We have had to fight to keep this forest intact.  Who are we fighting, you ask?
When we first entered the Woodland Tax Law, the DNR forester said this stand was overmature and needed to be 'regenerated'.  Most of our other forest was also seen as "understocked - there are not enough trees here to be classified a forest"...  "damaged by firescars"...  and  "low quality".  We were told that we should clear cut our timber, kill everything with herbicides, plant new trees    using tree tubes, and herbicide again to release the seedlings.  This is all pretty standard 'oak only' forest management.  Even our Wisconsin forestry handbook states that oak trees are mature at age 110-120 and should be regenerated.

If we had followed the directions given by our local DNR forester back in the 1970s and 1980s, our forests would be gone and we would have spent a lot more money in the name of "regeneration" than the harvests would have produced.

Instead, we chose to grow our timber.  We learned from the Menominee and the Germans that there are better ways to manage a forest than the Industrial forestry I was taught at the University.  We learned to encourage nature and harvest just the natural output of the forest.    Our forest inventory has grown from 350,000 board feet in 1976 to over 1,000,000 bf of high quality timber today.  We have harvested about 450,000 board feet of wood in the improvement process, supporting a wonderful business and supplying many building projects.  The stumpage value has grown from $14,000 in 1976 - to $500,000 today.

Don't fall for the "regeneration" story that justifies cutting all your trees down at one time.  Trees know how to regenerate - they have been doing it all by themselves for thousands of years.....    We do have to stop the high-grading of our forests - the taking of the good genetic stock for a short term profit!  Trust nature to determine the future forest.  This photo shows 4,000 oak seedlings per acre....  naturally!
                  We are almost back home now