Woods and Wildlife For Today and Tomorrow Project

Welcome Forest Landowner!

Thank you for your interest in the Woods and Wildlife for Today and Tomorrow Project (WWFTT)! We believe that this project will help you better manage your woodland for wildlife, for your wallet, and for future generations. Please review this site to learn more about this wonderful opportunity and RSVP for your landowner meeting or attend online at the bottom of the page. RSVPing to landowner events is encouraged but not expected. If you cannot attend your landowner meeting, please contact Joshua Beneš via email at joshua.benes@goldensandsrcd.org or via phone at (715) 343-6215.

The WWFTT project seeks to work with woodland landowners to form cooperatives of landowners to enable them to access benefits they wouldn't otherwise have access to on their own. To read more about this program, please view our publication about the program or view the program's informational site.

Working as a cooperative, these landowners will receive benefits with forest, wildlife habitat, and wildlife management assistance. All landowners are enrolled into a non-regulatory program called DMAP (information below) and have the ability to work with their neighbors beyond this program. There are only two fees landowners pay to participate. There is a one-time fee to Golden Sands RC&D of $25 that gets you into the cooperative and another small fee divided among all landowners every 3 years for the DMAP program (see information below). Landowners who want to have a forest management plan written for their property would be subject to other fees depending on the plan they want to write. Here is a summary of these programs that are at the heart of this project:

Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP)
DMAP provides landowners with free technical assistance and management opportunities for all wildlife for landowners or forest cooperatives with 640 or more acres of land. The $150 cost every 3 years for the level-3 DMAP program is divided up between all landowners in the cooperative. So, if there are 10 landowners in the cooperative, each landowner would only pay $15 every 3 years. Learn more from the DNR video below or from the DNR website.

Create your wildlife habitat plan with DMAP

A woodland landowners opinion of the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP):

Forest Stewardship Plans
Landowners who want to go beyond the DMAP program to consider sustainable forest management strategies may have a forest management plan written. Many landowners are already enrolled in these plans. A very common one throughout Wisconsin is the Managed Forest Law (MFL) forest management plan. This plan saves you money on your property taxes (typically about 75%), qualifies your timber for the sustainable certified marketplace, and allows you to plan out strategies to make your woodland healthier and more productive. MFL plans are written by Certified Plan Writers (CPW) and properties need to meet certain requirements (see MFL PDF link below).

A less well-known option to forest management are non-regulatory Forest Stewardship Program plans (FSP). These plans can help guide you on sustainable forest management on your property (recommendations only) but do not provide you the tax benefit. 

Landowners who wish to just have FSP plans written may choose to enter the sustainable certification marketplace through the Tree Farm program. In order to do this, landowners enrolled in FSP will have to have their plan reviewed to be sure it meets ATFS certification standards.

Landowners within these cooperatives can receive discounts on their forest management plans.

For more information about MFL please read through this PDF.
For more information about FSP please visit this website.

Habitat Restoration Funding
There are a number of programs available to help you reach your habitat restoration goals. Josh Benes will provide cooperative members guidance on how to apply for funds from several different funding sources:

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP):
EQIP is a voluntary program through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that promotes forest management. This program offers financial and technical help to assist landowners to install or implement conservation practices on their land that protect soil and water quality. Joining a forest cooperative will make it easier for you to apply for the financial and technical benefits this program provides.

For more information about EQIP please refer to the Wisconsin EQIP Website.

Fish and Wildlife Habitat Restoration Funds
Currently there are numerous funds available for private land restoration projects from the Fish and Wildlife Service in Portage, Waupaca, Waushara, and Adams Counties. Contact Josh with specific information and how to apply.

Forming Forest Enterprises
Landowners within a cooperative may choose to form their own forest enterprise, similar to the Agricultural Enterprise Areas throughout Wisconsin. When landowners work together, they can be capable of things an individual could never do on their own. For example, landowners in the cooperative could agree to:

Purchase Shared Supplies- Wood chippers, pellet mills, or even their own lumber mill
Hire staff together to save on costs- Loggers, Forest Planners
Engage with the Community- For example, landowners could sell wood chips for heating a local school.
Organize cooperative events- For example, chainsaw maintenance training or a field day walk with the DNR wildlife biologist to discuss habitat management ideas.

A cooperative is simply a way to better connect with your neighbors to discuss ideas on how to work together. The way a cooperative works together is decided by its members.

Do I need to participate in everything the cooperative does?
No. The only program everyone in the cooperative will be involved with is the DMAP program. Landowners can get involved beyond that program in any way they choose. Josh at Golden Sands RC&D is happy to help landowners get involved in different initiatives if they want to.

Potential Forest Landowner Cooperatives

This project is focusing on 8 counties in Central Wisconsin (Marathon, Wood, Portage, Waupaca, Monroe, Juneau, Adams, and Waushara) to create single forest cooperatives in priority areas. Please scroll below to find more information about your potential cooperative. If your cooperative is about to have a meeting, please RSVP. RSVPing to landowner events is encouraged but not expected. If you cannot attend your landowner meeting or want to check on how to attend a meeting via the web, please contact Joshua Benes via email at joshua.benes@goldensandsrcd.org or via phone at (715) 343-6215.

Example Presentations from Portage County Landowner Meeting:


   Monroe County: Town of Ridgeville & Adrian
    Landowner Meeting Monday, May 14th, 2018
    Norwalk Public Library
    101 Railroad Street, Norwalk, WI 54648

    Wood County: Towns of Cary & Rock
    7 landowners interested in joining a Level 3 DMAP together. Currently     Josh is looking for more landowners to "connect" using the DMAP half     mile rule. Please contact Josh if you wish to join at                               joshua.benes@goldensandsrcd.org or via phone at (715) 343-6215.

Adams County: Town of Richfield

Cooperative of 2,744 acres has formed! Please contact Josh if you wish to join at joshua.benes@goldensandsrcd.org or via phone at (715) 343-6215.

              Juneau County: Town of Necedah or Orange
                  Meeting to be scheduled in the summer. Landowners who were invited                    to the Necedah Meeting in January are also welcome to attend. 



Portage County:
 Town of Belmont

DMAP created in Emmons Creek Fishery Area. All landowners within half a mile of the Fishery Area or from other participating landowners are welcome to join. Pease contact Josh if you wish to join at joshua.benes@goldensandsrcd.org or via phone at (715) 343-6215.

Waushara County: Town of Rose

Level 3 DMAP has formed and is accepting new members. Please contact Josh if you wish to join at joshua.benes@goldensandsrcd.org or via phone at (715) 343-6215.

Marathon County: Town of Kronenwetter

Level 2 DMAP has formed and is accepting new members. Please contact Josh if you wish to join at joshua.benes@goldensandsrcd.org or via phone at (715) 343-6215.

Waupaca County: Town of Farmington

Cooperative of 2,192 acres has formed! Please contact Josh if you    wish to join at joshua.benes@goldensandsrcd.org or via phone at        (715) 343-6215.