Empower landowners to improve habitat, manage for invasive species, and sustainably manage their woodlands through bringing them together to form group cooperatives. That's the goal of the Woods & Wildlife for Today & Tomorrow Project!

Golden Sands RC&D has worked to bring about 80 landowners in 10 different cooperatives together across Central Wisconsin. Landowners collectively enrolled into the state's Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) and qualify for forming Level 3 DMAP cooperatives. When enrolled in a cooperative of at least 160 acres, landowners receive site visits from a Wildlife Biologist and Forester, a wildlife habitat management plan, and learn about opportunities to collaborate with their neighbors to create better habitat at a larger scale.

A recipe for enhanced wildlife habitat:

Wildlife depend on diverse types of habitats over the landscape. The average deer depends on 640 acres of habitat. In order to enhance wildlife habitat in your area, you need to think beyond the borders of your property. When landowners enroll in DMAP collectively, they receive personal site visits from natural resource professionals and learn about what they can do on their property to improve habitat. They also connect with neighboring landowners and can work together to diversify habitat in the region to benefit wildlife.

An effective strategy to manage invasive plants:

Managing for invasive plants is difficult for individual landowners to do on their own. If you manage for an invasive plant on your land and your neighbor doesn’t do the same, seeds can travel to your property and bring back the plants you have worked so hard to remove. When landowners join cooperatives, they have the ability to work together to manage for invasive plants together in a region. Some landowners in group cooperatives hire consultants to treat some invasive plants together using cost-share programs.

Efficient timber management:

If you want to keep your woodland healthy, you need to manage it. Doing nothing for your woodland is doing something wrong. To know what to do, you need a forest management plan. There are many types of plans you can get, both non-regulatory (no tax benefit) and regulatory (tax benefit). Even if you have a management plan, it can be difficult to find a logger to do a timber sale on your property using the plan. Landowners in cooperatives have the option to collaborate with their neighbors to conduct shared timber sales, enhancing the health of their forest and get a greater return from their timber sale. 

How can you get involved?

- Sign up for a Level 1 DMAP on your own.

- Attend our fall 2020 Cooperating for Woods and Wildlife Workshop Series!

- Connect with neighboring landowners to form one on your own cooperatives (160+ acres for Level 2).

- Notify us that you are interested (message below and indicate what county you own land in).

Thanks to our partners that have contributed both funds and time to this project!

© 2021 by Golden Sands RC&D.

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1100 Main St Suite 150

Stevens Point, WI 54481

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This organization is an equal opportunity provider.