Other Sources of Forestry Guidance
American Tree Farm® System
The American Tree Farm® System is a nationwide program encouraging private forest owners to do an effective job of growing trees as a crop. You may have seen a green and white tree farm sign on your travels around Wisconsin. Tree farm is sponsored by professional foresters working for government agencies, industry and as consulting foresters. Tree farm inspectors must meet minimum education and experience requirements.
If you are interested in becoming a tree farmer, contact the Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee or your local DNR forester. They will arrange to have a state, private or industrial forester look at your property to prepare a tree farm management plan.
Once certified as a tree farm, you can display the sign and subscribe to the American Tree Farmer magazine. You'll receive notices of conferences, conventions, field days and study tours on forestry. Certified tree farm landowners are also eligible to compete in annual outstanding tree farmer competitions.
For information on tree farming in Wisconsin, contact:
Cooperative Development Services
Cooperative Development Services (CDS), a nonprofit organization based in Madison, has assisted in the development of more than 15 sustainable forest owner cooperatives and associations in the Upper Midwest since January 1998. The goal of these local initiatives is to provide their members with good returns on the sale of forest products while maintaining or improving the ecological and aesthetic condition of their woods.
CDS assists new and established groups of woodland owners with:
- developing business plans;
- strategic planning;
- grant and loan procurement;
- member recruitment; and
- other technical assistance.
Cooperative Development Services
E.G. Nadeau, Project Coordinator
Cooperative Development Services
131 West Wilson St. Suite 400
Madison WI 53703
University of Wisconsin-Extension
The University of Wisconsin-Extension is a source of bulletins about forest management, forest insect and disease pests, wildlife and many other topics of interest to landowners. Visit your local UW-Extension Office, or search for publications at the UW-Extension's website. UWEX bulletins available on the web are now printable.
The internet also has a vast selection of forestry publications from universities around the country. You may want to start at A Forest Landowner's Guide to the Internet. It includes links to publications in the following categories:
- income tax and estate planning;
- economics of forest investments;
- tree identification/species information;
- forest health and protection;
- seedling suppliers/tree planting;
- forest management planning;
- forest sampling and inventory;
- forest harvesting operations;
- timber sales;
- special forest products;
- riparian forest management;
- glossaries of forestry terms; and more.
Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association (WWOA)
The Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association (WWOA) is a nonprofit [501(c)(3)] educational association for private woodland owners in Wisconsin. WWOA offers year-round educational opportunities for novice and experienced private woodland owners who want to become better stewards of their woodlands. WWOA publishes the quarterly, award-winning magazine Woodland Management and the biannual News from Wisconsin's Woods newsletter. WWOA sponsors workshops, conferences, field days and a three-day annual meeting in September.
Local WWOA chapters--located throughout Wisconsin--are a great way to learn more about local issues and meet neighboring woodland owners. WWOA also has statewide committees on education, government affairs, marketing, science and publications to help keep members up to date on information in these areas. The WWOA Foundation is developing the Seno Woodland Education Center in SE Wisconsin as an educational facility for youths and adults.
WWOA works to bridge the gap between woodland owners and natural resource professionals. Visit our website at wisconsinwoodlands.org to learn more or contact us for a free information packet.
Master Logger Certification
Master Logger Certification (MLC©) is a performance-based program that formally recognizes those loggers who have attained the utmost level of training and experience and who demonstrate an unending commitment to sound forest stewardship. It is the highest form of professional recognition for the logging sector in the state.
Not anyone can be a master logger. Every master logger applicant must meet or exceed strict performance standards that fall under seven distinct areas of responsibility. Their harvesting practices must pass a rigorous field audit and their operations must receive the unanimous approval of the Wisconsin MLC© Certifying Board. The certifying board is a diverse group of resource experts and stakeholders, all knowledgeable about the practice of sustainable forestry.
Once an individual becomes a master logger, they must be prepared to meet the same verification standards on all of their work. This is done through annual recertification and a complaint system that can trigger a re-visit from field verifiers. The purpose of this program is not just to hold loggers to a higher standard but to provide a gold standard that is recognizable by forest landowners and mills. To date, 55 master loggers have been certified in Wisconsin, with more to follow.
Why certification is needed
Why is certification needed for any profession? To give clients, customers or the general public assurances that the person performing the job has the education, training, skills and experience to do the job correctly. Many loggers already meet all the standards and criteria of the MLC© program. The problem is they don't have a formal way to prove it. Other loggers can easily meet the requirements with slight modifications to their operations. However, some loggers will either not be able to meet the standards or won't care to be part of the program.
The seven areas of responsibility
The American Logging Council developed seven areas of responsibility for the nationwide master logger program. Any logger wishing to become a certified master logger must meet or exceed strict performance standards in each of the following seven areas:
- water quality and soils protection;
- compliance with government regulations;
- compliance with acceptable silviculture and utilization standards;
- participation in an ongoing training regimen;
- implementation of aesthetic management techniques;
- adherence to a site-specific management plan that is agreed to by the landowner; and
- utilization of sound business management principles.
Information and complaints
If you have a complaint to file on a Wisconsin master logger, complete a complaint form and/or call or email your complaint using the contact information above.
Wisconsin Forestry Cooperatives
There are currently five woodland owner cooperatives providing forestry services in Wisconsin. These cooperatives provide a range of services to members, including land stewardship education, development of woodland management plans, sustainable harvesting, processing and marketing, among others. Contact information and services areas for these cooperatives are presented below.
Hiawatha Sustainable Woods Coop - Serving west central Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota
Larry Gates, President
P.O. Box 1136
Winona MN 55987
Kickapoo Woods Cooperative - Serving southwestern Wisconsin
Paul Bader, Coordinator
P.O. Box 71
La Farge WI 54639
Partners in Forestry - Serving northeastern Wisconsin
Joe Hovel, President
6063 Baker Lake Rd.
Conover WI 54519
Washington Island Timber Cooperative, Inc. - Serving Washington Island
Jim Goodwin, President
852 Jackson Harbor Rd
Washington Island WI 54246