To help landowners better utilize forest management practices for improving wildlife habitat, Kretz Lumber Co., Inc. presented its 14th annual Fall Forestry Festival in early September, hosting over 250 landowners on the 29 acre Ray Kretz Industrial Forest in Antigo. The biennial event provides attendees from across the state an opportunity to unite, learn and share best practices for forest sustainability and conservancy. Sustainable forest management happens when educated landowners have the tools, resources and knowledge needed to effectively manage their land. Our goal, this year, was to teach landowners correct forest management practices in order to assist them in meeting their own personal wildlife goals while also preserving the legacy of their woodlands.
Rather than start the day with a keynote, this year’s festival featured an expert panel discussion on the topic of forest management for wildlife habitat. Panel members included Scott Walter from the Ruffed Grouse Society, Janet Brehm from the Department of Natural Resources, Ron Eckstein, a retired wildlife biologist from the Wisconsin DNR, and Brian Hoppe with Reed and Hoppe’s Wildlife Food Plots. Panelists took audience questions with topics ranging from invasive species and how to start a forest management plan, to what, if anything, can be done to divert destructive badgers.
Throughout the day, a number of exhibits, learning stations, tours, and hands-on demonstrations were available to attendees. Four legacy landowners were recognized during the event, including Dave Marsceau, the Duren Farm, Dennis Rezner and David and Curt Parsons. Department of National Resources representatives demonstrated stream shocking in Springbrook, which borders our property. UW-Stevens Point students showed their skills at cross cutting. Hayride tours provided an opportunity to see first-hand the well-managed Merry family forest after years of utilizing forest management techniques. Forest insect and disease discussions, chainsaw safety, felling a tree against its lean, horse skidding, and log grading were also highlights of the day.
“Our Fall Forestry Festival is really all about providing a place for landowners to gather where they can learn and discuss all the different aspects of forest management while having trained professionals available to answer their questions,” stated Al Koeppel, Head Forester for Kretz Lumber Company. “Our goal is simple: Provide the resources landowners need to meet their land management goals and have a good time while doing it.”
Landowners interested in learning more about how to properly manage their own land can call Kretz Lumber Company’s forestry services team at 800-352-1438 or visit www.kretzlumber.com.
To view photos from this year’s event, visit our Facebook photo album.