Selling State Assets Piece By Piece

First the governor and legislature suggested that the state stop providing financial support for of all things…state parks. One of the things that most residents of the State of Wisconsin probably agree on is that the state should provide State Parks. But like a lot of other things lately, that seems to have missed the attention under the dome in Madison. I don’t mind paying fees to use the state parks but there is a every cultural and societal reason for the state to maintain state parks for all of its citizens to enjoy…and enjoy affordably.

And now for mistreating state assets redux, the GOP feels that we should increase logging in the state forests. Once again state forests are maintained for all of us…and a great many of us utilize state forests for recreational outdoor activities. Yes, to keep a forest viable some harvesting and restoration is advisable. But it seems that the forest areas targeted are among our most fragile and lie along some equally fragile and beautiful watersheds. Yet other forests that might be better candidates are totally ignored…who thinks this stuff up?

The excuse is that the paper industry is running short of available wood. Considering that paper use is declining and recycling of paper is increasing, this seems rather tenuous. I haven’t had time to go deep diving but it seems to me that the paper industry was shedding privately owned forests in northern Wisconsin just a few years ago based on decreased usage and the migration of paper manufacturing to cheaper labor southern states. So apparently paying to log state property is more cost efficient that maintaining their own source timberlands. So this is part of Wisconsin’s open for business meme?


And the DNR’s Zastrow said that as paper companies sold timber assets, large chunks moved to smaller property owners. Some of those owners are not logging their land, or because they are smaller, they become less economical to cut.

So poor asset allocation and planning for the future by the paper and lumber industry is our problem now?

And one last question…why is this in the budget? Seems more like a policy issue.


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2 thoughts on “Selling State Assets Piece By Piece

  1. On the surface, it looks like the logging industry is stuffing Tiffany’s pocket with campaign cash.

  2. “Where are the forests?” See figures 7, 8, 9.

    “Governor’s budget and implications for Wisconsin forestry
    Posted on February 9, 2015 by Mark”

    “…A recent e-mail from Paul DeLong, Chief State Forester and DNR Division of Forestry Administrator, to the Wisconsin Council on Forestry and “interested parties” outlines the impacts of the proposed budget. The text of Paul’s February 5, 2015 e-mail in italics follows.

    I am writing to provide you a brief outline of forestry-related provisions in the Governor’s proposed FY’15-17 budget.” [Only one of the provisions is copied below.]

    One provision in the budget directs the department to develop a plan to move the Division of Forestry headquarters to a northern Wisconsin location, including a description of the costs of relocation, a timeline for implementation, and a list of location options. The plan would be submitted by the department for consideration by the Governor for inclusion in the FY’17-19 budget.” (This is last year’s WEDC report by One Wisconsin Now’s research director Jenni Dye.)

    I like Vic’s comment — Tiffany seems to be in the right place to benefit as the next big-money-st(w)alker focusing on resource extraction.

    Happily, some stately old Ash trees in a Door county park were saved from clear-cutting (47% of the 156-acre park, donated by Jens Jensen in the 1940s, are Ash trees; a letter from Jensen’s granddaughter “urged the committee to back away from any immediate harvest).”

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