Partners in Forestry Landowner Cooperative


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Partners in Forestry Landowner Cooperative


6063 Baker Lake Road
Conover, WI 54519
715 - 479 - 8528


"For global good, use local wood"


Partners in Forestry (PIF) is grateful to be recognized by our peers and colleagues for our conservation efforts in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula. This leadership award, from Gathering Waters: Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts, is named after the late (former) DATCP Secretary Rod Nilsestuen, and is greatly appreciated and fitting as we benefitted from an ongoing working relationship with the Secretary that included a working lands meeting with him in Vilas County in 2008. Read more about PIF conservation efforts in land preservation and the Gathering Waters working land preservation award.


If you like the progress Partners in Forestry is making on important northwoods issues, such as the new Legacy Forest near Land O' Lakes, consider being a part of our important work by becoming a member.

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Partners in Forestry Landowners Coop (PIF), serving north central Wisconsin and western U.P., is dedicated to providing information, educational opportunities, and sustainable forest management for its members (Our Mission and Goals)  


News from PIF: 

NEW March 2019  New DNR Leadership; LWCF Permanently Funded...we hope; Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Update; Unnatural Selection: Choose Your Plantings Properly; Shady Characters Book Ad; The Root of the Problem; Tree Basics; Mark Your Calendar: Tick and Mosquito Presentation; Looking Outside Our Region; Woods reservation becomes part of Wauwatosa long range plan; Tidbits; Ermines; Apex Predators: What Good are They?; PIF Book Review; Our Living Ancestors Book Ad; Is That Smell A Skunk; Did You Know?

NEW Northwoods Alliance Fund Raising Letter. Help us protect lands and waters! It has been said that there are four things that once done cannot be brought back or undone—the spent arrow, the spoken word, neglected opportunities, and time past. To that list, I do think there are more to add – the extinction of a species, chemically polluted land and water, developed and fragmented habitat, and introduction of invasive species. These last four are all the “things” that Northwoods Alliance, Inc. works toward preventing. Click here to read the Fund Raising Letter

NEW Land and Water Conservation is a clear winner in Wisconsin. Click here to see why.

The Knowles-Nelson stewardship program is integral to a prosperous future for Wisconsin. Click here to see why.

The Future of Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program has protected more than 500,000 acres of Wisconsin's most beautiful lands and waters since 1990. Projects have ranged from 100-square-mile purchases such as the Wild Rivers Legacy Forest in northeast Wisconsin to 1-acre additions to the Hank Aaron State Trail in Milwaukee. Click here for more information on the Stewardship Program which will expire soon if the governor and the state legislature don’t act during the next state budget.

Partners in Forestry Annual Meeting Saturday November 3. 2018
At least 50 people participated in the largest gathering this year in our series ‘Appreciate Our Common Lands; a hands on celebration of the benefits of forest land conservation’ on Saturday Nov. 3 in Boulder Junction.
The morning session was out in the woods in the heart of the state forest, lead by Ron Eckstein, John Schwarzmann, Paul Stearns and forest health specialist Linda Williams. The discussion concentrated on the threat of Oak Wilt, managing for wildlife and regeneration of oak following controlled burning. Following a hearty lunch and fellowship at the Big Bear Hideaway, Heather Kaarakka presented a very informative program on bat research, invoking numerous questions and discussion. The program next moved to a trio a notable conservation experts who have had distinguished careers compiling over a century of conservation experience. Paul Delong, Mike Dombeck and Dick Steffes were all very comfortable discussing their impressive accomplishments and promoting the numerous benefits of forest land conservation practices, programs and activities.
Door prizes included a rustic wood plank bench as well as bird’s eye sugar maple bread boards.
More thorough description will be forthcoming in Partners News.
Partners in Forestry and the Northwoods Alliance are hosting this series with help from the UW Center for Cooperatives.





NEW Paul Hetzler, Horticulture and Natural Resources Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County, NY, ISA Certified Arborist since 1996 and a frequent contributor to PIF Newsletters, has authored a new book "Shady Characters: Plant Vampires, Caterpillar Soup, Leprechaun Trees and Other Hilarities of the Natural World (The Lexingford Series on the Natural World)". To order the book, click here.  For nature-based essays, visit where humor and science collide--amicably for the most part.


A fresh report on economic contributions of land conserved through the Forest Legacy Program was just released by the Family Forest Research Center. This project is centered on the economics of the Forest Legacy Program, and parallels our own local discussions on the Economics of Forestland Conservation. Go to the below link, click on projects and see Forest Legacy under current projects. The Pilgrim Legacy Forest is part of this report.
 Click here for the report:
Also an arc map of the project is at:


LWCF must be reauthorized, fully funded
The Land and Water Conservation Fund hasn’t cost taxpayers a penny the past 54 years even as it funded everything from wildlife refuges to historic battlefields to Little League diamonds. It has also united groups as diverse as Ducks Unlimited and the Wilderness Society, while inspiring support from Democrats and Republicans alike since President John F. Kennedy first proposed it. Heck, the LWCF even sparked a fiery, supportive speech in late July from Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, a fiscal hawk and darling of the Koch brothers. Even so, nearly every environmental group, conservation organization and outdoor trade association has been working overtime this summer urging members to write letters, blast emails and generally badger lawmakers toward one goal: permanently reauthorizing and fully funding the LWCF before it expires Sept. 30. Click here to read more

1,300 acres near Pilgrim River protected

DNR officials, land owners and local forestry enthusiasts came together on Tuesday, July 24th to celebrate 25 years of work towards the Pilgrim River Forest conservation project.
"This is a great example of a public-private partnership where we have the land owner, the federal government, state government and local governmental coalescing around conservation easements. This actually protects about 1,300 acres, about 3.5 miles of the Pilgrim River," said Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh.

