Rhinelander hopes to be considered for Division of Forestry move Submitted: 05/10/2016
RHINELANDER - The Northwoods is already home to much of the timber and logging industry in Wisconsin. Now, it could be home to the Division of Forestry as the DNR explores a possible relocation.

Rhinelander is officially submitting a proposal to be the new location of the forestry headquarters.

Republican lawmakers asked the DNR to create a plan for a move up north in the last budget.

The DNR requested information from interested locations, including Rhinelander. The Rhinelander City Council passed a resolution Monday night agreeing to draft a formal proposal.

Rhinelander City Administrator Kristina Aschenbrenner said it would "mean a lot" for the city to become the new location of the Division of Forestry. 

"Economically, you have new people coming in for housing, you have people utilizing our stores and our restaurants," Aschenbrenner said. "So the economic value would be great."

Dennis Schoeneck, owner of Enterprise Forest Products in Oneida County, said the possible move could help solve the disconnect between decision-makers in Madison and the impacts of their decisions on local logging businesses. 

"Because then you have people living and working in the area that they are making decisions about," Schoeneck said. "Right now they are a long ways removed, and in my opinion, haven't always made the best decisions for our area. So to have them living and working here, and to have the headquarters here in Oneida County, would be terrific."

Rhinelander is one of at least 12 other locations that have expressed interest in hosting the new headquarters.

The DNR must figure out how much a move would cost by the next budget cycle. It must also include a timeline for relocation and a list of location options.

Story By: Marissa Mizroch

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