One of central
Wisconsin’s finest examples of a managed forest is being donated to the
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point by a family long committed to
who died April 22, along with her children, Jim and Jane, are honoring the
wishes of their late husband and father, George Rogers, to permanently preserve
a 39-acre managed, working forest in the town of Hull.
The family is
donating the land to the UW-Stevens Point’s College of Natural Resources (CNR).
The George Rogers Living Forest will be used by as an outdoor laboratory for
education, demonstration and research.
The Rogers family
worked with North Central Conservancy Trust (NCCT), a Stevens Point-based land
trust, to place a conservation easement on the property. This was an essential
first step to Rogers.
“Dad believed that
preserving green spaces in an increasingly urbanized landscape is a top
priority for maintaining quality of life in Portage County,” Jim Rogers said.
George Rogers, a
Stevens Point native, longtime writer, editor, civic leader and devoted
conservationist, died last November.
“We are grateful
to the Rogers family for this generous gift, and we are honored to carry on the
legacy of stewardship that George started more than 60 years ago,” said CNR
Dean Christine Thomas. “This forest has been extremely well managed and is
exactly the type of woodland property we look for in a field teaching site.”
the property in 1950, when it was mostly open land with a few scattered scrub
oak and jack pine. He planted more than 40,000 red pine seedlings and 500 white
pine seedlings, with the help of UW-Stevens Point students. Nurtured through
the state’s Forest Crop (Managed Forest) Law program, the property was
transformed into a productive, managed forest.
He felt it could be
a great learning space for forest management students and wanted the property
kept in permanent green space, regardless of who owns it.
incredible gift Jeanette and George have made,” said NCCT’s Executive Director
Betsy Kerlin. “This special place will remain forever forested for the
enjoyment and benefit of students and the public.”
Rogers wrote about
the managed pine planation in his book, “Among the Leaves.” He harvested about 1,900 cords of wood
between 1972 and 2007, including logs to build three cabins at the Central
Wisconsin Environmental Station.
easement provides permanent protection of scenic working lands, preserving
habitat for wildlife and plant communities, Kerlin said. Local landowners
interested in preserving their property from development can contact NCCT for
information on conservation easements.