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Oneida County wants more forest cutting

A sign outside the main office of Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest
A sign outside the main office of Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

RHINELANDER, Wis. (WXPR) - The Oneida county board has joined other counties asking the U.S. Forest Service and Congress to make changes in policy to allow more cutting in Wisconsin's national forest and other forests.

There have been several meetings in the past few years by forest products producers asking for an increase in allowable cutting. Those informal meetings have led to the resolutions now before state county boards encouraging federal officials to act. This request would have no impact on state and county lands. A key provision from proponents is to improve the health of the national forests and cut the risk of fire.

Supervisor Bob Martini felt the language of the bill was too loosely worded. “I do object to the sloppy language in here. There are a number of things in here that aren't very germain to Oneida county." An amendment by Martini to change some of the wording failed 11-10.

Former Forest Service employee and longtime board member Tom Rudolph supported the resolution saying the Forest Service has been spending a larger amount of it's budget fighting increasingly worse fires. “So when you do get a fire with all that fuel material and downed trees, the cost of fighting the fires escalates as well." The advisory resolution passed 19-2.

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