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Forest Products Sector Deserves State Support, Northern Leaders Say

Bill Would Give Preference To Wisconsin Wood In State Lumber Purchases

Jeff Arsenault (CC-BY-NC-SA)

A northern Wisconsin lawmaker is seeking support for a bill aimed at bolstering the state’s forest products industry.

Democratic state Rep. Nick Milroy of South Range said the bill would require the state to give a slight preference to Wisconsin-harvested wood when seeking low bids to buy lumber under contract.

“It’s just a 5 percent preference,” said Milroy. “It’s Wisconsin’s second-largest industry and it’s important that taxpayer money be used to support Wisconsin families and businesses.”

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Northern leaders echoed that call for support in Madison as part of Superior Days.

Bayfield County Administrator Mark Abeles-Allison said Douglas, Ashland, Bayfield and Iron counties make up more than 2.3 million acres of county forestland.

“Wood products are critical for the state and it’s even more important for northwestern Wisconsin,” said Abeles-Allison. “We’re trying to support our industry.”

Milroy said he’s looking for other lawmakers to support the bill and plans to introduce it next week.