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Vilas County News-Review, Feb. 22, 2012 - SECTION A

Vilas County News-Review, Feb. 22, 2012 - SECTION A

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07/26/2013

 
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
n
Basketball teams atPines, Three Lakes andPhelps will start play-offs next week.Pgs. 12A-13A
 Boys set to start tournament trail 
VOL. 126, NO. 49$1.25
Section
 A
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 22, 2012
VILAS COUNTY
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EAGLE RIVER, WI 54521 (715) 479-4421 www.vcnewsreview.com
FIGHTING COLD — Looking as round as a ball,a ruffed grouse puffs its feathers for added insu-lation as it feeds on buds, one of its main winterstaples. —Staff Photo By KURT KRUEGER
Timber cutting on theChequamegon-Nicolet Nation-al Forest is not occurring atthe levels it could be as U.S.Forest Service officials strug-gle through more hurdles —this time budget issues and awave of retirements.Officials said there are cur-rently 30 staff vacancies inthe federal agency that man-ages the 1.5 million-acre for-est, which includes the Nicoletland mass east of here.Forest Supervisor PaulStrong said not only are bud-gets tight, but they are cur-rently five months into a newfiscal year and they still don’tknow what the final budgetlooks like.“It’s hard to be aggressivein allocating resources earlyin a fiscal year when you don’tknow the totals you are deal-ing with,” he said.The latest distractionscome as forest managers weregearing up to increase logging volumes, after winning everylawsuit that had been filedchallenging how the agencyanalyzes the cumulativeimpacts of cutting timber onthings such as endangeredwildlife.Nearly a dozen lawsuitsfiled between 2002 and 2007put major timber manage-ment projects on hold throughmost of 2009.The result is a continuingannual loss in potential tim-ber harvest under the 2004Forest Plan — a loss that hastotaled about 320 millionboard feet (mbf). About 35 mbf of that short-fall has occurred on the EagleRiver-Florence Ranger Dis-trict. While the allowable salequantity (ASQ) in the plancalls for about 15 mbf of tim-ber harvest annually, the For-est Service has managed tocut about 10 mbf in each of thepast seven years.Strong acknowledged thatthe harvest numbers are low-er than the target, and thatmore cutting should be done.But he’s also mindful of theinterruptions his staff hasfaced from lawsuits, weathercatastrophies, insect infesta-tions and, now, funding andpersonnel shortages.“By our best estimates andbased on the funding we had,we have done 99% of what wecould do with that money inthe past five years,” saidStrong. “It didn’t add up toeverything we wanted done,according to the goals andobjectives of the plan. But I’mproud of my staff for figuringout how to keep things goingin difficult times.”Strong said during thelengthy litigation years, staff turned its attention to projectsthat weren’t held up.“They had to switch gearsand restart the process fromthe beginning in other areas of the forest, but they chose notto be victims of those circum-stances,” he said.Besides having to start overwith the lengthy planning and
National forest logging not making the cut
Wave of retirements, funding issues are latest hurdles
RobertaRetrum, local-ly known forcollectingrecall signa-tures againstGov. ScottWalker at thesame intersec-tion in EagleRiver over a60-day period, announced Fri-day that she will run as aDemocratic candidate for the34th Assembly District.Rep. Dan Meyer (R-EagleRiver) announced Feb. 17 thathe was not seeking re-election.The district covers all of VilasCounty and most of OneidaCounty. A native of Wisconsin,Retrum retired to the EagleRiver area four years ago. Shelived in Janesville for 30 yearsprior to moving to the NorthWoods.While Retrum is new to thepolitical arena, she said theaction of Walker last Febru-ary shocked her into realizingwhat can go wrong in stategovernment. A year ago, justafter taking office, Walkerannounced he was taking col-lective bargaining rights awayfrom most public workers aspart of his budget repair bill.“I wasn’t doing it (collectingsignatures) for me,” saidRetrum. “I did it for everyonewho wanted a chance to signit. I don’t want this statedestroyed.”Retrum, the recently elect-ed treasurer of the VilasCounty Democrats, said shehas seen very little of Meyerin the Eagle River area andwanted to give better repre-sentation to the people of thisarea.“This is not a decision Icame to lightly,” said Retrum.“I don’t particularly feel (whatWalker did) affected me per-sonally. I’m not a teacher. I’mnot part of a union.”Retrum said she felt thatmany of the issues that theRepublican-held Legislaturetook away from the people of Wisconsin belonged on refer-
Retrum announcesDemocratic bidfor 34th Assembly
The Three Lakes Lions Clubwill hold its 59th annual IceFishing Derby and raffles thisSaturday, Feb. 25, from 10 a.m.to 3:30 p.m at the grounds of the Three Lakes Chamber of Commerce and Welcome Cen-ter on Superior Street.Cash prizes will be awardedfor the largest and the second-largest northern, walleye, bassand total panfish weight. Therealso are separate $50 prizes forthe largest fish of any kindcaught by a child 12 years oldor younger. Youths, supervised by a par-
