000 Forested Acres.  Joe and Mary Hovel are Vilas County, Wisconsin, landowners who realize the importance of actively managing and conserving their forested acres. The Hovels enrolled in a variety of NRCS programs to plant trees, write a Forest Management Plan, perform crop tree release and hinge cutting, increase wildlife habitat and more, with the help of NRCS. Click here to read full article


Evidence of damage from exotic invasive earthworm activity was highly correlated to sugar maple dieback in the Upper Great Lakes region.  Sugar maple in the western Upper Great Lakes region has recently been reported with increased crown dieback symptoms, prompting investigation of the dieback etiology across the region. Evaluation of sugar maple dieback from 2009 to 2012 across a 120 plot network in Upper Michigan, northern Wisconsin, and eastern Minnesota has indicated that forest floor disturbance impacts from exotic invasive earthworms was significantly related to maple dieback. Click here to read the full article.

Death and Taxes: the high cost of palatability for a declining evergreen schrub. In forest ecosystems woody shrubs face many challenges in the struggle for survival and growth. In addition to coping with the high-shade environment of the forest floor, in many systems shrubs have to contend with the presence of mammalian herbivores. Since these understory inhabitants spend their entire existence within the reach of browsers, they must carefully balance the allocation of limited resources among maintenance, growth, and defense. When nutrients and light are readily available, fast-growing species rapidly regrow tissues to compensate for herbivore consumption, but if resources are limited, investment in defense may be the preferred option. Click here to continue to read article.

Extensive Canada Yew on Pilgrim River property


Articles on the ecology, distribution, conservation and management of large old trees:  2017 Conserving large old trees as small natural features - BiolCons;  2016 The unique challenges of conserving large old trees - TrendsEcolEvol;  2016 The ecology, distribution, conservation and management of large old trees - BiolRev DOI;  2014 New Policies for Old Trees: Averting a Global Crisis in a Keystone Ecological Structure - ConsLett

In many areas of the United States, the population density of white-tailed deer has dramatically increased over the past century to levels that are significantly greater than presettlement estimates.  Prolonged and selective overbrowsing by deer has strong impacts on population-and community-level processes. Here are several "Deer browse impact research papers":   "The legacy of deer overabundance: long-term delays in herbaceous understory recovery";    "Historic disturbance regimes promote tree diversity only under low browsing regimes in eastern deciduous forest";    "Chronic over browsing and biodiversity collapse in a forest understory in Pennsylvania:  Results from a 60 year-old deer exclusion plot";    "Deer herbivory reduces web-building spider abundance by simplifying forest vegetation structure";    "On the formation of dense understory layers in forests worldwide: consequences and implications for forest dynamics, biodiversity, and succession"


The Wildlife Society Policy Brief Series on The Land and Water Conservation Fund.   The Land and Water Conservation Act was passed and signed into law September 3, 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson creating the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The LWCF is now the primary source of money used by federal, state, and local governments to acquire lands for conservation and public access to natural areas. Click here to read more on the Land and Water Conservation Act.


Protecting your wooded land for the future is essential to clean water, clean air, wildlife habitat, sustainable wood supply...all things that are necessary to society and health, and that are gone forever if the land is developed.