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Forest Management

Quick Reference         

Management Practices  |   Climate Change Impact on Forest Management    Manage Forest Species  Forest Soils   

Management Practices          

What is Sustainable Forestry? by Ron Eckstein: Sustainable Forest Management is the practice of managing dynamic forest ecosystems to provide ecological, economic, social, and cultural benefits for present and future generations. 2) The practice of meeting the forest resource needs and values of the present without compromising the similar capability of future generations. 3) The stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity,

Principles of Sustainable Forestry: New forestry within an ecological context: Forests managed for wholeness and complexity, rather than efficiency and simplicity; Emphasis on structure and function, rather than a particular product; Silviculture is a working hypotheses with uncertain outcomes; Adaptive management approaches are monitored and continually refined

Wisconsin Managed Forest Law Details:  MFL is a landowner incentive program that encourages sustainable forestry on private woodlands in Wisconsin. Together with landowner objectives, the law incorporates timber harvesting, wildlife management, water quality and recreation to maintain a healthy and productive forest. Sustainable forest management benefits Wisconsin’s economy, hunting, fishing, wildlife, recreation, soils, waterways, and air quality, and renews our beautiful forests for everyone to enjoy.
WDNR  Division of Forestry: Links to the Wisconsin DNR forest news and information concerning the sustainable management and protection of this precious resource so that it continues to provide a host of ecological, economic and social benefits for years to come. These resources are available to help landowners, loggers and natural resource managers understand and implement forestry best management practices (BMPs).

Best Management Practices Landowner Guides:  These resources are available to help landowners, loggers and natural resource managers understand and implement forestry best management practices (BMPs).
Wisconsin Forest Management Guidelines - WDNR:  The Wisconsin Forest Management Guidelines (FMG) celebrates the wealth of our forest resources and emphasizes our responsibility to care for them. It outlines practical, site-specific considerations that land managers need to take into account when they plan and carry out forestry operations.
University of Wisconsin Forestry Facts:  University of Wisconsin has issued over 100 fact sheets documenting forestry practices.  Sample subjects are: Best practices; Hiring a consulting Forester; How to manage red pine; Understanding the sample timber sale contract; Filling out a cutting Notice (MFL).
University of Wisconsin Forestry  Extension Programs
Information is provided on a variety of topics from hands-on information to successfully manage for recreation, wildlife, and timber harvest to the history of Wisconsin’s forests. A very comprehensive web site offering detailed information on forest management and a series of educational opportunities for the woodland owner.
Forest* A *Syst: Tools to Manage your Private Forest Land: 
Trees take a long time to grow, so today's decisions have long-term impacts on forests and water quality. Forest*A*Syst helps you plan what you want your forest and wooded acreage to be and set out the steps you need to take to get there.
Forest ImagesImage categories: Forest Pests: Trees, Plants, and Stand Types; Silvicultural Practices; Urban Forestry; Wildlife; People, Places and Scenes.
Wisconsin private forestland owner offspring study
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources retained the Pinchot Institute for Conservation to conduct a survey of offspring of non-industrial forestland owners in Wisconsin.  Researcher Catherine Mater and her team spoke with 260 children of forest owners in 2007 (all of these "children" were adults and some were well into retirement) and asked about their attitudes regarding a wide range of topics relating to their family's woodlands.
Caring for Wisconsin Woodlands:  Current woodland topics, Learn About Your Land classes, webinars, publications and information that will help you meet your goals.
Internet Foresty Links:  THE INTERNET: Your Woodland Management Research Library.
Sign up for Wisconsin Forestry Newsletters:  Sign up for Wisconsin Division of Forestry Newsletters
through e-mail by clicking here.
Wisconsin Wood Marketing Bulletin:  Published every three months, it serves the timber producing and wood using industries of Wisconsin by listing items: For sale - forest products, equipment and services, wanted - forest products, equipment and services; employment opportunities.
Urban Forest Newsletter:  An electronic bulletin of breaking news and valuable information for the Urban Forest

Forest Health News Updates:  Wisconsin's forests are generally in good health, yet numerous native and exotic insects and diseases and extreme weather events threaten their health annually.  The Forest Health Protection staff provides insect and disease management assistance on 16 million acres of state, private, industrial and county forest lands.

DNR Northern Region News Releases Official DNR news releases impacting each DNR region.

Forest Fire Danger and Burning Permits It is important to have your written and signed annual burning permit available while burning and follow all restrictions listed on both sides of the permit.

Livin' by the Lake Melanie B. Fullman, District Ranger, US Forest Service, Ottawa NF, discusses important shoreline standards and guidelines for a natural shoreline that minimizes pollution, provides greater protection from erosion, and supports a greater number and diversity of wildlife.

