Town of Dunbar landowners receive 2014 Tree Farmer of the Year award

APPLETON – Two tree farmers from Dunbar, Wis., have been recognized for their longtime efforts to promote good stewardship and a healthy forest on their land.

Alfred “Alfie” and Ethelyn Tewel received the Department of Natural Resources annual Tree Farmer of the Year award for their hard work over the years to keep their forested land healthy and productive. The award was presented to the Tewels at a Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association meeting recently held in Amberg. The Tewels additionally received the District 7 award, a five-county wide award that also recognizes responsible forestry practices.”

“Each year we want to recognize those landowners who go the extra mile to keep their properties healthy by investing time, care and using best management practices,” says Jim Ivacko, DNR forestry technician. “The Tewels are a great example of how working together, we can ensure healthy forest growth and forest products for the future.”

The Tewels have owned and managed their 80 acres of land for more than 50 years after inheriting it from Alfie’s parents. During the late 1950s, Alfie and his father planted 51,000 red pine seedlings on about 40 acres. Over the years it has been enrolled in various conservation programs, and in 1991 it was entered into the Managed Forest Law program to help manage its growth and sustainability over time.

Since taking over the land, Alfie has done all of the timber cutting himself. He first thinned the pine in 1988, and has continued harvest ever since following his management plan. From planting to harvesting, he and his wife continue to play an active role in all aspects of management. Even today at the age of 77, Alfie can be found operating his chainsaw during harvest time.

“It was obvious from the first day working with Alfie that he was a very hands-on steward of his property,” says Ivacko. “Having worked in the woods all his life, he takes great pride in managing and harvesting the timber responsibly while also promoting forest growth that is good for local wildlife.”

Each year DNR forestry team reviews and selects landowners for the award who have enrolled their property in management programs such as MFL and others.

For more information search the DNR website, , for keyword “Managed Forest Law.”