Logger training workshops support sustainable forestry

Domtar’s Nekoosa Mill is committed to promoting sustainable forestry in Wisconsin. Encouraging a highly qualified and professional logging industry is a large part of that commitment.

Through our involvement in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Program administered by the Wisconsin SFI Implementation Committee (SIC), Nekoosa participates in and funds a variety of initiatives to promote logger education on sustainable forestry in the region. Through the SIC, Wisconsin has created a very proactive logger training program.

In an effort to lower costs and make training accessible to loggers close to where they work, Nekoosa sponsored two logger training workshops at the mill on May 21, 2013. Over 50 loggers attended one or both of the workshops. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources provided presentations for the workshops.

The morning workshop, “Forest Insects and Diseases,” covered a wide range of insect pests and diseases affecting the forests in the region. Identification, treatments and preventative measures were discussed in detail. At the end of the presentation, a gypsy moth identification and certification was presented to the loggers, a regulatory requirement for moving quarantined products during restricted timeframes.

The afternoon workshop was “Hot Topics of Water Quality” as it related to logging operations. Regulatory requirements, best practices and water quality issues raised by periodic water quality Best Management Practices audits were highlighted to address areas of potential impact. Updated Water Quality Best Management Practices (BMP) handbooks were distributed during the presentation.

Since the initiation of training on voluntary best management practices for water quality in the late 1990s, the rates of water quality issues related to logging have dropped to very low levels based on periodic monitoring administered by the state.

Joe Kies, Sr. Buyer, Wood Procurement, at Nekoosa has participated in these monitoring efforts as an industry representative on the interdisciplinary teams created to monitor the effectiveness of voluntary water quality BMPs.