The DNR purchased conservation easements with a $550,000 U.S. Forest Service Legacy Program grant.
Joe and Mary Hovel sold their easement as part of their ongoing passion to protect forests. They wanted to ensure the public will be able to hunt, fish, hike, bike and more in the forest.  Click here to read more about the dedication.


Community forest sought for Wildcat Falls parcel  

Front Page – Ironwood Daily Globe 4/23/18  WATERSMEET — Northwoods Alliance Inc. is seeking to protect Wildcat Falls near Watersmeet. Wildcat Falls is a remote waterfalls about nine miles from Watersmeet. It is one of several features on a 160-acre property Northwoods Alliance is seeking to protect into perpetuity, said Casey Clark, a conservation coordinator with Northwoods Alliance. The property had been part of the Ottawa National Forest until 2016, but was traded away in a controversial land swap. The controversy lagged for several years with legal litigation following U.S. Forest Service administrative appeals. Click here to read full article


Wildcat Falls: A Community Forest Concept  It is likely that most everyone reading this is aware of a very controversial land swap conducted by the Ottawa National Forest in the Upper Peninsula. While Wildcat Falls and its special locale may have been lost from the Ottawa in what was termed the Delich Land Exchange, the story is not over yet.

A conservation minded partnership in the Northwood Alliance (NWA) network went through a lengthy negotiation process with Mr. Delich in order to reach agreement to purchase the former public (Ottawa) parcels, in turn preventing improper logging and fragmentation of the landscape and its features. Upon completion of the purchase, the conservation buyer tendered to NWA a Letter of Intent which requested and engaged NWA and its conservation partners in the Upper Peninsula to assist with a permanent and publicly beneficial conservation solution to 160 acres including Wildcat Falls and the overview of County Line Lake. Click here to read full concept proposal


Managing Woodlands with a Conservation Land Ethic:  Renowned Cabin Builder Protects 3,000 Forested Acres.  Joe and Mary Hovel are Vilas County, Wisconsin, landowners who realize the importance of actively managing and conserving their forested acres. The Hovels enrolled in a variety of NRCS programs to plant trees, write a Forest Management Plan, perform crop tree release and hinge cutting, increase wildlife habitat and more, with the help of NRCS. Click here to read full article


Evidence of damage from exotic invasive earthworm activity was highly correlated to sugar maple dieback in the Upper Great Lakes region.  Sugar maple in the western Upper Great Lakes region has recently been reported with increased crown dieback symptoms, prompting investigation of the dieback etiology across the region. Evaluation of sugar maple dieback from 2009 to 2012 across a 120 plot network in Upper Michigan, northern Wisconsin, and eastern Minnesota has indicated that forest floor disturbance impacts from exotic invasive earthworms was significantly related to maple dieback. Click here to read the full article.

Death and Taxes: the high cost of palatability for a declining evergreen schrub. In forest ecosystems woody shrubs face many challenges in the struggle for survival and growth. In addition to coping with the high-shade environment of the forest floor, in many systems shrubs have to contend with the presence of mammalian herbivores. Since these understory inhabitants spend their entire existence within the reach of browsers, they must carefully balance the allocation of limited resources among maintenance, growth, and defense. When nutrients and light are readily available, fast-growing species rapidly regrow tissues to compensate for herbivore consumption, but if resources are limited, investment in defense may be the preferred option. Click here to continue to read article.

Extensive Canada Yew on Pilgrim River property


Articles on the ecology, distribution, conservation and management of large old trees:  2017 Conserving large old trees as small natural features - BiolCons;  2016 The unique challenges of conserving large old trees - TrendsEcolEvol;  2016 The ecology, distribution, conservation and management of large old trees - BiolRev DOI;  2014 New Policies for Old Trees: Averting a Global Crisis in a Keystone Ecological Structure - ConsLett

In many areas of the United States, the population density of white-tailed deer has dramatically increased over the past century to levels that are significantly greater than presettlement estimates.  Prolonged and selective overbrowsing by deer has strong impacts on population-and community-level processes. Here are several "Deer browse impact research papers":   "The legacy of deer overabundance: long-term delays in herbaceous understory recovery";    "Historic disturbance regimes promote tree diversity only under low browsing regimes in eastern deciduous forest";    "Chronic over browsing and biodiversity collapse in a forest understory in Pennsylvania:  Results from a 60 year-old deer exclusion plot";    "Deer herbivory reduces web-building spider abundance by simplifying forest vegetation structure";    "On the formation of dense understory layers in forests worldwide: consequences and implications for forest dynamics, biodiversity, and succession"


The Wildlife Society Policy Brief Series on The Land and Water Conservation Fund.   The Land and Water Conservation Act was passed and signed into law September 3, 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson creating the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The LWCF is now the primary source of money used by federal, state, and local governments to acquire lands for conservation and public access to natural areas. Click here to read more on the Land and Water Conservation Act.


Protecting your wooded land for the future is essential to clean water, clean air, wildlife habitat, sustainable wood supply...all things that are necessary to society and health, and that are gone forever if the land is developed.