Q: I'm looking to attract more wildlife so am considering the first tree harvest on my land. What is the best time of year to start the project and is there anything I should do to prepare?
Whether he’s wielding a chainsaw in a cedar swamp or piloting an airplane above towering pines, Jim Hintz is seldom surprised by wildlife he sees in Wisconsin’s Northwoods.
This career logger routinely shares lunch with gray jays and chickadees. He also must sometimes nudge and work around winter-stressed deer eating treetops he’s felled.
Among Hintz’s most memorable sightings was a moose that wandered by one winter as he verified a property line with his GPS unit. Another time, two timber wolves watched him operate his bulldozer from 10 yards away as they rested in cool dirt that Hintz graded on a summer afternoon.
But Hintz, now 73, barely believed his eyes Feb. 20, 2009, when several adult deer stopped eating maple buds and charged two wolves that appeared on a knoll 60 yards away.
Q: I've always thought leaving a forest undisturbed was the best strategy for attracting wildlife. But recently, I've heard otherwise. Can you clarify?
In 1929 the Northeast Illinois Council of the Boy Scouts of America purchased an old logging camp near Pearson, WI, located about 25 miles northeast of Antigo. This became Camp Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan. Over the years the Council has purchased additional properties and today Camp Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan is approximately 1,560 acres in size. The Camp is heavily wooded with many different forest types, six spring fed lakes, one creek and numerous campsites. The Camp serves approximately 2,000 scouts per year and was rated by the Boy Scouts of America as one of the best camps in America.
The Division of Forestry began conducting listening sessions in 2013 to identify gaps in relationships between the DNR, landowners and private forestry. As a result, the Division of Forestry launched a Forest Products Services Program for their employees and began planning workshops to better educate and connect DNR foresters to landowners and businesses like Kretz Lumber.
The beloved aspen. Their long and lean trunks are easily recognizable, and their yellow hues this time of year remind us our season is changing. Most forest ecologists consider it a pioneer species, meaning that when aspen is present in the forest, and when the forest is heavily disturbed by fire, wind, or clear cutting, then aspen fills an ecological niche. They sprout by the thousands. According to the Wisconsin DNRʼs Silviculture and Forest Aesthetics Handbook, after an aspen stand is disturbed, root suckers generally sprout 10,000 to 30,000 per acre. And that is not brush, itʼs healthy, young trees. Shortly after these areas burn from forest fires or shortly after clear cutting an area, we typically find aspen sprouts numbering over 20,000 saplings per acre.
Picture this: Sitting on your land today is a hardwood which measures 9 inches in diameter. Much too small for sawlog product but definitely sellable for pulpwood. But why settle for pulpwood today when you can sell it for higher valued sawlogs down the road? In our world at Kretz Lumber Company, we call this “tree potential.” With the help of a forester, you can paint (or mark as others call it) your hardwoods in order to culture trees with the best potential to grow into higher quality product classes.
As an independent certified plan writer (ICPW) for the DNR, I work with a wide variety of landowners and forest types. While everyone knows you get a tax break by enrolling in the program, there is a lot of misunderstanding on the part of landowners who are either in the program or contemplating signing up. This article is not intended to make anyone an expert on the law and the program, rather I hope to make some basic clarifications.
Welcome to Jim and Helen Palmquist’s farm, known as “The Farm”. This century farm has its origin with Jim’s great grandfather, Jacob Gustafson. Jacob grew weary of coal mining in Wyoming and headed east to establish a farm. He bought 40 acres in 1900, just east of Brantwood in Price County. The original farm, as most were during that era, was a subsistence operation. Since then, The Farm has grown to more than 1,500 acres and has become a destination resort offering a variety of services.