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 fantastic 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 in deductions of property tax and/or forest and wildlife management assistance. There is a one-time fee to Golden Sands RC&D of $25 that gets you into the cooperative. All landowners will be part of DMAP which has a small fee divided among all landowners every 3 years (see information below). These are the only two fees all landowners in these cooperatives will pay. Landowners who choose to can also write a forest management plan for a discounted fee (see information below). 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):

Managed Forest Law (MFL) or Forest Stewardship Program (FSP)
Creating a sustainable forest management plan allows landowners to save money on their property taxes every year! In order to participate in MFL, a landowner needs to meet certain criteria, such as having a parcel that is at least 20 contiguous acres, has 80% forest cover, and doesn't contain certain buildings. Once these requirements are met, Joshua Benes, the Cooperative Woodland Management Coordinator at Golden Sands RC&D can assist you with writing a forest management plan for a one-time fee of $75 (per 40 acres) which will allow you to qualify for the MFL program.

If your woodland doesn't meet these requirements or if you prefer a non-regulatory alternative to MFL, you can get a Forest Stewardship Program forest management plan written for your woodland. The idea of woodland management is the same, but there are no legal-requirements. Unfortunately, through FSP, you do not save money on your property taxes.

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

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.

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:

    Wood County: Towns of Cary, Rock, and Wood
    Landowner meeting Tuesday March 6th at 6:30pm
    Lester Public Library of Arpin
    8091 County E, Arpin, WI 54410

Adams County: Town of Richfield

Cooperative of over 2,500 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
                  The In-person meeting was canceled due to weather. Everyone                              who RSVPed to the meeting was informed and the online meeting was                   still held. If you did not RSVP and are still interested in the                                  cooperative be sure to email or call Josh at                                 ................ joshua.benes@goldensandsrcd.org or via phone at (715) 343-6215.



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 are accepting new members. Pease contact Josh if you wish to join at joshua.benes@goldensandsrcd.org or via phone at (715) 343-6215.

Marathon County: Town of Kronenwetter

Update: Waiting to see if there is enough interest from landowners in this area before we move forward.


   Monroe County: Town of Ridgeville
   Landowner meeting to be organized in April or May!

  Waupaca County: Town of Farmington
   Landowner meeting to be organized in April or May!