59th Ice Fishing Derbyplanned this Saturday
The Northland PinesSchool District is moving for-ward with its plan to establisha charter school within thedistrict in 2013.The resolution approving aplanning grant applicationand a commitment to imple-ment a charter school willcome before the school boardMonday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m. inthe Large Group Instructionroom.The district’s policy com-mittee reviewed the resolutionlast week and forwarded it tothe school board.District AdministratorMike Richie said a committeethat is looking at creating thecharter school is doing “a verygood job” and has visited dif-ferent charter schools in andoutside of this area. The com-mittee also surveyed parentsabout creating a charterschool.“We received a goodresponse from a survey of par-ents and are looking at thedata,” Richie said. “Parents’support for a project-based
Pines eyescharterschool
With lawsuits behind the U.S. Forest Service,logging has resumed on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. This tree processor wasbusy harvesting timber in a hardwoods select cutnear Divide Road last week.—Staff Photo By GARY RIDDERBUSCH
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To TIMBER SALES, Pg. 3AST. GERMAIN — At least18 rural mailboxes weredamaged or destroyed in St.Germain between dusk anddawn Feb. 10 and 11, accord-ing to a town official.The damaged mailboxeswere located in HolidayEstates, Indian Trail andLeisure Estates subdivisions,said Town Chairman WaltCamp.“Each mailbox appears tohave sustained one blow froma piece of pipe or similarobject,” said Camp. “We wantour community to be a safeplace where vandalism doesnot occur.”The cost of each mailboxranges between $20 and $60depending on type, and thereplacement cost is absorbedby the property owner.Sheriff’s department Chief Deputy Joe Fath and Lt.Gary Peske attended the St.Germain Town Board meet-ing Monday, Feb. 13, to dis-cuss the vandalism problemin the town.“We (the sheriff’s depart-ment) need the community tobe our eyes and help us solvethese crimes,” said Fath.Peske also urged citizensto call the sheriff’s depart-ment when seeing anythingsuspicious or unusual.The sheriff’s department’snonemergency phone num-ber is (715) 479-4441.
Vandals hit St. Germain mailboxes
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This was one of the 18 damaged mailboxes discovered lastweek in the St. Germain area. —Photo By Wally Geist
To RETRUM, Pg. 6ATo CHARTER, Pg. 2ATo FISHING DERBY, Pg. 4A
RETRUM 
 
Charter:
Land O’ Lakes likely site
2A
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 22, 2012VILAS COUNTY NEWS-REVIEW/THE THREE LAKES NEWS
NEWS
SCHOOL SPIRIT — Students from Three Lakes High Schoolpoured from the bleachers during halftime of the boys basketballgame against Crandon last Friday night to dance on the gymnasi-um floor. —Staff Photo By ANTHONY DREW
FROM PAGE 1A
charter school came out of thesurvey loud and clear.”Richie said it’s possible thecharter school could be locatedin Land O’ Lakes.“Looking at the Land O’Lakes Elementary Schoolmakes sense because we havethe space and can partner withthe Conserve School,” he said.The initial grade structure visualized for the charterschool would be for fourth, fifthand sixth grades, although thecommittee feels the most needis in grades five through seven.“We can add a grade a yearthrough 12th, but our originalidea was through eighthgrade,” said Richie. “We don’twant to end after the eighthgrade, but we have severalyears to decide. We could con-tinue to 12th grade at Land O’Lakes or look to a second char-ter school for grades nine to12.” Any second charter schoolwould be at a different locationthan Land O’ Lakes, accordingto Richie. He said with a secondcharter school, there also wouldbe a second three-year grantcycle of $150,000 each year.“Next year is a planningyear and the school would openin 2013,” said Richie. “It wouldentail training, writing curricu-lum, technology, busing costs,supplies, material and seekinga grant writer.Within an operating school,Richie said there has to be aseparation between the charterschool and a regular school andthe Land O’ Lakes ElementarySchool, with two wings, wouldmeet this requirement.Board members HollyMcCormack and Mike Sealan-der will represent the board onthe charter school committee.Twelve area public librarieswere recently awarded a totalof $60,000 in grant funds fromthe Mead Witter FoundationInc. 2011 Library Grant Pro-gram.Receiving $5,000 apiecewere libraries in Eagle River,Three Lakes, Land O’ Lakes,Sayner, Phelps, Presque Isle,Boulder Junction, ManitowishWaters, Winchester, Lac duFlambeau, Minocqua andRhinelander.The libraries will use theone-time grant funds for refer-ence print materials, circulat-ing print materials and libraryfurniture for patrons.In total, 78 public librariesin central and northern Wis-consin were awarded morethan $407,000 as a part of theprogram.The Mead Witter Founda-tion Inc. 2011 Library GrantProgram was designed to pro- vide help for libraries, wherebudgets have been tight andcommunity services may bestressed. Preselected librarieswere contacted by the founda-tion in November of 2011.Organized in 1951, the MeadWitter Foundation has provid-ed more than $60 million insupport to colleges and univer-sities, as well as civic and othercharitable organizations.
