What I heard
While attending one of Governor Elect Ever’s budget roundtable events in December, it was apparent many attendees have concerns about natural resources. The resources of greatest concern were drinking water and energy. Nitrate concentration and CAFO’s were the topics of concern for groundwater and access to wind and solar energy for individual homeowners was equally as important to attendees.
As the conversation expanded the group began talking about public land ownership, access to it, wildlife, and trails which come from forest management but are not typically associated with it. As I listened to the conversation it was evident to me forest management provides the benefits these attendees desire most. A very knowledgeable forest industry rep who was also in attendance stated Wisconsin residents are very lucky to have 17.2 million acres of well managed forest land, parks and recreational opportunities. I added in that forest management is providing exactly what the attendees are looking for clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, access to recreation and hunting opportunities.
Think about it, BMP’s for water quality have a better than 95% success ratio in implementation for water quality. Regeneration of young aspen stands provide quality grouse and game bird habitat for hunting. Prior to regeneration, hawks and birds of prey hang around fresh clear-cuts because it’s a lot easier to see and scoop up a delicious meal of some unsuspecting ground critter. Forest roads provide the basis for recreational trails in many areas. For years loggers and log truckers have shared forest roads with snowmobilers and ATV’s without great difficulty. We’re not always singing Kumbaya, but we always seem to find ways to accommodate dual use roads.
There are also many other advantages to having the regions healthiest and best maintained forests. One attendee stated several times they had escaped from California and had moved to Wisconsin two years ago. The reason the attendee moved to Wisconsin was because of the states clean air and water. It was a little confusing when this attendee went on to say, “Wisconsin is twenty years behind California in many respects” and wants Wisconsin to catch up. Based on the fires causing environmental disasters in California, Wisconsin is on the right track and doing just fine thank you!
As we enter the New Year there will be many changes taking place including the FISTA Safety Trainer. Many of you know Rich Good has been FISTA’s trainer for the past twenty-seven months and Rich has decided to move on to other adventures. Once a great entrepreneur, always a great entrepreneur! Speaking first hand, it’s not easy to go from being self-employed for most of your life to having 15 bosses instantly. From my perspective Rich has been the most dedicated and passionate trainer employed by FISTA in recent history. Rich’s knowledge of the industry, experience as a logger/trucker and business owner has served trainees well during his tenure with FISTA. Our thanks go to Rich for sharing his knowledge and working to make FISTA and the forest industry the best it can be!
Moving forward, the FISTA Board will be reviewing the Safety Trainer Job description and updating it to ensure it meets today’s needs. Once the job description is updated FISTA will be actively seeking a new Safety Trainer.
Until Next Month,