A History of Forestry for Langlade County and the City of Antigo
January 3, 2018
A Summary of the City of Antigo Urban Forestry History The City of Antigo has been awarded a DNR Urban Forestry Grant. Part of the grant includes funding for public education and outreach. The below information is one of nine articles that will be published regarding urban forestry for the City of Antigo as well as forestry for Langlade County. Our goal is to provide the public with useful and relevant information regarding forestry in our communities including: planting; care; removal and sustainable harvesting; uses once removed; regulations, policies, and ordinance; days and events that celebrate trees and nature; invasive plants; and benefits of trees.
History: The City of Antigo’s Urban Forestry program has a history of growth and development. In the mid-90’s local Forestry Technician with the DNR, Pete Solin, took it upon himself to change how things were done in the City of Antigo and grow the urban canopy while taking a more systematic approach to preserving the existing urban forest. Since Pete’s proactive efforts to improve Antigo’s urban forest there have been a number of positive changes and lots of growth.
Grants: Through multiple DNR Urban Forestry grant awards the City of Antigo has been able to implement plans to not only remove hazardous, dead or dying trees, but also to replace them once removed. Urban forestry tree inventories have been completed twice with DNR Urban Forestry Grants.
The most recent inventory partially funded through an Urban Forestry Grant will make public tree information in parks and city owned right-of-way accessible to the general public via our GIS website. This will allow the public to view species type, height, diameter, and additional information that was gathered during the inventory. Staff will use this information to prioritize removals and pruning that occur annually.
Growth and Expansion: In 1999, 34 acres of wooded area, within city limits, was gifted to the city by Dan and Diane Kretz. This area has allowed recreational opportunities to expand and grow to include: walking and biking on the Springbrook Trail (partially funded through a Knowles Stewardship Grant), 18-hole Disc Golf Course (funded by community groups, organizations, individuals, and Antigo Rotary). Snowshoeing and x-country skiing (additional loops made possible by bridges funded through Antigo Rotary and Inland Lakes).
Ten priority park plans helped the community move in a uniform direction to complete large park projects as well as provide a blue print for tree planting within the parks. Species of tree, type of tree, and location are all noted on the plans, so staff can plant accordingly, each year, as funds are available. We have been fortunate the past couple years to receive funding from ATC (American Transmission Company), and plant in a number of parks.
Current: We are currently planting between 20-40 trees annually. We are prioritizing removals of Ash trees to proactively address Emerald Ash Borer. We will also be working to prune newly planted and established trees to maintain the health of our urban forest. We hope you find the subsequent articles regarding forestry and our communities helpful and interesting. If you have any questions regarding the City of Antigo Urban Forest program please don’t hesitate to contact me at: 715.623.3633 extension-131 (Sarah Repp, City of Antigo Park, Recreation and Cemetery Supervisor).
History of the Langlade County Forest The Langlade County Forest has a long history in the State of Wisconsin. From 1860 to 1910, the lands that now make up the County Forest provided raw materials for a thriving lumber industry for a growing nation. Due to the lack of sound forest management, these lands were overharvested and left tax delinquent once the timber ran out.
The Langlade County Forest was established by the Langlade County Board of Supervisors on April 26, 1929. Over 2,100 acres were included into the County Forest Crop Law at that time, making the Langlade County Forest the 1st County Forest in Wisconsin.
Mission Statement: Natural resources, such as those provided by the County Forest, are the base for addressing the ecological and socioeconomic needs of society. The mission of the County Forest is to manage, conserve and protect these resources on a sustainable basis for present and future generations.
Timber Management: The Langlade County Forest has grown to over 130,000 acres since 1929. The County administers a sustainably managed timber sale program. The primary timber types on the County Forest in include 43,000 acres of Northern Hardwood and nearly 45,000 acres of Aspen. The Northern Hardwood is comprised of sugar maple, basswood, yellow birch and white ash. There are also some red maple and oak as well. Annually, the County harvests approximately 3,000 acres which in turn provides jobs to local loggers and truckers and raw forest products to various mills in the region. Additionally, these lands provide over 1.5 million dollars of timber sale revenue to the County on an annual basis to help offset the local tax levy.
Recreational Opportunities: The large blocks of public land that make up the County Forest lend itself to provide a very diverse recreational program. The County Forestry and Recreation Department, along with the assistance of various volunteer user groups, manage a variety of facilities and trail systems. They include a 551 mile snowmobile trail system, nearly 100 mile ATV/UTV trail system, 4 cross country ski trail systems, and a Dog Sled and Horse trail system. Over thirty miles of Ice Age Trail is located on County Forest as well as a maintained hunter walking trail network. The County also operates and maintains a 48 site campground at Veterans Memorial Park, a Bow and Gun Range, as well as 23 waysides and boat landings. Kettlebowl Ski Hill is located on County Forest and is operated by volunteer groups.
The Langlade County Forest is open to the public for the 5 Nature Based Outdoor Activities which includes hunting, trapping, fishing, hiking and cross country skiing.
To view information regarding recreational opportunities in Langlade County and see various events posted on the Community Calendar please visit our community resource website: alcinfo.com.