Quiet end to multi-year review of logging draws complaints from environmentalists

By Henry Redman
The Wisconsin Examiner
April 22, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

For four years, Vilas County residents who live near the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest have alleged that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has violated its mandatory logging best management practices by cutting too many trees too close to shorelines. Last year, a review of those practices by an international auditing firm quietly ended with the finding that in some cases the agency had been harvesting trees thinner than the rules suggested but that the flexibility of those rules means there has not been a violation — allowing the DNR to retain its certification as a responsible steward of the state’s forests. That conclusion has raised eyebrows among conservation groups and outside scientists who believe the review’s secrecy is an intentional effort to keep public attention away from the Northwoods and that the episode casts doubt on the validity of the whole global forestry certification system.

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