By Charley MacIntosh, MAT Region 2 Board Member and Kretz Lumber Company Forester
Logging can often be left behind as the topic of agriculture arises. As a result, opportunities to educate and raise awareness for the economic and environmental benefits of our industry cannot be ignored. From roots of a corn stalk, to roots of an Aspen, both organisms are grown and harvested as a commodity that we could not go without.
On August 16th, 2016, I had the honor of meeting with ten Michigan FFA state officers from across lower Michigan to assist in guiding them on an active logging site tour. The Michigan FFA Association focuses on developing student’s leadership skills, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. Bill Brand, owner of Northland Harvesting, was gracious enough to let us tour his job. We were able to observe hot saw cutting and the loading of a log truck.
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.
Hundreds of landowners will come together Saturday, Sept. 10 in Antigo’s Ray Kretz Industrial Forest to educate themselves on proper forest management and celebrate stewardship across Wisconsin and Michigan forests. It is all part of the 14th annual Fall Forestry Festival hosted and sponsored by Kretz Lumber Company.
The festival provides attendees from across the state an opportunity to unite, learn and share best practices for forest sustainability and conservancy. Festival organizers say sustainable forest management happens when educated landowners have the tools, resources and knowledge needed to effectively manage their land. This year’s festival will focus on forest management practices for improving wildlife habitat and will feature an expert discussion on the topic. Panel members will include representatives from the Ruff Grouse Society, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Reed and Hoppe’s Wildlife Food Plots.
ANTIGO - When the Kretz family started the Kretz Lumber Company here in Antigo in 1929, they built part of the original saw mill with hemlock that grew near the property. Now, a piece of hemlock far older than that serves as a reminder of the company's rich history.
On the south side of the property outside the so-called Cabin stands an eight-foot-tall hemlock log. A ginseng farmer in Bryant dug it up while plowing a field and thought it looked old.
ANTIGO, WI – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today toured Kretz Lumber in Antigo to highlight Wisconsin’s timber economy. Senator Baldwin was joined by Kretz Lumber leadership and members of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association for the tour.
“Our timber economy in northern and central Wisconsin is facing a number of challenges that need to be addressed,” said Senator Baldwin. “Today’s tour shows the importance of building on the progress we’ve made by continuing to work with industry stakeholders in Wisconsin and the U.S. Forest Service. By working together, we can help create a more stable supply of timber from our federal lands, while sustainably managing our resources.”
Submit your best Wisconsin summer photo!
Get outside and share with us your best summer scenery 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 summer Facebook photo contest:
Written by: Jim Kostrzewa, Kretz Lumber Co. Forester
After cruising timber with a client in Shawano County, the landowner took Kretz Lumber Co. foresters Al Koeppel and Jim Kostrzewa to a high clearing on his property to show them this unusual sugar maple tree. Could this be an Indian marker tree? (It must be noted that this tree may have been formed due to an accident of nature such as another tree falling across a young sapling and pinning the trunk to the ground for some years resulting in the bent shape.)
Marker trees were used by Native Americans to assist them in their survival in what was regarded as “the wilderness” by Europeans when they started their settlement of this continent. Traveling through this wilderness required good navigational skills and to assist them, Native Americans used marker trees as signposts to help find a river crossing, campsite, trail or other important features. (Coincidentally there is a river within a ½ mile of this site and this clearing on a prominent high point would have made a great campsite. As well as being a good vantage point there is little to impede even the slightest breeze. This would have been much welcomed by the occupants to keep the bugs at bay in the heat of the summer!) The landowner reported it is said that Native Americans regularly travelled through this area and it is thought that by looking along the bent stem of the marker tree they were guided in the intended direction.
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?
Submit your best Wisconsin spring photo!
Get outside, take some pictures, and share with us your best spring scenery 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:
No purchase necessary. One valid entry per person. This contest is void where prohibited by law.
Winners will be notified by a Facebook post. If a winner is unreachable after seven (7) days, or if that winner is unavailable for prize fulfillment, an alternate winner will be selected. If Kretz Lumber cannot find an eligible winner for the prize, that prize will not be awarded.
No phone-in, email or mail entries allowed. Contest open to all Kretz Lumber Facebook page fans.
All eligible entries must be posted to the Kretz Lumber Company's Facebook page by 11:59 pm CST on 5/15/16.
In the event of a tie, one winner will be randomly selected.
All entries must be original images taken by the individual submitting them. No purchased or copyrighted images allowed. Image must be taken in Wisconsin.
Photos become the property of Kretz Lumber Company and submitter agrees to allow photos to be used in Kretz Lumber Company promotions.
Kretz reserves the right to disqualify any entries suspected of cheating.
All disputes will be settled by Kretz Lumber Company.
Kretz Lumber Company reserves the right to change the rules at any time or cancel the contest.
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
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.