Adams County, located in central Wisconsin, has formally established the State’s 30th County Forest. Adams County joins with 29 other counties in the state with lands enrolled under Wisconsin’s County Forest Law (§28.10 & 28.11). Collectively, these counties manage over 2.4 million acres of forest lands, the largest public ownership in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin’s first county forest in Langlade County was established in 1928. The focus of the Wisconsin County Forests is to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of forest ecosystems while providing benefits to the public.
Wisconsin county forests programs bring revenue into county coffers to not only fund their programs but to also supplement county wide budgets. Other county departments and services, and possibly tax levies, are significantly impacted by revenues primarily from harvested timber. In 2018, Wisconsin’s County Forests generated $45 million in revenue back to the counties and towns from timber sales alone.
Active sustainable forest management provide healthy forest conditions, robust wildlife habitat, clean water resources and offer numerous outdoor recreation amenities and services. Besides timber harvest opportunities, these forested tracts in Adams County are heavily utilized by motorized and non-motorized recreationists and are critical filters for area watersheds.
Kason Morley, Adams County Conservationist and Forest Administrator, stated, “It has taken significant effort and support to get to this stage and formally establish the Adams County Forest. We look forward to working with the Wisconsin DNR, staff from other county forests, and our local citizenry to grow and develop these lands for multiple public use.”
Established in 1968, the Wisconsin County Forests Association (WCFA) provides a forum for the consideration of issues, programs, and policies of Wisconsin’s County Forests. WCFA Executive Director Rebekah Luedtke states, “We are excited for the citizens of Adams County and the State of Wisconsin, and look forward to helping county staff move this forest forward and join one of the finest forest management programs in the country.”