Nov 03 2019

Cost Share Program

Property Owners, are you aware of the Forest County Cost-Share Program?  This is a program administered by the Forest County Land and Water Conservation Department.  The Grant money is provided by the Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, Trade, & Consumer Protection (DATCP) to fund the program.

            Under the program, the landowner pays for all project costs and is reimbursed 50% & up to 70% for eligible practices.  Standards of DATCP (Chapter ATCP 50) & the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) must be followed.

            The Program allows for:

  • Restoration of the buffer zone with native plants, shrubs, and trees.
  • Erosion control methods such as rip rap, biologs, & other bio engineering methods (as permitted by the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR).)

            The Program covers:

  • Native vegetation for buffer
  • Erosion control materials
  • Excavation costs
  • Labor for installation – costs for a contractor can be reimbursed or landowner labor can be reimbursed at a rate of $10.00 per hour.
  • Geotextile fabric

            The Program does not cover:

  • Removal or installation of docks/piers.
  •  Removal or installation of steps, walkways, lifts, etc.
  • Materials such as wood, brick, plaster, blacktop, or demolition material for rip rap use.

            If you’re interested in the Program, you can access an application from the Forest County Website ( under the Land Conservation Department, by contacting the Land Conservation Dept. at (715) 478-1387, or by email:

            Once the application is received a site visit will be done by county staff to determine eligibility and consult with the landowner(s).

            If property is determined eligible, we will conduct a survey of your property/project and a plan will be designed.  Once you approve of the plan, you will have to obtain permits from the appropriate agencies (DNR, Corp of Eng., Local Zoning).  You will also have to obtain two (2) bids for your project to be submitted for approval from the Land and Water committee.  A contract and maintenance plan will be signed by you and the Project may begin!

Conservation Corner is a weekly article produced by the Forest County Land &Water Conservation Department. For more information contact Steve Kircher, County Conservationist-Land Information/GIS Director at 715-478-1387 or by e-mail at

Oct 30 2019


Contact: Steve Kircher

CRANDON, WI The Forest County Land and Water Conservation Department  in CRANDON, WI announced today that it was awarded funding through a 2019 NACD technical assistance (TA) grant, made possible through a partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to build and strengthen technical capacity nationwide.

The Land and Water Conservation Department will use TA grant funding to support the Working Forests Project in Forest County.

According to Al Murray, former Forest County Conservationist, “the funds will be used to establish a Landowners Assistance Program.”  Steve Kircher, present Forest County Conservationist, looks forward to continuing the program. 

Private landowners can voluntarily join the Working Forest Protection Program.  Once enrolled, landowners will be provided with resources and cost share opportunities to create stewardship management plans and complete conservation projects that will maintain the “working” forest status and retain timber production, recreational and cultural uses and conservation values

NACD and NRCS established the Technical Assistance Grant Initiative in 2018 through a cooperative agreement to help conservation districts hire staff where additional technical capacity was needed to improve customer service and reduce workload pressure.

In 2018, NACD and NRCS awarded $9 million in funding to further enhance conservation district technical assistance across the nation. To date in 2019, NACD and NRCS have awarded grants totaling $9.9 million in 47 states and two territories, funding nearly 210 positions, including 10  tribe-related positions.   

“Building and strengthening technical capacity on a grassroots level is crucial when it comes to local natural resources management,” NACD President Tim Palmer said. “Every acre and every district employee counts when it comes to the conservation puzzle, whether it’s a soil conservation technician, forester or program support specialist.”

“NACD is proud to help put more boots on the ground and offer support to bolster the important work conservation districts accomplish on America’s landscapes every day,” Palmer said.

Learn more about the technical assistance grants program on NACD’s website.


The National Association of Conservation Districts is the non-profit organization that represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, their state associations and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. For more than 70 years, local conservation districts have worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and apply effective conservation practices. For more information about NACD, visit:

Oct 27 2019

Conservation Corner

Welcome Back to Conservation Corner.  First, let introduce myself, Steve Kircher, as the new County Conservationist-Land Information/GIS Director.  As I settle in to an office that’s been vacant since this summer, I want to thank the Forest County Land Conservation and Personnel Committees and their confidence in my ability to serve the landowners, farmers, loggers and communities in the protection and enhancement of our wonderful natural resources.

As I begin this new adventure I would also like to thank my predecessor and continue the programs and initiatives that he started/established.  The people of Forest County can look forward to new and exciting programming from the Land & Water Conservation Department. Please watch this paper for weekly installments for projects and updates of what is happening in the Land & Water Conservation Department.

Conservation Corner is a weekly article produced by the Forest County Land &Water Conservation Department. For more information contact Steve Kircher, County Conservationist-Land Information/GIS Director at 715-478-1387 or by e-mail at

Oct 17 2019

2019 Lake Ecology Field Day a Huge Success!

The Lake Ecology Field Day which is sponsored annually by the Forest County Association of Lakes (FCAL) was a good educational experience for high school students from Crandon, Laona and Wabeno Environmental Science classes.  Lake Ecology Day took place on Tuesday, September 17th from 9AM until 1:30PM at the Veterans Memorial Park on the south end of Lake Metonga. 

