Wisconsin officials are joining efforts with federal and tribal authorities to halt birch tree timber thefts threatening Wisconsin’s woodlands. Birch trees are a renewable resource important to the state’s economy, environment and culture.
Increasing demand for birch products is putting the state’s birch at risk, as illegal harvests continue on national, state, county and private properties. Increasing market demand for birch in home and business decor keeps making it a problem year after year.
Wisconsin’s paper birch is now only 2.5 percent of forested land in the state, a decline of 54 percent since 1983.
“It is important to sustainably manage Wisconsin’s paper birch trees for woodland diversity and to protect this resource,” says DNR forest management bureau director Carmen Hardin.
“The DNR developed a pilot program to make permits available for state properties, in limited situations, for people who want to collect birch sapling and trees legally, responsibly and with minimal negative impacts to the forest.”
Anyone who suspects someone is illegally harvesting white birch on public or private lands should contact a local DNR warden using the DNR hotline 1-800-TIP-WDNR (847-9367).
For more information, search “harvesting non-commercial forest products” on the DNR website.