Wood products industry
The month we are about to leave behind has special meaning to loggers, millworkers, papermakers, foresters and others who work with timber resources — as Wisconsin just celebrated Forestry and Paper Products Month.
That legislative proclamation is an annual reminder of the significance of timber products in terms of economic opportunity, job creation and the health of our forests, both public and private.
Wisconsin remains the nation’s No. 1 paper producer, a title the state has claimed for more than 50 years. The agency now manages more than seven million acres of third-party environmentally certified forest land in the state, and the future is even brighter.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin ranks among the nation’s leaders in terms of the number of pulpwood forests certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Forest Stewardship Council.
While many states are losing forest land annually, Wisconsin’s forest lands have increased since 1983 and now total more than 17 million acres. Each year, the state grows more wood than industry removes.
Another of the industry’s bright spots is the premium hardwood production that occurs statewide. The oak, hickory and maple being produced in the Badger State has an ever-growing reputation for quality — key natural resources for high-grade flooring, trim and veneer wood.
According to the DNR, total timber products production is valued at nearly $19 billion annually. Numbers from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. put wood products-related employment at more than 46,800.
We tip our caps to the loggers and forest managers, both public and private, who aggressively manage our forests with long-term sustainability in mind. They are true conservationists, keeping forests healthy while also providing vital food and shelter for many species of wildlife.
Bicycle connector route
A $15,000 Depot Challenge Grant from Tara Lila LLC has made great strides recently in hopes that a total purse of $30,000 will be raised to fund an Eagle River Connector bike route from Dairy Queen to the historic railroad depot.
The Eagle River Rotary Club, private donors and area businesses have already raised almost two-thirds of the matching funds, with a major fundraiser set at Dairy Queen this Saturday, May 3.
A connector pathway into downtown, made possible in part by the city of Eagle River, will establish the railroad depot as a hub for Three Eagle Trail and future trail systems going north, east and west.
The Great Headwaters Trails organization has established a goal to expand the county’s bike trail system to 110 miles by 2020. The first segment of the Conover-Phelps Trail will be constructed this summer.
Behind the editorial ‘we’
Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and Assistant Editor Anthony Drew.
|Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:43 AM|