Crandon HS, under the guidance of Mrs. Kay Coates, had 42 students signed up to attend.  Laona sent 15 students under the supervision of Mr. Steve Kircher, and Wabeno sent 11 students under the direction of Mrs. Liz Watson.  The students were assigned to eight groups with students from all three schools in each of the groups.  The eight groups rotated through 9 workshops through out the morning.  4 lucky students per rotation received tickets which had been issued at random, to ride on the shocking boat that was provided by the Sokaogon tribe and was captained by Fish Biologist Mike Pruell.

The other eight learning stations included a pontoon boat ride to an Eurasian Water Milfoil bed where the students learned about the various invasives such as milfoil, zebra mussels and rusty crayfish as explained by Les Schramm and Harry Resch.  Station number 2 was a class on aquatic macroinvertebrates led by RT Krueger of Northern Lakes Service.  Station 3 was co-led by Chad Mullis of the FC Sherriff’s Dept. and Brad Dahlquist of the WDNR.  They taught about laws and regulations for boaters and fishermen.  Amber Butterfield of the Wild Rivers Invasive Species Coalition (WRISC) taught the importance of and techniques for decontaminating watercraft that are moved from lake to lake.  The USFS sent two representatives to teach about the important role that bats play in our ecology.  Jennifer Mabrier from the FC Potawatomi Educational Department taught about lake stratification.  Retired Crandon High School science teacher Cindy Edlund returned to lead a workshop on biomagnification.  Station number 8 was led by Michelle Gobert who represented the FC Forestry Department and FC 4H, teaching about the importance of trees in the shoreline environment.  She took photos of each person who attended her workshop as they got to help plant a tree.

A large round of applause must be given to all the students and their teachers for the interest shown and the cooperation given by all during the day.  All presenters and those helping to set-up this very worthwhile event are to be commended on a job well done.  FCAL members are grateful for the opportunity to coordinate this fun, “hands-on” day of learning.

Article submitted by FCAL members Harry Resch and Pam Schroeder

Mar 06 2019

2019 Lakes Partnership Convention and Water Action Volunteers Symposium

Forest County Association of Lakes members are invited to Stevens Point for the annual Lakes Partnership Convention and Water Action Volunteers Symposium!

This year’s theme, “Pay it Forward,” is a popular concept. When someone does something for you, instead of paying that person back directly, you pass it on to another person instead. This practice can certainly be seen with lake and stream volunteers, professionals in natural resource management, and all those who value our precious water resources. Many of us automatically do this type of activity every day. At the 2019 Convention, we will share some of these inspiring stories of “paying it forward.”

Detailed agenda, pre-convention workshops, and registration are available online at for one, two, or all three days of the conference. The event is held at the Stevens Point Holiday Inn Hotel and Convention Center in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

Dec 06 2018


Quiet Waters of Forest County is a project completed by the Forest County Land Conservation Department in cooperation with the Forest County Health Department to promote paddling sports including kayaking and canoeing and the healthy aspects of such sports in the county.

Quiet Waters of Forest County- Lakes Forest County has 824 named lakes and many un-named lakes and ponds to explore. Many of the lakes have limited development and limited use by motorized boats, making them ideal locations for recreational use by kayaks and canoes. Fishing and scenic views abound!

Click on image to be taken to the Paddle the Forest of Wisconsin interactive map for directions to Forest County’s “Quiet Waters”

Quiet Waters of Forest County- River Routes Forest County has 850+ miles of streams with a variety of water levels, rapids, and stream impediments to navigate. Many streams have direct access from Township and County roadways that provide water access to many of the most remote portions of our forest for hours of serene enjoyment.

Click on image to be taken to the Paddle the Forest of Wisconsin interactive map for directions to Forest County’s river routes

Quiet Waters of Forest County- Impoundments and Wildlife Areas Forest County has thousands of wetland areas which provide waterfowl and wildlife refuges as well as unique plant communities. Some of these areas have accesses for users to allow recreational viewing of the wildlife and plant communities by the public. These accesses by kayaks and canoes provide opportunity for close up wildlife encounters and quiet enjoyment. Searching your browser for the following links will provide google maps and google directions to our wonderful “Quiet Waters” that may be utilized on your computer, tablet or phone.

Click on image to be taken to the Paddle the Forest of Wisconsin interactive map for directions to Forest County’s wetland impoundments that are suitable for kayaks and canoes

We welcome you to our beautiful “Quiet Waters” and ask that you utilize them safely, wear appropriate safety gear and protect the resources through wise use. Please pack out what you take in and enjoy!

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