Q: What is young forest?

A: Basically, it’s young trees and shrubs growing together thickly. Young forest can be an old field coming up in saplings like popple and white birch, a wetlands thick with tag alder, or trees springing up on a wooded tract following a timber harvest.

Q: How long does young forest last?

A: Generally about 10 to 20 years. After that, it becomes older forest. Having forest with a mixture of different-aged patches (young, middle-aged, and old) benefits the widest variety of wildlife. We recommend creating new areas of young forest every five to 20 years, depending on the size of your forest property.

Q: How do humans make young forest?

A: Depending on the site, even-age timber harvesting can be a cost-effective way to make young forest. Conservationists and landowners may also plant native shrubs for food and cover, and mimic natural events like wildfires and windstorms by using controlled burning and heavy-duty machines to knock back older growth and stimulate the dense regrowth of trees and shrubs.

Q: Where can I go to see what young forest looks like?

A: Check out these habitat projects, including ones on public lands, where interested citizens can see young forest, learn how to make this vibrant and important habitat, and hunt and observe the diverse, abundant wildlife attracted to those places.

Q: As a private landowner, how can I learn whether it makes sense for me to make young forest on my property?

A: The best way to determine if making young forest is a good option is to contact us for a site visit. A professional conservationist will visit your property, suggest management options, and discuss with you whether creating areas of young forest makes sense based on your objectives for your land.

Q: If I decide to do a habitat project, how can I get guidance?

A: Contact the WYFP at 315 S. Oneida Ave., Rhinelander WI 54501, telephone (715) 966-5160, email WIyoungforest@gmail.com. A professional conservationist will come to your property, assess the potential for creating young forest, and draw up a stewardship plan if you don't have one yet.

Q: How much does a site visit cost?

A: It’s free – there is no cost for a site visit by natural resources professionals who participate in the Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership.

Q: How are young forest habitat projects financed?

A: Many of the partner agencies offer financial assistance to participating landowners. The rate varies depending on the agency and project specifics but is usually 50 to 75 percent of the total cost, with the landowner covering 25 to 50 percent of the cost. All discussions about finances and rates take place before anything becomes final.

Q: Can I do the work and then apply for financial assistance?

A: No, financial assistance needs to be applied for and granted first.

Q: How do I get work done on my property?

A: If possible, you can do the work yourself. However, in most situations you will be provided with a list of young forest contractors in your area who can do the work.

Q: How long does it take to make some young forest?

A: The process length varies depending on the degree of landowner interest and involvement, planning complexities, procedures followed by different partners, and weather conditions. The Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership representative will explain all the options, guide you through the process, and help with a timetable.

Q: When is the habitat work actually undertaken?

A: Management activities are usually conducted during winter when the ground is frozen. This prevents damage to soils, and it’s the best time to allow for regeneration of the target species, generally aspen (popple) and tag alder.

Q: Do I have to open my land to public hunting if habitat work is done on my property and/or I receive financial assistance?

A: No, public access is not a requirement to complete work or to receive financial assistance.