Jill Nemec, a forester with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), presented a draft report for St. Germain Town Board Supervisors to consider at a recent town board meeting.

The board had requested a study of the 456 acres of wooded lands which is owned by the town, with its primary objective to provide recreational opportunities while maintaining a healthy forest for wildlife habitat and ecological purposes.

Nemec’s plan identified three distinct parcels — 75 acres on Highway 155 known as Fern Ridge Trails, 266 acres bound by highways 70 and 155 known generally as the Awassa Trails, and 115 acres known as the St. Germain Golf Club and surrounding forest. The most immediate need identified in the report is red pine, white pine and red maple thinning in select areas of the Awassa property.

Nemec stated that thinning would improve the health of the forest and, in some cases, halt disease progression in some red pockets. The plan delineated various kinds of cutting in 11 of the different stands through the year 2075.

Anne Small, chair of St. Germain Non-Motorized Trails Committee, cautioned against potential damage to trails by logging and thinning operations. Small objected to cutting in either the Awassa or Fern Ridge Trails stands.

Supervisor Brian Cooper requested a second forester opinion with Nemec producing an additional report to demonstrate mortality in the forests if no work is done. Issues also surfaced regarding what is allowable under the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Grant which the town used to purchase a portion of the Awassa Trails property.

Small also will contact the Vilas County forester for an additional opinion on the natural progression of the forest.



In other business

Town supervisors approved a bid for the replacement of roof shingles on the large pavilion located in the town park. MSA Engineering screened the bids and the supervisors awarded the project to Lakeland Roofing for a total of $54,000. The project is expected to be complete by May 1, and the cost will be reduced by $1,459 from the warranty on the present roof.