By: Dan Peterson, Verso Corporation Forester
I’m proud to be an Inspecting Forester with the American Tree Farm System here in Wisconsin. A few weeks ago I was checking in on a pine thinning our company has with a private landowner and I happened to notice an old Tree Farm sign along the woods road on the property. My goodness! The property was enrolled in the American Tree Farm System many years ago and the sign was proudly posted by the woods road – perhaps when the 60 year old pine plantation was first established! Time for a new sign, wouldn’t you say?
The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) began over 75 years ago in the early 1940’s. Wisconsin joined with ATFS in the 1950’s and there are many landowners who have been Wisconsin Tree Farmers for decades and publicly post the “Sign of Good Forestry” on their properties. Some of those Tree Farms have been handed down from parents to children during that time, and somewhere along the way the “Sign” has been forgotten. When was the last time you checked on your Tree Farm Sign? It’s the most familiar and nationally recognized symbol of good forestry on private lands in North America. Let’s be sure to post our signs and let our neighbors know that a healthy and productive forest is no accident.
The Tree Farm sign must be “earned” by committing to sustainable forest management on your woodlands to meet the standards of ATFS, and then following through in practice. Only certified American Tree Farms can post the Tree Farm Sign on their land. If you need a new Tree Farm Sign there are several ways to get one:
- For landowners in the MFL Tree Farm Certified group you can go to the Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee website (www.witreefarm.org) and click on the “TREE FARM SIGN REQUEST” tab. That will bring up an order form and license agreement you can complete and send to the Wisconsin Tree Farm Administrator to get a new sign.
- For non-MFL certified Tree Farms, contact our Tree Farm Administrator, Shirley Bargander, and order one directly:
WTFC Tree Farm Administrator
PO Box 285
Stevens Point, WI 54481-0285