Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee

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Tuesday, 14 November 2017 15:26

Update Your Records

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Did you know that more than three fourths of the landowners in Wisconsin own their land for wildlife and its beauty?

The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) is a community of like-minded landowner's, foresters and other professionals, who are committed to managing their land for wildlife, as well as water, wood and recreation.  As a member of this network, you are recognized for the good work you do on your land!

And we want to make sure that we stay in touch with you. So we can:

  • Send you  our regular Forests and Families emails, full of important information for Tree Famers.
  • Connect you with our Tree Farm Inspecting Foresters
  • Invite you to ATFS and partner events including field days and workshops
  • Provide you with new tools and resources available to woodland owners in Wisconsin, including the Wisconsin's Forestry Best Management Practices for Water Quality Field Manual.

 Open the attached Information Mailer to submit your information:

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 11:30

Fall Field Day for Woodland Owners


Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee (WTFC) is partnering with the Blackhawk Chapter of the Wisconsin Woodland Owner Association (WWOA) and the Wisconsin Walnut Council to hold a Fall Field Day at Dave andDave Hall Evelyn Hall's Tree Farm in Southern Wisconsin - Green County.  Dave and Evelyn Hall have graciously opened their  tree farm to us so we can see what they have been up to and learn a thing or two from the professionals they work with.

The day will include information on topics from shitake mushrooms, walnut and oak management to restoring a 19th century barn. 

We hope you can join the group on October 7th at, W837 Yarwood Road, Brocklyn, WI.  Question and registration can be directed to Carol Nielsen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 608-206-9682)

Registration Brochure: Fall_Field_Day_Flyer_Final.pdf

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The Wisconsin Tree Farm Field Day, for 2017, will be hosted by Richard & Mary Czaja.  The Czaja's are Wisconsin's 2016 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year.  (more details of the Czaja Tree Farm is found on an earlier news posting titled "Wisconsin 2106 Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year" located on page 2 of past postings - by scrolling down)   

The date of the Field Day is Saturday August 12, 2017, starting at 8:00 a.m..  

Their Tree Farm is located in Wood County and will start from the Pittsville High School located at 5459 Elementary Ave., Pittsville, Wisconsin.  See Registration Brochure for more details.

Events Topics:

  • Logging & Marketing Your Wood
  • Regenerating Oak Woodlands
  • Wildlife Need Young Woodlands
  • Trail Design for a Working Tree Farm
  • Log & Lumber Grading Demonstration

Registration Brochure available at:  Czaja_TF_Field_Day_Brochure.pdf  or contact Randy Mell - UW Extension, 608-386-8900, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



Dale Paulson OTFYDale and Catherine Paulson have been named the 2017 Wisconsin Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year.  Their 131 acre Tree Farm in located in Bayfield County, made up of red pine, oak with some mixed hardwoods and aspen/birch, along with a small 2 acres parcel of grass.  Over the years they harvested 132,680 board feet of sawlogs and 2301 cords of pulpwood.  A forest management plan was originally written in 1988 and updated in 2016. Zak Neitzel, Forester Ranger from Brule, Wisconsin, was their nominating Tree Farm Inspector. 

Dale purchased the original property in 1988 and has steadily added parcels to it.  During that time he had done his own logging and worked at a local sawmill.  Part of his property borders the Cranberry River, which is a trout stream and also serves as a breeding ground for salmon from Lake Superior  Dale is very concerned with the water quality, and has done work with conservation groups to protect and enhance the stream.  Dale has many areas of the property where he has planted seedlings or done TSI work to improve the forest.  Trails are also maintained on the property.

Dale has a woodworking studio on the property and he locally sells honey from bee hives on the property, sharing his love of the property with people from the community and tourists that stop by.  Maple syrup is another amenity they enjoy from their woodlands.  Dale serves as a positive example of sound forestry for the local community and is also well connected to the local logging community, serving as a good example for them as well. He also has encouraged his son in forest land management, and  is beginning to acquire parcels in the area, enrolling them in the Wisconsin Managed Forest Law Program.

Dale has spent many years in the woods and his love of it is evident as soon as you meet him.  He serves as an excellent ambassador of sound forestry to the public, of which he has considerable contact.  Zak, the nominating forester said he consistently gets phone calls from landowners in the area who want forestry assistance after talking to Dale.  The fact that he cuts his own timber and even used to saw a lot of it back when he worked at Isaksson's Sawmill ties him even more to his property.  He often says "I just want to leave it better than I found it, leave it in good shape for the next person."  Dale also has his land open to public recreation, even though he is a hunter.  Dale enjoys hunting deer and grouse as well as chasing a few turkeys from tim to time.

Congratulations to Dale and Catherine for the outstanding work that they do and for being selected as the 2017 Wisconsin Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year. 