Twelve librariesshare $60,000in grant monies
WEATHERCORNER
Note: 
Precipitation amounts are recorded at 8 a.m. for the previous 24 hours.
ONE YEAR AGO
LAST YEARCOMPARISONSNOWCONDITIONS
LAST SEVEN DAYS
STREAMSAND LAKESOUTLOOK
(PORTIONS OF THE WEATHER CORNER ARE THROUGH THE COURTESY OFKEVIN BREWSTER, EAGLE RIVER and NEWSWATCH 12 METEOROLOGIST.)
Wednesday there will be flurries early, with a high of 33 and alow of 23.Thursday light snow is likely, with a high of 32 and alow of 17. Friday should be breezy, with a high of 26 and a lowof 20. Saturday is expected to be partly sunny and colder, witha high of 20 and a low of 10. The forecast for Sunday is heavysnow possible, with a high of 23 and a low of 6.Ice fishermen are finding very good conditions on mostlakes, with only small amounts of slush being reported.There are 15 to 18 inches of ice on most lakes.Days precipitation recorded since Jan. 1, 2012, 23 days;2011, 28 days.Average high of past 30 days, 2012, 30; 2011, 25. Averagelow of past 30 days, 2012, 9; 2011, 5.The average daily high at this time last year for the next sev-en days was 27, while the average overnight low was 5.There was a trace of snow on two days.
HiLoPrec.
Wed., Feb. 15.........3821.2"SThurs., Feb. 16........3624.1"SFri., Feb. 17.............2915Tr.SSat., Feb. 18...........3021.5"SSun., Feb. 19..........360NoneMon., Feb. 20..........370NoneTues., Feb. 21.........326Tr.S
HiLoPrec.
Tues., Feb. 15.........4219NoneWed., Feb. 16........5624NoneThurs., Feb. 17........4628NoneFri., Feb. 18.............2820Tr.RSat., Feb. 19...........286NoneSun., Feb. 20..........2610NoneMon., Feb. 21..........2311NoneSeveral inches of snowwas expected Tuesdayand Wednesday, whichshould improve trailconditions.
2010-’11’11-’12
Snowy days5343Inches to date46.7845.94Ground cover8"
11"
 
VILAS COUNTY NEWS-REVIEW/THE THREE LAKES NEWSWEDNESDAY, FEB. 22, 2012
3A
Timber sales:
Forest lost opportunity to improve stands
 VILAS COUNTY
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Published weekly byEagle River Publications, Inc.Eagle River, WI 54521www.vilascountynewsreview.comConsolidation of the Vilas County News,the Eagle River Review andThe Three Lakes News
Publication #659480
Member of the Wisconsin Newspaper Associationand the National Newspaper Association
Entered as periodical mail matter atthe post office, Eagle River, WI 54521,under act of March 3, 1879. Subscriptionprice in Wisconsin, Vilas and Oneida coun-ties only, is $50.00 per year, all of Wiscon-sin except for Vilas and Oneida counties,$57.00 per year. Out of Wisconsin, $68.00per year. Subscription payable in ad vance.Published every Wednesday.POSTMASTER: Send address changes,form 3579, to Vilas County News-Review,Inc., P.O. Box 1929, Eagle River, WI 54521,phone 715-479-4421, fax 715-479-6242.
