Dale 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.