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On Friday, May 5, 2017, eight - 4th graders from the Adams-Friendship School District visited the Full Cycle Tree Farm in Adams County.  May 5th is the anniversary date of the Cottonville Fire which occurred May 5th, 2005, and burnt through the Full Cycle Tree Farm.  This group was the 11th group of 4th graders to help in the re-planting of trees after the fire.  Wheeler's Laura Lane Nursery generously donated 100 red pine seedlings, along with a yearly donation from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources of seedling trees for each 4th grader to plant.  In addition to planting trees, the group participated in an activity of cross-cut sawing of tree cookies.  They  tried their had (or feet) at log-rolling and also watched a sawmill make boards from a large log.


 National Tree Farm award recipients Jim and Marlene Zdanovec and Regional Tree Farm award recipients Marlin and George Beck joined Nancy Livingston, Lee Johnston and other volunteers to make the day enjoyable for the 4th graders.

The Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee helped sponsor the event.


On May 1, 2017, the Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee published the following position regarding Governor Walkers budget proposal to eliminate the Wisconsin Forestry Mill Tax.  A copy is available at the end of this article.  



 We have a great forestry tradition in the State of Wisconsin!  The citizens and legislature of the State of Wisconsin have recognized the importance of healthy forests and sound forestry since 1924 when the Forestry Mill Tax was adopted as the only property tax authorized in the Wisconsin Constitution, "for the purpose of acquiring, preserving and developing the forests of the state and for other specified forestry purposes" assuring stable, long-term funding for forest protection and management for the past 897 years.

As a result, today 46% of the landscape of the State of Wisconsin, 17 million acres, is forested and that forested landscape provides numerous forest products, watershed protection, wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities for the citizens of our State.


 Governor's forestry 'tax cut' bad for business

The following article is by Patrick Durkin, a freelance writer for the USA TODAY NETWORK - Wisconsin, Published 2:12 p.m. CT March 23, 2017, Updated 4:07 p.m. CT March 24, 2017.  On March 31, 2017 it was circulated in the Society of American Foresters "The E-Foresters". 

It reads as follows:

If Wisconsin is open for business why is Gov. Walker risking its $6.4 billion industry just so my wife  and I can spend $27 tax savings on one dream date: a stuffed pizza and two Leinie's at Clam Lake's Chippewa Tavern?

Unless you own woodlands or follow conservation news,  you likely haven't heard the guv's proposed budget for fiscal year 2017-19 suggests eliminating Wisconsin's forestry mill tax, which costs the average homeowner $27 annually.  In its place, he proposes funding Wisconsin's  approximately $90 million annual forestry programs with general purpose revenues.


Christine OIOTYChristine Accepting the Award from Tom Martin, President and CEO of the American Forest FoundationChristine Walworth, Forester for the Department of Natural Resources has been named the 2017 North Central Regional Tree Farm Inspector of the Year.  Christine received her award on February 23, 2017 in Greenville, South Carolina at the National Leadership Conference sponsored by the American Free Farm System.  States included in the North Central region, in addition to Wisconsin, include Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, and Kentucky.

Christine has been involved in the Tree Farm program since 1977 and has been actively promoting the American Tree Farm program throughout her career.  During this time she has served on various Tree Farm committees, in several different capacities, including District Chair, Wisconsin State Committee Vice-Chair and State Chair.  She completes necessary inspections and re-inspections, and is passionate about her involvement in the Tree Farm program. Christine works very well with landowners and the respect is reciprocal.  She is a "hands-on" forester, willing to meet with landowners on their property to provide advice and share information.

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The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Inc., announced in a new release on September 7, 2016, that the SFI 2015-2019 Forest Management Standard has again met the rigorous third-party assessment of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).  PEFC is the umbrella organization that also endorses the Tree Farm System's Standards of Sustainability. 

See the full news release  SFI__PEFC.pdf


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Dick & Mary Czaja, of Pittsville Wisconsin, have been named the 2016 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year.  Their well-managed tree farm of 38 acres is located in Wood County and consists of oak/hickory, aspen/birch and other hardwoods.  Their first management plan was written in 1993.  They have owned their tree farm for 25 years.  The nominating forester is Steve Grant, a forester with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources who has been working with  the Czaja's and wrote their first plan.

The Czaja's first management plan identified mature aspen to harvest as well as improvement thinnings needed in the oak and hardwood stands.  Their first timber sale was established in 1994, but they were unable to find a logger to do the harvest.  Dick decided to take on the management of the property himself.  He completed the initial sale (7 acres of aspen clearcut and 12 acres of marked improvement thinning in the hardwood) over a period of several years cutting all designated trees by had and skidding the merchantable wood to the roadside with his ATV.  Over the years, he has modified his ATV with a winch and cabling system to get cut products out of the woods.  Once wood was decked where it could be picked up, Dick arranged with local truckers to see his products to local paper mills and sawmills.  Since this time, Dick has harvested trees on every acre of his property and some of those acres have had more than one management activity.

