Young Forest Partnership: Working together for young forests

“Working Together for Young Forests”

Seeing a steady decline of young forest habitats and associated wildlife species in Wisconsin over several decades, a group of county, state and federal agencies, non-profit conservation organizations and forestry companies have formed a partnership to enhance young forest habitat. Members who have signed on to the Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership (WYFP) include the U. S. Forest Service, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin County Forests Association, Wildlife Management Institute, American Bird Conservancy, Ruffed Grouse Society/American Woodcock Society, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever and The Forestland Group, LLC. Populations of species like the golden-winged warbler and the American woodcock have dropped by more than half across their ranges over the past fifty years. It’s estimated that nearly a million acres of young forest is needed in Wisconsin to restore some of these populations to numbers seen in the 1970s.

Specifically the group has agreed to “identify, promote, and deliver conservation programs that assist landowners with land management through the use of combined resources between agencies, organizations and companies in order to enhance wildlife populations dependent on these early successional forest habitats.”

According to Jeremy Holtz, Chairman of the Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership Steering Committee, “This is not an effort to cut existing old growth or convert northern hardwoods to aspen, but to educate and engage public and private landowners that are not currently managing their ownerships to consider options that will enhance young forest habitat where appropriate.”

For more information on the WYFP contact:

WI Young Forest Partnership

Callie Bertsch, Habitat Coordinator

NRCS Office

2187 N. Stevens Street Suite A, Rhinelander, WI 54501

Phone: (715) 362-5941 ext. 107; Email: [email protected]

Or visit the WYFP website at www.youngforest.org/wi

Media Contacts:

Jeremy Holtz, WYFP Steering Committee Chairman

Phone: (715) 365-8999; E-Mail: [email protected]

Or

Dan Eklund, WYFP Steering Committee Vice-Chairman

Phone: (715) 762-5194; E-Mail: [email protected]