The Wisconsin DNR and University of Wisconsin Extension have teamed up to produce and excellent bulletin for anyone contemplating harvesting timber. They outline an easy to follow and understand 6-step method. The bulletin in entitled Conducting a Successful Timber Sale: A Primer for Landowners.
Timber harvesting is an important tool for woodland owners: When conducted with fore-thought
Landowners choose to cut trees for a variety of reasons. Decision to harvest may be based on a recommended action in a written management plan or may be based on unplanned events. For example, a violent windstorm, wildfire, or pest infestation may require harvesting to salvage timber or protect the forest from further damage. Regardless of the reason, a successful timber harvest that meets the landowner’s goals begins by working with a forester to develop a plan.
Harvesting is not a process to enter lightly. A timber harvest is a complex interaction of ecology, forest operations, business, law, taxes, marketing and negotiations. It has both short- and long-term consequences for you and your forest.
This publication is a first step in helping landowners understand some of these consequences and how they can ensure a careful timber harvest. Readers will also learn about the timber sale process. However, don’t consider this a definitive “how-to” guide for conducting your own timber sale. Much of the process will depend on specific situations and the individuals working with.
Anyone entering the timber sale process should seek assistance from a forestry professional. These professionals are the first stop in understanding your woods, and they can recommend whether or not a landowner should consider conducting a timber sale. Numerous studies have shown that landowners who work with a forester in planning a timber harvest report greater satisfaction, greater revenue from the sale, and healthier and more valuable woods following the harvest.
By Mark Rickenbach, University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology (revised by Mike Finley, WDNR, and William Klase and Kris Tiles, University of Wisconsin-Extension)