Today, Governor Walker toured a logging site, a wood yard, a mill, and a wood pellet plant in Springbrook and Hayward, Wisconsin getting a first-hand look at the economic impact of Wisconsin's forests. Wisconsin is the nation's leader in the value of shipments of forest products, totaling nearly $20 billion per year, not including more than $5 billion in economic value from forest-based recreation and tourism.
"The forest products industry is Wisconsin's second largest manufacturing employer, providing 1 in every 6 manufacturing jobs in the state," said Governor Scott Walker. "Touring forestry facilities and meeting with representatives from this important industry has been helpful as we work to help the private sector create jobs in Wisconsin."
"For every job in the forest industry, 1.6 support jobs are also created," said Paul DeLong, Chief State Forester with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
County forests represent the largest public landholding in Wisconsin and collectively the 29 county forests in Wisconsin produced revenue of more than $37 million in 2012. In addition, the county forests have nearly 2.4 million acres open to the public for a variety of recreational opportunities, offering an important recreation resource to complement Wisconsin's tourism industry.
During his visit to northern Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker announced the appointment Gary Zimmer to the Natural Resources Board.
"Earlier today, while visiting Great Lakes Renewable Energy, I was pleased to announce the appointment of Gary Zimmer to the Natural Resources Board," said Governor Walker. "Gary has had a long and distinguished career and his knowledge will be a huge asset. By joining the Board, Gary will be able to advocate for good sustainable ways to manage our forests. Forests are one of Wisconsin's strategic assets and they are a key part of our state's economy."
"In his professional capacity, he has been dedicated to professional development, sustainable forestry, wildlife management, and protecting Wisconsin's environment while providing for true multiple use management of our natural resources," said State Representative Jeff Mursau.
Zimmer has spent his career as a wildlife professional. For 18 years, Zimmer worked with the US Forest Service at Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and, 12 of those years, he was District Biologist. Currently, he is a Senior Regional Wildlife Biologist at the Ruffed Grouse Society. Zimmer received a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management and a Master of Science in Natural Resources from the University of Wisconsin--Stevens Point.