Timber sales from national forest continue to grow

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Sales reach a level not seen in a quarter-century

Timber sale levels on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF) increased for the sixth year in a row.

In fiscal year 2018, which is from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, the Forest sold 128.7 million board feet (MMBF) of timber through the competitive timber sale bidding process.

“The Forest hasn’t sold 128 MMBF of timber since the early 1990s,” said Paul Strong, forest supervisor, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. “I am very proud of the great staff and partners we have in making this achievement possible.”

In addition to the Forest’s regular timber sale program, which sold 98 MMBF this year, 30.7 MMBF was sold through the Good Neighbor Authority agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

“The 2014 Farm Bill permanently authorized Good Neighbor Authority as well as Stewardship Contracting, and the Forest continues to leverage them to increase timber sales and sustainable forest management activities on the National Forest,” Strong said. “We appreciate everyone who has contributed to the success of the Forest’s timber program and ultimately the management of National Forest system lands in northern Wisconsin.”

In 2017, the Forest sold 120.5 MMBF of timber for an estimated value of $7.72 million. Contractors also harvested 93.1 MMBF of timber valued at $7.48 million.

Currently, there are seven timber sales available for bidding with various bid due dates. For a list of sales and to learn more about the Forest’s timber sale program, visit https://go.usa.gov/xPVXS.

The continual increase in timber sales on the Chequamegon-Nicolet provides more wood to Wisconsin’s forest products industry, while creating and maintaining healthy forest conditions prescribed in the Forest’s 2004 Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP).

Of the more than 860,000 acres of land suitable for commercial timber harvest on the National Forest, 13,943 acres experienced a harvest in 2018. The remaining portion of the 1.5 million acres of the Forest is considered unsuitable because of wetlands, steep slopes, Wilderness or recreation designations or ecological/research areas.

Timber purchasers typically have two to three years to complete harvest operations after purchasing a sale. As of July 2018, the Forest currently has approximately 27,000 acres under timber sale contract that are available for harvesting.

Forest Service staff continue to work diligently to diversify the age class structure and tree species composition through Forest management activities to meet the goals and objectives in the 2004 LRMP.

“We recognize that we have work to do,” said Strong. “We have been making great strides in managing our Forest and plan to continue that progress.”

For more information about the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/CNNF or follow the Forest on Twitter or Facebook @CNNF002.