NEWS
OUR WINTER STORE HOURS
Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.Saturday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
See your Helpful Hardware Folks at:
VISA, MASTERCARD ANDDISCOVER WELCOMED ATPARTICIPATING ACE STORES.
• Easy to Find• Professional Service• Free Parking
715-479-4496
606 E. Wall St.Eagle River
Nelson’s 
Thank You
THIS MUCH
EVENT
This Saturday, Feb. 25, take 20% off almost anything* that fits intoan Ace bag. It’s our thanks to you for ranking us“Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Home ImprovementRetail Stores, Five Years in a Row” by J.D. Power and Associates.**
*Power tools and small appliances qualify for a 10% discount.
Offer valid Feb. 25, 2012, only. Discount applies to the regular price of in-stock merchandise that canfit inside the bag at one time. Merchandise placed in the bag must remain in its original packaging. Not valid on grills, lumber and building materials, fuel, bagged fertil-izer, sale and clearance priced merchandise, online purchases, rental, in-store services, Ace Gift Cards, city stickers, previously purchased merchandise, BenjaminMoore
 ® 
Genex
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paints and other items that each participating store may designate, or in conjunction with any other coupon, excluding Ace Rewards. Discount does notapply to phone orders, special orders or store charge accounts. No rain checks will be given.
LIMIT ONE BAG AND ONE OFFER REDEMPTION PER CUSTOMER.
Offer good in USA except where prohibited or otherwise restricted by law.
**Ace Hardware received the highest numerical score among retail stores in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Home Improvement Retail StoreStudy
SM
. Study based on responses from 6,985 consumers measuring seven stores and opinions of consumers who purchased a home improvement prod-uct or service within the previous 12 months. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed March - April 2011.Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.
Nothing says “thank you” quite like
20
% off
almost anything*
Saturday, Feb. 25
While there have been nosnowmobile-related fatalitiesin Vilas County this winter, atotal of 52 snowmobilers soughttreatment at two area hospitalsfor injuries sustained on NorthWoods trails.That’s according to snowmo-bile accident reports from Min-istry Eagle River MemorialHospital in Eagle River andHoward Young Medical Centerin Woodruff that were sharedwith the Vilas County Snowmo-bile Safety Committee lastweek.Eight incidents resulted in aFlight for Life helicopter trans-porting injured snowmobilersto other facilities. The youngestwas age 8 and the oldest wasage 63, with the average agebeing 32.“The good news is VilasCounty has had no fatalities asof this date, but we’ve had 29accidents,” said Vilas Countysnowmobile trail coordinatorDale Mayo.Statewide, there have beenfive snowmobile-related fatali-ties this winter. It should benoted that many trail systemsacross the state have remainedclosed due to a lack of snow.There have been no snowmo-bile-related deaths in Vilas,Oneida, Forest or Iron counties.Last winter, 17 people werekilled in snowmobile-relatedaccidents. There were 21deaths reported to the DNR inthe winter of 2009-’10.The data from area hospi-tals, as well as follow-up inter- views, helps trail officials withsafety issues.“This data gives us an ideawhere accidents are happeningand we can examine the area tosee what might have causedthem,” he said.Mayo said he already haslooked at some of the areas tosee if the trail or signage need-ed extra attention. He gave oneexample of signage placement.“We had one area where Iwatched a sled go right througha stop sign onto a town roadand, when I asked the person,he indicated there wasn’t aStop Ahead sign, so we bothwalked back to where it wasand he swore he didn’t see it,”said Mayo.The solution Mayo had wasto place another Stop Aheadsign on the other side of thetrail for better visibility forsnowmobilers. It was suggesteda second stop sign also could beadded on the left side of thetrail.
Vilas sees 29 accidentson area snomo trails
U.S. Forest Service officials said the timber harvest program on theChequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is progressing. Hardwoodlogs were piled up last week at a hardwoods select cut east ofEagle River just north of Highway 70. —STAFF PHOTO
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FROM PAGE 1A
scoping process, forest officialsencountered resource-drain-ing distractions related to tor-nado events and insect infes-tations.Strong said they reallocat-ed resources to the sprucedecline and the quad-countytornado area in order toaccomplish salvage harvestoperations.“Events not anticipated inthe forest plan take resourcesfrom our normal work, but wewere begged as land managersto do the right thing. We wentin there and dealt with thosesalvage operations before valuable timber was lost,” hesaid.Strong said they don’t getextra funding or personnelwhen such emergency opera-tions are necessary, and ittakes a toll on the day-to-daywork plan.The good news was that thesalvage timber helped boostthe annual harvest. The badnews was that logging sched-uled in other areas of the for-est had to be put on hold.Expecting his final budgetto be similar to last year,Strong said it is staff vacan-cies that are taking thebiggest toll on the volume of work that is left unfinished.“We’ve lost some wise andgreat personnel to retire-ments. They are leaving at afaster pace than we canreplace them,” said Strong.
