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Timber land sale benefits schools

Board of Commissioners of Public Lands
Board of Commissioners of Public Lands

CRANDON, Wis. (WXPR) - Plum Creek timber company is selling a thousand acres in Forest County to a state agency. BCPL - or Board of Commissioners for Public Lands - is buying the land for one and a quarter million dollars. 

BCPL manages timber lands to fund a loan program called the School Trust Fund. The interest on those loans goes to school libraries. BCPL Executive Secretary Tia Nelson says the purchase will help consolidate the group's nearly 20-thousand acres of existing holdings in Forest County. Nelson says, “We look for opportunities that increase the efficiency with which we can manage our lands. And that would mean building a larger block, reducing small inholdings."

Nelson says the logistics of managing smaller blocks of land are more expensive than when land parcels link up. So that increase in efficiency helps BCPL generate more revenue.that ultimately helps buy books for kids. Nelson says, “We’ll be managing that property for hardwood timber production. There's a strong demand for that wood right there in Forest County, with local mills. And timber we harvest there, the revenue from those timber sales will be deposited in the school trust funds." According to Nelson, 96 cents on every dollar generated through the School Trust Fund goes to aid school libraries. Last year that totaled 30 million dollars.