Every day sunset comes just a little bit earlier and the leaves are starting to change color. Although it’s always sad to see the end of summer, fall is a spectacular time in Northern Wisconsin. Whether I’m driving from Park Falls to Superior or from Ashland to Rice Lake, I am awed by the natural beauty of the place we are lucky enough to call home.

Not only do our northern forests provide much of that beauty, they are one of the things that help define who we are. In addition to providing habitat for wildlife, they are a key part of the livelihoods and way of life for many of our friends and neighbors.

The foresters, loggers, sawmill operators, manufacturers of wood and paper products and manufacturers who make value-added wood products like furniture, all depend on healthy forests.

I am honored to serve on the Governor’s Council on Forestry, a group that works to find the proper balance between utilizing and protecting our forests.

Last week, the Council met for two days at the Forest Lodge Educational Campus in Cable to discuss new technologies in the lumber industry as well as what the council will focus on for the next year, with an emphasis on how to ensure Wisconsin wood products are able to compete in today’s global century economy.

It was also a great opportunity to introduce some Council members to the area. We visited forestry related businesses right here in our own backyard. One of them, Graphic Wood Technologies in Spooner, is the only manufacturer of wide-web, paper thin, continuous roll, printable veneer in the world and is a leader in developing strong sustainable relationships with nature.

It was recently announced that the governor is seeking new members to serve on the Council. The 10 seats that are open are for someone who represents:

  • The interests of owners of nonindustrial, private forest land who manage the land to produce ecological, economic and social benefits;
  • The interests of counties that have county forests within their boundaries;
  • The interests of the paper and pulp industry;
  • The interests of the lumber industry;
  • A forester who engages in the practice of providing consultation services on forestry issues;
  • The interests of schools of forestry within the state;
  • The interests of persons who are members of labor unions that are affiliated with the forestry industry;
  • The interests of persons who are engaged in the practice of urban and community forestry;
  • The interests of persons who are members of the Society of American Foresters;
  • The interests of persons who are engaged in an industry that uses secondary wood.

If you or someone you know are interested in bringing a voice to the discussion and have the appropriate experience or affiliation, I encourage you to apply. Please send a one-page letter of interest outlining your qualifications, the seat you’re applying for and the reason you wish to serve to Governor Evers’ assistant chief of staff, Barb Worcester, at barb.worcester@wisconsin.gov.

Sen. Janet Bewley represents the 25th District in the Wisconsin Senate.

Sen. Janet Bewley
Sen. Janet Bewley