Join us for Conservation on Tap Thursday, June 14th!
Join us for Conservation on Tap Thursday, June 14th!
Conservation On Tap is coming up Thursday! Join us for a conservation happy hour.
Conservation on Tap is hosted every third Thursday of the month. Are you interested in Wisconsin conservation efforts? Curious about how to make a environmental difference? Conservation On Tap is for you! Come to socialize about Wisconsin conservation over a Wisconsin beer!
Conservation On Tap is an opportunity for conservation enthusiasts to connect across agencies and fields, for young professionals to network and get tapped into greater conservation efforts, and for non-professional conservation practitioners to get engaged. Come and chat, hope to see you there! #ConservationBuzz
Oppose the Proposed Elimination of the Forestry Mill Tax
Wisconsin has one of the most diverse collections of forest types in the country if not the world. In our state the southern and eastern deciduous forests converge with northern conifer to form natural communities that are unique to our state and the upper Midwest. In Wisconsin, we have over 16 million acres of forests, which is 46% of the land. Meaning if you could walk every inch of our beautiful state, half of your steps would be in the shade.
However, this year Wisconsin forests are facing an enormous threat and it’s not a borer, wilt, or algid; in fact, it is something much more devastating. The Governor’s current budget proposal removes the forestry mill tax and eliminates nearly all state mandated funding for forestry management. This essential tax is leveed equally upon all landowners to support sustainable forestry throughout the state. It funds nearly every state sponsored forestry program in some way and is our main line of defense against the overuse of our excellent timber resource. In fact, the tax was put in place in 1927 after unchecked logging removed every single marketable tree from the state. Think about that… every single tree.
This is not a matter of politics. Wisconsin residents and visitors all directly rely on the forest in some way; whether it is for food, water, lumber, recreation, tourism, the list goes on. However, it is also not about just about how we use these forests, because whether it is an oak in the Driftless Area, a pine the Central Sands, or maple in the Northwoods, these trees are part of our identity. And this is the only state tax that assures our forest identity will remain intact for future generations.
Eliminating the mill tax is the modern day equivalent of allowing the lumber barons to clearcut our forests. This is especially true with recent developments of federal tariffs imposed on trade of softwood with Canada. Local forest markets will undoubtedly increase as Wisconsin softwood timber market is historically low despite being the top paper producing state. This is a good thing for many communities, but if left unchecked can also result in the conversion of our mature forests to pure production bases systems and the loss of many natural services. History has shown we cannot solely rely on the industry to police its self (…every single tree).
Fortunately we can make a difference. The Governor only proposes the budget, it us up to our Legislators to pass it. In April the Joint Finance Committee received public input on the mill tax and numerous state organizations spoke out against its elimination. These groups ranged from the Forest Stewards Guild (FSG Mill Tax Letter) to the Wisconsin Prescribed Fire Council (WPFC Mill Tax Letter).
Now is the time to for you to act. Call your local representatives today and let them know your concern about elimination of the forestry mill tax. This tax has been on the books for nearly 100 years and made Wisconsin’s private forest resource the strongest in the country. So it’s elimination as a budget item is already a contentious topic among lawmakers. If enough senators and representatives hear from concerned citizens about this topic, it would be an easy item to change on the Capitol floor in June. So please contact your representatives today and help save our forests!
Don’t miss your chance to participate in this year’s annual Conservation Congress Spring Hearing on Monday April 10th. This is your opportunity to elect local delegate representatives for the Conservation Congress which advises the Natural Resources Board and the Department of Natural Resources on how to responsibly manage Wisconsin’s natural resources. You’ll also have the chance to provide input on fish and wildlife regulations and introduce new resolutions. Visit the DNR website for more information on hearing locations by county and to download this year’s questionnaire. The questionnaire summarizes resolution procedure and has a comprehensive list of all of the proposed changes to rules and regulations. Your vote counts!
We have an immediate opening on our board of directors for the role of Secretary. The Secretary provides a critical communications role in our mission to foster collaborative relationships and advance the science and practice of conservation in Wisconsin. This board member takes the lead writing and posting content for WSCB social media platforms, updating our website, and writing and compiling content for our monthly member newsletter.
To apply, send a letter of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, March 24th. We welcome questions about the position at the above email and look forward to connecting with you.
WSCB board members serve for a one-year term, and these are volunteer positions. Board members must be SCB Global members. To read more about specific roles and responsibilities, please see here https://wisconbio.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/wscb-board-of-directors-roles-and-responsibilities1.pdf
Come join WSCB as we assist Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources restoration crews on Sunday, September 11th at Empire Prairies State Natural Area (near Madison). From 2 – 5pm we will be collecting seeds to be used in future restoration projects to expand the prairie. We will meet along the road near 5197 Brabender Rd in Middleton and will ride in from there. Please contact Yasi at email@example.com to RSVP, and if you can offer a ride or need a ride from downtown.
Join us for the next WSCB Chapter Meeting on Wednesday, November 18th at 7 p.m. in UW-Madison’s Science Hall, room 15. We will hear from Madison Audubon’s executive director Matt Reetz, on what the challenges and opportunities are for conservation in Wisconsin in the context of Madison Audubon’s work. The chapter business meeting will precede at 6 p.m., and is open to all WSCB members.
Join us at James Madison Park on Thursday, September 3rd from 5pm-dusk to engage with Wisconsin’s conservation community at our First Annual BBQ! Enjoy tasty local BBQ food (including vegetarian options), meet other conservation practitioners, students, and researchers, and enjoy fun and games in the park! Non-alcoholic drinks provided, and those 21+ can BYOB. To help cover the cost of the event, we would appreciate a $5 donation. In an effort to limit food waste, please help us plan by completing the survey here by August 3rd. And please share with your colleagues!
Thanks to all who participated in WSCB’s Bee Fest Event! We had a great time identifying the Arboretum’s bee species and learning about pollinator conservation in Wisconsin and beyond. Check out the Wisconsin State Journal’s coverage of our event here.
If you missed BeeFest, you can still get involved with pollinator monitoring in Madison! We’ll be holding a field day on Saturday, July 11th (rain date: July 12th), from 3-5 pm at the Lakeshore Nature Preserve. Come by to learn more about bee identification and help us assess pollinator diversity at the LNP. Meet in the Picnic Point parking lot. There are many more opportunities to take part in this project; fill out the form on our project page if you are interested in learning more.
Join conservation professionals and students from around the globe at the international Society for Conservation Biology conference in Montpellier, France.
See the ICCB webpage for more information on the conference!