These partners offer experts who’ll work with you to care for your land.
American Forest Foundation
The American Forest Foundation (AFF) works closely with local partner organizations to provide technical and financial assistance to family forest owners. Through these partnerships, AFF helps landowners reach their goals while contributing to larger conservation objectives, like protecting drinking water or restoring wildlife habitat. AFF also works with policy makers to expand financial and technical support for landowners whose active management contributes to wider conservation impacts. The foundation’s website MyLandPlan.org offers resources for setting and implementing land stewardship goals, and a place for landowners to connect with foresters and other woodland owners. Through its program, the American Tree Farm System, AFF also certifies landowners who meet its standards for sustainable forest management.
American Tree Farm System/Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee
A program of the American Forest Foundation, the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) and its Wisconsin arm, the Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee (WTFC), recognize and certify tree farmers and other woodland owners who meet their standards for sustainable forest management. In addition to the credibility and distinction that comes with certification under this internationally recognized program, certified owners gain access to ATFS’s extensive tools and resources, including its national network of professional foresters. The WTFC also holds a yearly tree farm field day that includes seminars for landowners, and an annual Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year competition.
Driftless Area Land Conservancy
The Driftless Area Land Conservancy is a land trust that offers private landowners in Southwest Wisconsin’s Driftless area several voluntary ways to conserve their woodlands and protect their legacy long-term. These conservation options include conservation easements, land donations, and bequests.
Kickapoo Woods Cooperative
The Kickapoo Woods Cooperative is a group of trusted forestry management professionals serving landowners in the Driftless Region. Through its educational events, woods walks, and quarterly newsletter, the cooperative provides landowners with the information and guidance they need to utilize, care for, and enjoy their woodlands. The organization offers technical help in many areas, including Wisconsin’s Managed Forest Law program, forest restoration, invasive species control, and selling timber. Joining the cooperative also gives you the chance to network with and learn from a dynamic group of engaged landowners.
‘Kü-le Region Forestry, Inc.
‘Kü-le Region Forestry is a La Crosse-based environmental services company that works with private landowners on conservation projects. Projects include prairie restoration and development, timber stand improvement, tree plantation management, invasive species control, trail construction and repair, and brush mowing.
My Lake Superior Northwoods
My Lake Superior Northwoods offers free assistance and technical advice to landowners in Northwest Wisconsin who want to care for their woods, wildlife, fields, and waters. Services include free site visits by one of the organization’s experienced natural resource professionals; e-newsletters and fact sheets; and quick, personalized answers to landowners’ questions and concerns about their land. The organization also offers assistance to those interested in funding programs such as the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program, U.S. Fish & Wildlife’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, county funding programs, and Wisconsin’s Managed Forest Law.
Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is the primary federal agency authorized to work with private landowners to help protect natural resources on their lands. NRCS funding and technical assistance programs, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), provide private woodland owners with a voluntary, incentive-based means to conserve their soil, water, and related resources.
The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) works with individuals, local communities, government agencies, and private businesses to protect natural landscapes. Its approaches include land purchases, placement of easements, and science-based conservation practices. The organization also partners with landowners, communities, cooperatives, and businesses to establish local groups that can protect land through tools such as land trusts, conservation easements, private reserves, and incentives. In some cases, TNC works directly with private landowners on water quality and sustainable forest management projects.
Pheasants Forever strives to conserve pheasant, quail, and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness and education, and land management policies and programs. Biologists available through its Farm Bill Biologist Program work with landowners one-on-one, teaching them the benefits of various conservation programs and assisting them after programs have been implemented. In a system unique to Pheasants Forever, local county chapters are given authority to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation dollars are spent. The organization also sells food plot seed and acquires land for permanent habitat protection.
Ruffed Grouse Society
Members of the Ruffed Grouse Society support scientific, conservation, and management efforts to ensure the future of wildlife species adapted to young forest communities. The society offers technical assistance and outreach programming to help landowners achieve their forest management goals, and publishes newsletters, videos, and other educational materials on its website. It also employs a team of regional wildlife biologists who can answers questions about local wildlife management issues and point landowners to relevant publications and other resources.
Southwest Badger RC&D Council
The Southwest Badger RC&D Council works to conserve, develop, and utilize local natural resources to achieve sustainable economic development in rural communities throughout Crawford, Grant, Green, Iowa, LaCrosse, Lafayette, Richland, Sauk, and Vernon counties. The council’s staff includes a stewardship forester who offers workshops and habitat tours for landowners and other audiences on sound forest management techniques. The council is also involved in a variety of other projects to help woodland owners, livestock farmers, and other private landowners in the region.
Trout Unlimited protects and restores North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds through advocacy work, science-based approaches to habitat conservation, and outreach to anglers and private landowners. Trout Unlimited offers a guide for landowners of streamside habitats, My Healthy Stream. In Wisconsin’s Driftless region, the Driftless Area Restoration Effort (TUDARE) works with private landowners who donate or sell public fishing easements, to restore streamside habitats at no cost to the owners. TUDARE also educates landowners through a variety of events, workshops, tours, and publications.
USDA Forest Service
The USDA Forest Service’s landowner assistance programs help private woodland owners protect, improve, restore, and sustain their forests. These initiatives include the Forest Legacy Program, which helps states protect environmentally sensitive, private forest lands through property acquisitions and donated conservation easements; and the Forest Stewardship Program, which provides landowners with the professional planning and technical assistance needed to keep their land in a productive and healthy condition. The stewardship program also gives landowners enhanced access to other USDA conservation programs, forest certification programs, and forest product markets.
USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry
The USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry collaborates with private landowners and other partners to protect, conserve, and manage forests, community trees, and related resources. The agency offers a number of “how to” guides and other publications for landowners on its website, along with resources and information about forest stewardship, forest health, best management practices for protecting water quality, and other subjects. The agency also works with woodland owners to protect environmentally important forests from conversion to non-forest uses, mainly through use of conservation easements.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Partners for Fish & Wildlife
Recognizing the important role that private lands play in supporting Wisconsin’s natural resources, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program works one-on-one with private landowners to improve fish and wildlife habitats on their lands. Program biologists assist in developing, designing, and completing projects that restore wetland, riparian, and upland habitats, while addressing the needs and desires of landowners. The program also offers funding to carry out these projects.
University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension
The University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension is a source of news and expertise about forest management, forest insect and disease pests, wildlife, and many other topics of interest to landowners. Visit your local UW Extension office, or view the UW Extension’s forest management publications online.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology conducts research and offers extension and outreach that benefit landowners and others across the state. Forestry and wildlife extension specialists provide programs on wildlife management, wood products, and forest management. Educational materials are available on the department’s web site.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) helps private landowners sustainably manage and protect their woodlands. DNR foresters provide advice, guidance, and referrals to programs and professionals to help landowners accomplish their goals. The DNR offers incentives to help reduce the expense of owning and caring for woodlands, including Managed Forest Law (MFL), a property tax incentive program, and the Wisconsin Forest Landowner Grant Program (WFLGP), which provides financial assistance for planning and completing management practices. The agency also works with partners to support education and outreach to adult and youth audiences. Search “landowner” on the DNR website to find resources for woodland owners.