Tornadoes that touched down in several locations across Iowa and Grant counties last week left many woodland owners with damage to their trees, DNR officials said.
In Grant County damage occurred along a five-mile-long line from northeast of Fennimore to northwest of Montfort affecting approximately 600 acres, and in Iowa County along a 23-mile-long line north of Dodgeville extending from Blackhawk Lake to County Road K affecting approximately 3,200 acres of land, according to a release.
In light of those storms, DNR officials are encouraging landowners to contact a DNR forester or a private consulting forester before accepting or signing any agreement with a contractor for cleanup of downed timber.
According to the release, there is often a marketable value to downed timber that should be factored into a salvage operation. A consulting forester can help in all aspects of the salvage from determining cutting specifications and marketing of the wood to contracts and sale administration.
“If your woodlot is five acres or larger and has storm damage, you may want to have a forester examine it to assist in the potential marketing of the damaged areas,” said Aaron Young, acting regional forester for the DNR in Dodgeville. “There are a number of private consulting foresters working in and around Iowa and Grant counties and the local DNR forestry offices have a list of private foresters available upon request, or you can find the list of foresters on the Internet by using the phrase Forestry Assistance Locator Wisconsin.”
Landowners should start the salvaging process soon, though the timber will generally remain marketable over the next year, Young said.
The salvage or harvesting of blown down timber will also reduce insect problems and encourage forest regeneration, according to the release.
An informational meeting for woodland owners with property affected by the storms will start at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the DNR’s Dodgeville Service Center at 1500 N. Johns Street.
Foresters will give a short presentation, provide handout materials, answer questions and refer landowners to appropriate professional assistance.