The effects of Covid-19 have begun to disrupt our forest operations. With the shutdown of the Wisconsin Rapids mill and other hardwood pulp mills running idle, finding a place to go with hardwood pulp is becoming increasingly difficult.
What does this mean for you as a landowner? Today, if your standing hard timber is harvested, you may have to leave the pulp behind in the woods due to the fact we currently have mills operating that are only accepting bolts and logs. The unknown of what the future holds makes it difficult to know whether to harvest or hold out and wait for the market to come back. We understand this puts landowners in a precarious position.
From our perspective, if we do not get these local pulp mills up and running soon, it will have a devastating impact on not just the timber industry, but the whole great lakes state region. Hundreds of jobs have already been lost because of the Rapids and Duluth mills being shut down, however, other suppliers to those operations are also beginning to suffer with additional layoffs imminent.
Our team of foresters is staying up-to-date on this situation and will stay in touch with our landowners to keep you updated on this situations as well. Please feel free to reach out to our forestry team with any questions or concerns related to your own woodlots.
Submit your best Wisconsin summer photo!
Enter our contest by uploading your favorite photo to our Facebook page. We’ll compile all entries into an album and fans will then vote on their favorite. The image with the most likes at the end of the voting period will receive a $25 Mills Fleet Farm gift card!
To enter our contest:
When the most recent guidlines came out defining essential and non-essential businesses, Kretz Lumber Company was deemed essential. You might be wondering, what makes us essential?
One of the core products we provide is pallet boards. From food to healthcare, pallets are instrumental in shipping and transporting of goods. The pallet industry needs these boards to protect against supply chains disruptions.
Our sawmill also produces animal bedding to farmers, and chips to paper mills. The majority of these products stay here in the central Wisconsin region. It is a good feeling to know our efforts are helping out people right here in our backyard.
It's time to get outside and take some pictures of Wisconsin's winter scenery!
Share your best winter-in-Wisconsin picture with us by uploading one of your photos to our Facebook page. We’ll compile all entries into an album and fans will then vote on their favorite. The image with the most likes at the end of the voting period takes home the top prize of a $25 Mills Fleet Farm gift card.
To enter our contest:
The gun deer season is here and it's time to get out in the woods and bag the biggest buck! Enter the 2019 Kretz Lumber Company’s Big Buck Contest and you could win more than just bragging rights. Every entrant has a chance to win!
Two ways to win:
To enter our contest:
1. Like Kretz Lumber Company's Facebook page.
2. Bag your buck and post a picture on our Facebook page by 11:59 pm CST on December 3, 2019.
All photos submitted must be bucks taken during the 2019 Wisconsin rifle season and shot in one of the following counties: Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Shawano, Menominee, Forest, Oconto, Portage, or Waupaca. No other submissions will be accepted.
3. With your submission, include your score.
We are using a complete honor system.
To determine your score:
1 point per inch of inside spread + 1 point per “Point” number of antlers 1” and longer = Total Points.
Kretz Lumber Company reserves the right to disqualify any entries suspected of cheating.
Winners will be announced on our Facebook page on December 4.
Good luck and have a safe hunt!
Albert (Al) Koeppel was inducted into the Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame on October 2, 2019, at the Society of American Foresters annual meeting at Stevens Point. Al was nominated by the University of Wisconsin for this prestigious honor.
The Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame was founded in 1984 by 10 public, and private forestry organizations in 1984 to honor those who have made exceptional contributions to the field of forestry in Wisconsin. The Forestry Hall of Fame exhibit is located in the College of Natural Resources at UW Stevens Point in the College of Natural Resources Building. It is open for viewing during school hours. The Wisconsin Chapter of the Society Of American Foresters (SAF,) is the caretaker and lead organization overseeing the Hall of Fame.
Al spent the majority of his working career as the chief forester for Kretz Lumber Co., Inc. in Antigo, WI.
Winter appears to have arrived before anyone was expecting it. That said, logging crews will start looking at freezing roads down to get into their low winter ground jobs. Fortunately for us here in the middle of the state, we are starting out perfect with very cold temps and little to no snow on the ground. This will help to drive frost deeper.
The last few months have been productive in the blowdown areas and we have been bringing a lot of logs into the yard as a result of the summer storms. We are very thankful to the many logging crews both from Wisconsin and Upper Michigan for assisting us in getting many landowner properties cleaned up. Also, we are very thankful for all the work Henry Schienebeck did to get Michigan log trucks able to haul out of the storm damaged areas.
We are continuing to work on blowdown for as long as we can, until either the snow gets too deep or the stumps and tops freeze down too hard in the ground. The hardwood pulp and aspen markets remain strong and look as though they will remain that way throughout the winter. We are still accepting landowners who need clean up done on their property and have been out every week running property lines and will continue to do so until it gets too dangerous. If you or anyone you know is in need of assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact our foresters. Thanks for all of your patience and good luck hunting!
Submit your best Wisconsin fall photo!
Get outside and share with us your best Wisconsin autumn photo. Enter our contest by uploading your favorite photo to our Facebook page. We’ll compile all entries into an album and fans will then vote on their favorite. The image with the most likes at the end of the voting period will receive a $25 Mills Fleet Farm gift card!
To enter our fall Facebook photo contest:
Enjoy the outdoors and good luck!
July brought a round of severe storms to our area, the severity not seen in our communities for quite some time. According to the National Weather Service, the damage path from the storm was 60 miles long and 10 miles wide. The hardest hit areas saw 100+ mph winds. Over 300,000 acres were damaged with particularly hard hit areas here in Kretz Lumber Company’s back yard. Some of the landowners we are working with lost 90% of the timber on their property. The damage is unprecedented.
As I write this, most roads and structures have been cleared, however the concern now is getting woodlots cleaned of downed trees in a reasonable amount of time. While the damage is hard to look at, a silver lining is that the majority of hardwoods in this area were impacted by straight line winds. Because of this, root balls are generally still left attached to the base of the fallen tree and the threat of the logs staining quickly is reduced. Staining happens when logs sit and aren’t processed in a sawmill in a timely manner (ideally, within a few weeks). Prior to entering the sawmill, logs are susceptible to a staining fungi. September and October are notoriously fast staining months in our area given the changing temperatures. When staining occurs, the lumber grade is lowered. Hence, the urgency in our cleanup efforts.
As you can imagine, resources in our area have been stretched to the max. There just aren’t enough loggers and trucking to haul the cut trees to log yards as fast as we all would like. Additionally, this event will most definitely lead to a lumber surplus in our local mills. Our team is working overtime to assist and support landowners impacted by these storms. If you have storm damage related questions or if you’d like a forester to advise on the cleanup of your property, don’t hesitate to contact us.