DNR Division of Forestry Strategic Direction May 2011 This is the culmination of three years worth of work we have undertaken with our partners to assess and plan how to address major issues, threats and opportunities involving the forests of Wisconsin.  This document outlines what the Division of Forestry’s niche and role will be to address major issues and priority topics over the next 5 years and beyond.

DNR Division of Forestry Operations Plan and Strategic Direction  The Operations Plan allocates staff and fiscal resources to produce the intent of the Division's Strategic Direction.   

Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association WWOA has many publications, references and website links available to woodland owners.  

Woodland StewardshipThis site is designed to help woodland owners in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin manage their woodlands.

Argonne Experimental Forest: The Argonne was one of the locations where experiments were done to evaluate the impacts of forest management activities on growth and yield and this data was used to create growth and yield models for most northern hardwood timber types in Wisconsin and it was these models and these experiments that gave us the stocking charts we use to guide management. It is located just south of Three Lakes on highway 32 and has a very nice interpretive trail that takes about two hours to walk.

Forest Stewardship Council: The Forest Stewardship Council sets standards for responsible forest management. A voluntary program, FSC uses the power of the marketplace to protect forests for future generations. Some people feel the best way to prevent deforestation is to stop using forest products. In reality, people use forest products every day. For example, the average American uses nearly six trees worth of paper each year. So FSC harnesses market demand to ensure forests are responsibly managed. Because FSC is the gold standard in forest certification, it is the only system supported by groups such as WWF, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Natural Resources Defense Council and National Wildlife Federation.

More trees best way to fix climate, study says: The most effective way to fight global warming is to plant lots of trees, a study says. A trillion of them, maybe more.

A Practical Approach for Translating Climate Change Adaptation Principles into Forest Management Actions.  There is an ever-growing body of literature on forest management strategies for climate change adaptation; however, few frameworks have been presented for integrating these strategies with the real-world challenges of forest management. We have developed a structured approach for translating broad adaptation concepts into specific management actions and silvicultural practices for forest adaptation, as well as an associated set of resources to assist managers in using this approach. A variety of public, private, nongovernmental, and tribal natural resource managers are using this approach to develop projects that implement a diversity of adaptation actions while also meeting manager-identified goals. We describe how managers can integrate climate change information into management planning and activities and provide examples of real-world forest management projects that identify actions to help forests adapt to changing conditions.

Forest Products Labratory: For almost 100 years, our mission has been to use our Nation's wood resources wisely and efficiently, while at the same time keeping our forests healthy. Our research began with preserving railroad ties, and now we are venturing into nanotechnology and finding ways that our research can contribute to mitigating the impacts of climate change. The FPL research staff has the experience and expertise needed to make us world renowned among forest products research organizations and an unbiased source of information. FPL researchers have longevity, with an average of 20 years of experience in their related fields.

A Tool to Assess Risk in a Changing Climate: This publication can serve as a tool to help you assess the resilience of your woods in a quick and easy manner. It contains background information on the important characteristics of resilient and healthy forests and provides examples of potential adaptation strategies. The included scorecards can be used in the field to evaluate the resilience of your woods, which you can use on your own or to start a conversation with a forester.
Logging and Forestry 2019 Publication: History of Logging in the Northwood, Jack Life: The Life of a Logger, Modern Day Jacks, Tree Huggers: The Importance of the Forester, Purposeful Harvest, Using Every Part of the Tree

Climate Change Impact on Forest Management

FOREST CARBON: An essential natural solution for climate change: Your forest has always provided tremendous personal and public benefits, including clean water, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and forest products. Recently, an additional forest benefit has been recognized: forests as an essential natural solution for climate change.


Look to the Land: Carbon Management in Forests and Grasslands:  Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science Michigan Technological University Presentation



Manage Forest Species


Red Pine Pocket Mortality:  Red pine pocket mortality, caused by a complex of insects and the fungi Leptographium terrebrantis and L. procerum was first identified in Wisconsin in 1975. National distribution of this syndrome is unknown. Thinned, plantation-grown red pines between the ages of 30-45 are most likely to show symptoms of this syndrome.

Heterobasidion root rot:  Planning to cut pine trees on your property? Then you need to know how to protect your woodlands against the “circles of death” of Heterobasidion root rot, the most damaging disease in temperate conifer forests of the world which has become an epidemic in Wisconsin. Thinning of pine plantations or cutting of conifer trees can expose your woodland to this deadly disease. Failure to aggressively respond to the discovery of this lethal pathogen has threatened sustainable management of Wisconsin's pines and other conifers in commercial forests, and also endangers trees in recreational woodlands and in wooded residential and vacation properties.

Jack Pine Budworm:  There has recently been incidence of the jack pine budworm, a cyclic insect pine pest, in many parts of PIF’s membership area.  Jack pine is the preferred host of this pest, which attacks primarily those trees 20 years and older, but budworm will also spread into stands of red pine in areas that are heavily infested.

