Jamie Taylor/river news
A group of city and county officials, as well as representatives from the area’s logging industry, listen Wednesday as Gov. Scott Walker announces that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources state forestry office will relocate to Rhinelander by the end of 2018. The office will be located in the existing DNR service center on Sutliff Avenue.
10/25/2017 4:30:00 PM Walker: State forestry headquarters
moving to Rhinelander
By River News Staff
By River News Staff
Rhinelander has been chosen as the new home of the State Division of Forestry office, Governor Scott Walker announced Wednesday in a visit to the city.
The headquarters will be located in the current DNR Service Center on Sutliff Avenue, Walker said.
Hayward, Wausau and Rhinelander had previously been identified by the Department of Natural Resources as preferred locations for the office should it be relocated to the northern half of the state.
As part of the 2015-17 state budget, the legislature directed the DNR to develop a proposal to move the State Division of Forestry headquarters to a location north of U.S. Highway 10.
The Rhinelander City Council and Oneida County Board of Supervisors passed resolutions asking the state to locate the office in Rhinelander or, in the case of the county board, "any municipality located in Oneida County."
During the county board discussion on the resolution, Oneida County Forest Director John Bilogan said the chosen community can expect to receive an added bonus of additional high-paying jobs.
County officials were unanimous in asserting that Oneida County is a perfect fit for the office.
"I personally thought that Oneida County is already kind of identified as maybe being the hub of the forest in the northern tier counties," Bilogan said.
In its resolution, the City Council noted Rhinelander's rich historical ties to the lumber industry that continue through to present day, the city's location in the heart of timber operations and the continued strong presence of industries in the area with ties to the forestry industry as reasons to consider the city.
According to Walker, the Chief State Forester will move to the DNR-owned facility in Rhinelander by Jan. 1, 2018. Over the next year, other forestry positions, currently located in Madison, will move to Rhinelander or locations north of State Highway 29 in phases.
"This move will put the Division of Forestry and its leadership in a better position to work with the primary forest industries in the state," said Walker. "We will also be able to work more closely with our forestry industry partners in growing the state's $24.7 billion forest industry that already generates nearly 65,000 jobs."
Following the Chief State Forester's move, other members of the forestry leadership team will also be in the Rhinelander headquarters by the first of next year.
"The DNR is looking forward to the opportunity of better serving the area where most of the state's timber industry is located," said DNR Secretary Dan Meyer. "Together with partners such as the U.S. Forest Service, Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association and the Wisconsin County Forest Association, we can better support and serve a thriving industry that is so important to our state's economy."
Posted: Friday, October 27, 2017
Article comment by:
Now that forestry has been completely exiled to the northern part of the State, my concern is that forestry issues will be out of sight - out of mind to our state legislators.
Posted: Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Article comment by:
You are about to be infiltrated by a bunch of Madison Communist Liberals intent on controlling your lives. Good luck with that!
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