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Rep. Duffy calling for more logging in Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - There’s apparently been a dramatic drop-off in the amount of timber harvested from the national forest that covers much of northern Wisconsin.

Congressman Sean Duffy said on the House floor Thursday that the lumber harvested from the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest dropped from 150-million board-feet per year about a quarter century ago, to 98-million now.

Duffy, a Republican from the Wausau area, says the current harvest is well below what the U.S. Forest Service suggests to keep the forest healthy and sustainable.

That recommendation calls for an annual harvest of 131-million board feet.

Duffy told his colleagues that the Forest Service should open up its national forests, instead of letting what he called a “noble resource” rot and burn.

Duffy, a former lumberjack competitor, said more logging at the Chequamegon-Nicolet would be a big economic boost for Wisconsin. He said it could create up to four-thousand jobs, with a total economic impact of over $200-million.