Who owns Wisconsin’s forest lands? A lot of families and counties

By Becky Jacobs
Appleton Post Crescent
December 19, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

Matt Carothers

HAZELHURST – A lot of people with whom northern Wisconsin forester Matt Carothers work remind him of his own family. Growing up, Carothers’ parents bought a small, wooded lot in Barron County that their family could use for hunting, fishing, skiing and other outdoor activities. They also built a cabin on the 40-acre property, into which his parents moved when they retired. …Like the Carothers family, most private forest landowners in Wisconsin bought their property for recreational purposes — to enjoy wildlife, go hunting or to have some privacy — rather than to manage and sell the timber growing on it, according to Wisconsin’s 2020 State Forest Action Plan report. …The majority of Wisconsin’s forests are privately owned, and family forest owners make up about 9.7 million acres of those 11.5 million private acres, according to the state report. County forests, meanwhile, account for the largest share — 2.4 million acres — of the 5.2 million acres owned by public entities.

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