Spring 2022 at Fort McCoy has been active with timber harvests around post.
"To date in 2022, we have had six active timber sales," said Fort McCoy Forester Charles Mentzel with the Forestry Office of the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch. "A few others happened last fall and finished up in December. Many of these were jobs that were extended for one reason or another. We typically have six to nine timber sales a year, or about 600 acres worth. Some get cut the following year and like a few of these this year, they went into the following year.
"As of April 14, we still had two active sales harvesting," Mentzel said. "We restrict harvesting to non-oak areas after April 1 to reduce transmission of oak wilt, also. So our numbers go down after April 1. Both of the current jobs are harvesting in red pine plantations. We are also working on our next year's jobs where there will be six tracts sold for harvesting next fall."
Timber sales are administered by the Omaha District of the Army Corps of Engineers and are sold by sealed bid, said Mentzel.
Timber sale bidding is held once each year, typically in December. Revenue from the timber sales goes into an Armywide forestry account and is returned to fund forestry projects on Fort McCoy.
The timber harvest activities also support Fort McCoy’s strategic objective of enhancing the post’s military training value through improved area utilization and land use initiatives, Mentzel said.
Mentzel said he is glad to see how the work comes to fruition and helps lead to a better training environment for all who come to Fort McCoy.
“From a forestry perspective, our mission here, first and foremost, is to serve the Army and create training environments that better serve our Soldiers who support future missions in defense of this country,” Mentzel said. “By thinning trees, the ones left will grow larger faster. This gives troops overhead cover and again allows for better maneuver space.”
When a timber harvest is complete, a Land Rehabilitation and Maintenance (LRAM) crew will use a severe-duty shredder to grind the tree tops and branches left over from logging (called slash) and knock down the smaller trees the logger did not take, in areas where the military needs clear ground or to reduce fire hazard.
The LRAM crew is part of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security Integrated Training Area Maintenance program, which coordinates natural resource management and training activities.
Fort McCoy’s motto is to be the “Total Force Training Center.” Located in the heart of the upper Midwest, Fort McCoy is the only U.S. Army installation in Wisconsin.
The installation has provided support and facilities for the field and classroom training of more than 100,000 military personnel from all services nearly every year since 1984.
Learn more about Fort McCoy online at https://home.army.mil/mccoy, on the Defense Visual Information Distribution System at https://www.dvidshub.net/fmpao, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”
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