Changing challenges
Dave Bathel, a forester onthe Eagle River-Florence Dis-trict the past 27 years, saidpart of the frustration is thatforest managers finally con-quered the most pressing hur-dle for timber management,the National EnvironmentalPolicy Act (NEPA).“We have worked hard toclear about 82 million boardfeet of timber through NEPA,which could easily sustain atimber program of 10 millionboard feet a year in the nexteight years,” he said. “Thingscould change, but right now itlooks like we’ll only by able tomaintain that harvest for ayear or two.”Bathel said the district’slead forest technician recentlyretired. He said getting thetimber contracts prepared andthe units marked is impossi-ble without adequate budgetdollars and the proper person-nel.Even if they manage to har- vest 10 mbf of timber annual-ly, he said the consequences of not logging to the potential of the forest plan include lostopportunities to improvestand growth, to boost theeconomy with forest productsand to improve wildlife habi-tat.“It’s important that wemanage the timber we can onthe district because so much of the acreage can’t be touched,”he said. “We have a lot of forested land tied up inwilderness, old growth andwetlands.”He noted that 15 mbf of timber is a good, conservativenumber compared to the dayswhen the agency was overhar- vesting by cutting an averageof 42 mbf a year on the dis-trict.“We were cutting too muchback in the late 1980s andearly 1990s, so we carved thatback,” he said. “Now, we’vegone totally in the oppositedirection. We aren’t even har- vesting the more conservativeamount of timber called for inthe plan.”Both Bathel and Strongwant to maximize what theForest Service can do to carryout the goals and objectives of the forest plan. Neither isentirely satisfied that the tim-ber harvest on the district inthe last fiscal year totaled11.6 mbf.“We can do more,” saidStrong. “Timber cutting isimportant, but it’s not just thetimber. Our northern Wiscon-sin economy thrives on recre-ation and seasonal visitors,and that goes hand in handwith forest management.”
Forestwide problem
Timber sale levels that fellshort of the 2004 Forest Planare a problem throughout allfive management districts onthe Chequamegon-Nicolet,where timber sale volumeswent from 112 mbf in 2001 to just 66 mbf in 2010.Strong said across the for-est, the agency is only har- vesting about two-thirds of the volume it could be underthe forest plan.“Actually, there is a backlogof so many things that need tobe done. Besides the harvestof forest commodities, thereare recreational projects andheritage projects that aren’tgetting done with the currentfederal funding stream,” hesaid.Harv Skjerven, districtranger of the Eagle River-Flo-rence district, told Vilas Coun-ty officials in a recent meetingthat there is a backlog of about five years of wood toharvest totaling 320 mbf. At its peak in the late 1980sand early 1990s, the timbersale program on the forestoften topped 150 mbf annually— hitting a high point of 170mbf in 1991.
 A new authority?
Strong, the supervisor whomust deal with funding andpersonnel challenges, has rea-son to be optimistic. He saidthere is no federal hiringfreeze at this time, but it takesmonths to complete the pro-cess of replacing a retiredemployee.“We don’t have to be victimsto our circumstances. We arecurrently working on local col-laboration to keep some of ourtimber sale revenues here inWisconsin, an authority pro- vided by Congress in 1999,”said Strong.Though it’s never been uti-lized here, he said some partsof the national forest systemhave collaborated with localcommunities, counties, tribesand regional planning groupsto identify how timber rev-enues could be tapped for localprojects.“We sell between $4 millionand $5 million worth of timberon the Chequamegon-Nicoleteach year, including about $1million in sales on the EagleRiver-Florence district,” hesaid. “We need to leverage the value of our timber againstthe work we’d like to get done.I’d like to fully implement theforest plan.”While the Forest Servicehere hasn’t utilized thatauthority the past 13 years,Strong believes it could helpoffset annual budget fluctua-tions.

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