Natural resources, such as those provided by the County Forest, are the base for addressing the ecological and socioeconomic needs of society. The mission of the County Forest is to manage, conserve and protect these resources on a sustainable basis for present and future generations.
County Forest resources should be protected from natural catastrophes such as fire, insect and disease outbreaks, and from human threats such as encroachment, over-utilization, environmental degradation and excessive development. While managed for environmental needs such as watershed protection, protection of rare plant and animal communities, and maintenance of plant and animal diversity, these same resources must also be managed and provide for sociological needs, including provisions for recreational opportunities and the production of raw materials for wood-using industries.
Management must balance local needs with broader state, national and global concerns through integration of sound forestry, wildlife, fisheries, endangered resources, water quality, soil, and recreation practices. Management will provide this variety of amenities for the future through the use of sustainable forest management practices.
The Forest County Forestry and Recreation Department is responsible for the administration and management of 15,250.84 acres. The County Forest provides timber products for the forest industry, generates revenue for County and Town governments, and provides many recreational and scenic opportunities. As of 2005, the Forest County Forest is proud to be third party certified. This certification ensures that Forest County uses sustainable forestry practices while harvesting timber with awareness and concern of environmental impact.
The County Forest Program is governed by County Forest Law, state statute 28.10 & 28.11, which requires they be managed for forestry purposes — including multiple uses such as recreation, wildlife habitat, and watershed protection.
Forest County uses sustainable forestry practices to manage their 15,250.84 acres of County Forest. Our Forest is divided into 29 Compartments with each compartment containing different stands based on timber type and age, of which there are 501 stands. Each stand is evaluated on a rotational schedule to determine if or when it should be harvested. Most stands are managed for uneven-aged timber but, some are managed for even-aged.
Every year the County puts out a notice to bid on County Timber Sales. On average we sell 300-350 acres of uneven-aged timber and 50-70 acres of even-aged timber. The average annual revenue generated by these sales is $185,488.91. This revenue is divvied up to local municipalities with County Forest in their township, the State of Wisconsin, and the rest remains in the county to directly offset budgets and provide some relief to the taxpayers.