In 2004 Steve Grant nominated Dick and Mary as Tree Farmer of the Year for Wood County.  They received the award and were also recognized at a local conservation banquet put on by the Wood County Land Conservation Department.  Dick and Mary have also become very involved with the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association (WWOA)  and have been spokespersons for good forestry through WWOA state meetings and by hosting field days at their property.Czajas and TF sign

It's a rare landowner that can handle managing their woodlands on their own.  Steve was a bit skeptical that the harvesting and thinning wunder the Managed Forest Law (MFL) progam could be handled without having professional loggers involved in the process.  He usually gives people a chance when they tell him they want to do the cutting themselves and most of the time they get their fill of being a "logger" after a few weekends of cutting.  Dick and Mary are definitely an exception.  A note found in their file from late 1993 state: "Dick will work on cutting the sale himself.  He has a good knowledge of forestry concepts and harvesting".  Little did Steve know that 25 years later Dick would still be hard at work cutting, skidding and selling timber from his property.

Their management plan calls for managing the woods for the highest output of quality timber and increasing the value of their property through intensive forest management, while providing for the habitat needs of local wildlife.  Harvests are completed using a log skidder that Dick designed himself, pulled behind an ATV.  Using this system, they have harvested over 600 cords of hardwood sawlogs, pulpwood and firewood in the last 25 years.  This small equipment is perfect for accessing their property which is 1/2 mile from one end to the other, using only ATV trails for removing wood.  Their impact on the ground is very small when compared to commercial logging operation.  They have not introduced invasive plant species that can be associated with equipment moving from woods to woods.   Excess debris from the harvests is chipped and used to improve the trail system.  During field days, they have demonstrated how they move logs, chip debris and stack firewood for maximum drying.  They have discussed which hand tools they use and show working examples of clear cuts, shelter wood harvests and selective  cuts.   They also show where they planted understory trees and shrubs, point out wolf trees, crop trees, unusual tree formations,  thinning multi-stem regeneration, naturally pruned trees, trees that could benefit from manual pruning and trees having been selected for removal.  Dick has also made available detailed drawing of his log hauling trailer.

Dick and Mary are active in educating others about the benefits of good woodland management, beginning with their own family.  Dick worked with his brother in 2015 to put into practice timber stand improvement on his brother's 80-acre woodlot.  Following his brother MFL management plan, they marked trees needed for removal.  This included diseased trees, trees left behind from previous cuts because of low value or accessibility, thinning of over-crowed areas and identifying future high value trees.  He also worked with his brother to established access trails and helped him to become more aware of good woodlot management.  He encouraged his son-in-law to create a woodlot on former pasture land and worked with him to show what he could do in his own woods.   He has private tours to relatives, neighbors and friend, discussing with them what improving a woods looks like and how it has a positive impact on trees and wildlife. His forestry messages convey the importance of a good forest management plan and following it, asking for advice from professional forestry personnel, and always placing safety first in the woods.  Other messages include:  taking great pride in have a hands on approach to forest management, the awesome ability to be able to enjoy wildlife and see the effect they personal have on trees and vegetation,  and the satisfaction that comes from planting tree and shrub seedlings and watching them grow.

 The Czaja's have also been very involved in efforts to cooperate with other groups by offing their woodlands for information and education purposes, At WWOA's 2013 annual meeting,  Dick gave a slide presentation and talk during the "Sharing My Experience" portion of the program, speaking about their work to improve their woodlot.  They hosted a WWOA Central Sands Chapter field day in 2014 with about 30 people in attendance.  They hosted a WWOA field day during the 2015 annual meeting with about 45 people in attendance.  In addition, they were members of the planning committee for the WWOA 2013 and 015 annual meetings.  For both meetings they served as tour guides on field trips, hosted a field stop in 2015,  designed and help construct table center pieces for the banquets (using materials from their woodlot) and, Mary also conducted a craft workshop as part of the Saturday activities in 2013.  As a member of the New London Chamber of Commerce Dick organized, with the assistance of the county forester, a field day at Mosquito Hill Nature Center in New London, in 1980's called "Woods, Wildlife and You".  They were presented with the Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year by North Central Land and Water Conservation Assoc. in 2004.  Also in 2004, they were named District Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year by the Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee.  As Dick points our, "We are a family operation with myself and hardworking wife joined by our son, son-in-law, grandchildren and my bothers." 

With all of their hard work, enthusiasm, and pride, they truly deserve to be named the Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee's 2016 Tree Farmers of the Year.





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Upcoming Events

9 May
Field Day Planning Meeting
May 9, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am

We will meet at the Middle Inlet Town Hall on Thursday 10:00 AM, May 9th.

17 Aug

Where:  NE Wisconsin, Marinette County, Middle Inlet Town Hall, 55 miles north of Green Bay on HWY 141.  4 Miles north of Crivitz.

Subject:  The Tree Farm Day will include visiting Tom & Leslyn Jacobs Tree Farm and other subjects yet to be determined.

Tree Farm Field Day Committee includes but not limited to:  Tom & Leslyn Jacobs, Dan Peterson, Kristen Lambert, John Lubbers, Kevin Burns, Shirley Bargander, etc.