Trees For Tomorrow (TFT) will stage its 17th annual Golf Outing Fundraiser this Friday at the Eagle River Golf Course, an event that helps students from across the Midwest learn about the principals of sustainability, stewardship and responsible management of our natural resources.

The event helps Trees, a nonprofit specialty school in Eagle River, provide scholarships to needy students who would otherwise not be among the more than 5,000 students who attend the three-day educational workshops here every year.

The significance of these workshops goes far beyond resources education, because for many of these students it is their first taste of the scenic beauty this land of lakes and forests has to offer. The institution’s 75-year history has proven that some of these students will become vacationers, seasonal property owners and eventually, permanent residents.

Their main mission since 1944 has been to use field studies and classroom presentations to teach students and their instructors about the importance of reforestation and contemporary resources management.

Among other things, students learn that our forests represent the most diverse, most productive renewable resource that the world has ever known. When forest managers do their job right, trees are a crop that will grow back after the harvest, time and time again.

But that’s just the beginning. Timber management equates to jobs, high-demand wood products, creation of wildlife habitat and almost always, improved growing conditions for the trees or saplings left behind.

TFT was founded to help educate the residents of Wisconsin and neighboring states about the importance of reforestation following massive clear-cutting activities in the first quarter of the 20th century.

The facility’s purpose has evolved into much more. Students learn that our society relies on natural resources for survival and for quality of life. They learn that resources are limited, so proper management is essential to sustain them.

The challenge for local residents and business owners is to remember that there is a specialty school right here that teaches these important lessons while introducing thousands of future vacationers to the area. And it’s a nonprofit that requires community support to survive long-term.

A thankless, important job

As another boating season swings into full gear, employees and volunteers with the Clean Boats Clean Waters program will be out in force trying to keep invasive species out of the 95% of lakes that aren’t infested.

Though recreating and often in a hurry, we would hope boaters and anglers would greet these conservation-minded inspectors with patience and courtesy. They are performing a thankless but important task that will only help make our lakes better in the years ahead.

Invasive plants and animals are not always easy to detect, especially on the larger boats with bunk trailers. So give them a break.

Behind the editorial ‘we’

Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and Assistant Editor Michelle Drew.