Armillaria Root Rot:  This fungus is common throughout the Lake States in red pine plantations. Damage is especially severe on trees under stress and trees growing in cutover hard-wood stands. Armillaria causes a decay, seldom extending more than a few feet above ground. It kills trees by girdling at the root collar.


Oak Wilt tree disease found in Oneida county forests: Read the latest Northern Wisconsin New release. For other news releases, visit the DNR Northern Region News Release website.

How to  Identify, Prevent and Control Oak Wilt: Oak wilt is an aggressive disease that affects many species of oak (Quercus spp.). It is one of the most serious tree diseases in the United States, killing thousands of oaks each year in forests, woodlots, and home landscapes. (USDA)

Oak Wilt Management - What are the Options: Thousands of Oaks in woodlands and urban settings die from oak wilt every year. Widespread in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan, the disease is caused by the fungus Ceratocystis fagacearum. Because trees in the red oak group fall prey to the disease most often, the publication focuses on the red oak group.

Oak Wilt in Wisconsin: Biology and Management: Oak wilt has probably been a part of our forests in Wisconsin for 100 years. Oak wilt is caused by a fungus, that invades water-conducting vessels and induces the formation of balloon-like projections called tyloses which also plug the vessels. As water movement within the tree is slowed, the leaves wilt and drop off the tree.

Twolined chestnut borer: Adult twolined chestnut borers primarily attack oaks that are damaged by drought or trees that are suppressed or declining. Urban oaks that suffer stress from trunk and root injury, soil compaction, and changes in soil depth are equally vulnerable to attack by this pest.

Collapsing foundations: The ecology of the British oak, implications of its decline and mitigation options:  Oak (Quercus spp.) is declining globally due to a variety of pests, pathogens and climate change. Assessments of the impact of losing keystone species such as oak, should include the impact on associated biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and consider mitigation options. Here, we assess the potential ecological implications of a decline in Quercus petraea/robur within the UK. We collated a database of 2300 species associated with Q. petraea/robur of which 326 were found to be obligate associates (only found on Q. petraea/robur).

Preparing for life after peak oak:  It’s no coincidence that oaks appear so prominently in premodern European mythology. Thousands of species are known to live among their branches and in their bark; their nuts are foundational to forest food webs. A centuries-old oak is practically an ecosystem unto itself, and though people no longer worship beneath their boughs, oaks remain appreciated and even beloved.


Spruce decline in Wisconsin:  Spruce decline has been advancing in Northcentral Wisconsin since about 1988, with symptoms progressing from the ground up, and from the inside of the crown outward.  Symptoms included very poor live crown ratios and loss of needles throughout the crown, but significantly worse on the lower portions of the crown.


Sugar Maples Trouble?: As many readers know, sugar maple is one of the most important timber species in the North Woods.Unfortunately, for the past several years, reports of dieback have been coming from multiple locations across the UP, northern Minnesota, and northern Wisconsin.

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.

Sugar Maple Syrup: Hey Maple Syrup producers and lovers...perhaps you are already aware of the science behind maple sap flow, but I found this 1 hour webinar fascinating. It was this week's lecture put on by the Urban Forestry Today website that offers monthly lectures on various forestry related topics. It also shows some commercial, high tech operations in Vermont. Amazing.


Emerald Ash Borer: Emerald ash borer was found in southeast Wisconsin in August of 2008. The purpose of this website is to provide clear and timely information about EAB to those affected by, or potentially affected by, the insect's presence in our state.


Woolly Adelgid: The two hemlock species found in eastern North America, eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina hemlock (Tsuga caroliniana), are susceptible and seem to have little resistance to hemlock woolly adelgid damage. Heavy infestations can lead to the death of the tree within 4 - 10 years, and trees are also weakened and made vulnerable to attack by other insects and diseases.

   Balsam Fir

Dead Foliage: Symptoms: wilting (wilted) new foliage, mostly in the lower 1/2 of crown (looks like frost damage; or dead mature foliage on branches that are oftentimes still with green cambium, mostly in the lower 3/4 of crown; or dead tips (only distal few inches) scattered around crown; or tied foliage with pupal cases and lots of moths fluttering.

   Butternut (Black Walnut) Fir

Butternut Canker: Butternut is being killed throughout its range by Sirococcus clavigignentijuglandacearum, a fungus most likely introduced from outside of North America. The fungus initially infects trees through buds, leaf scars, and possibly insect wounds and other openings in the bark, rapidly killing small branches.


Basswood Thrips: Defoliation of basswood trees caused by introduced basswood thrips. The introduced basswood thrips, thrips calcaratus, is a recently recognized defoliator of American basswood in the Lake States.

   Birch (help us provide more detail)



   Evergreen Schrub

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"


Forest Soils

NRCS Soils:  Soils and Moisture are fundamental elements in having a healthy forest. Soils is part of the National Cooperative Soil Survey, an effort of Federal and State agencies, universities, and professional societies to deliver science-based soil information.