A nonprofit devoted to private woodland development is offering tips to people whose woodlots suffered damage in the July 19, 2019 windstorm.

The Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association, with headquarters at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has resources that can help, according to Nancy Bozek, WWOA spokesperson.

The association website, www.wisconsinwoodlands.org, “offers a variety of information for woodland owners to consider before signing or agreeing to anything,” Bozek said last week.

“Determining the next steps for your woods is important and should be done as soon as possible without compromising the quality of service you expect from a contractor,” she said.

“Your decision will have implications now and for decades into the future; so, make sure you are selecting reputable Wisconsin firms to provide the work you need.”

On the website, woodland owners can find a sample timber sale contract, links to the foresters, and other resources to assist with storm damage cleanup.

Bozek said there are two options (depending on the damage severity) outlined and in “In the Face of Change,” a publication of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

“The first is to leave things as is, allowing dead and damaged trees to decay and go through their natural process,” she said. The process can create “variety of new habitats for different wildlife species (which are often threatened/endangered) and nutrients are returned to the forest floor through decomposition.”

The second option is a salvage cut.

“By clearing out downed and damaged trees, the amount of forest floor and standing fuels are decreased, thereby reducing your risk of a forest fire,” Bozek said.

The process could prevent damage from insects and disease that spread quickly between damaged trees.

“There is no right answer for any one woodland,” she said. “Work with your forester and trusted natural resources professionals to decide what is best for you and your woodland.”

Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association was established in 1979 for and by Wisconsin’s private woodland owners. For further information, call (715) 346-4798 or email wwoa@uwsp.edu