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Batttle simmers in Northwoods national forest Submitted: 10/19/2013
Laona - A century after lumber barons cut down 1.5 million acres of timberlands now protected within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, timber industry managers say the riches within the regrown forest are being squandered at taxpayers' expense.

Gannett Wisconsin Media report (http://post.cr/17USEyd ) the battle pits loggers and mill owners against environmentalists and the woodland-recreation industry.

Records show the government could have sold 1.3 billion board feet of wood in the past decade under the forest's management plan. That would have represented roughly $110 million in revenue. But loggers cut just 755 million board feet, a little more than half the allowed quantity.

Forest supervisor Paul Strong points out that the Chequamegon-Nicolet serves multiple purposes.

University of Wisconsin botanist Don Waller says the priority has swung in favor of tourism and environmental appreciation.

Written By: Associated Press

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