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Saturday, August 27, 2011




Saturday,7:15 AM.  61.5 degrees, wind W, light.  The sky is cloudless with some haze in the east, and the barometer predicts partly cloudy conditions.  It will be another very nice day.
    The trip to Northland  Nursery in Rhinelander was uneventful and everything went well.  We saw two flocks of wild turkeys, one in the Merrill area on Hwy 51, and one northwest of Rhinelander on Hwy 47, where we also saw an Osprey nest on top of a high tension electrical transmission pole.  Friday morning it was cool and rainy, perfect for transporting the potted nursery stock, and we got back early afternoon and I delivered and unloaded plants to two job sites.  The easy part done, we will do the planting next week.
    It was a spring and summer of especially damaging high winds in northwestern Wisconsin, resulting in large numbers of downed trees in national, state, county, and private forests, and according to officials an amount of wood is on the ground equivalent to a an entire years’ harvest of marketable timber.  And  yet the whole region is so heavily forested that unless one made it a specific point to cruise the back roads to assess the damage one probably would be unaware of its magnitude.
    This wood must be removed and utilized or it will pose potentially  great fire and forest health problems.  It already is causing transportation and access difficulty on county and forest roads.
    Although there has been much partisan criticism of Republican Governor Scott Walker for some of his political programs and actions, he recently did exactly what a state governor must do in an emergency such as this; he personally called representatives of all the governmental agencies and private parties together for a tour of the region, and led a brainstorming session on how to handle the downed  wood in a cooperative way without roiling the markets by flooding them with a vast amount of product. He is searching Chinese and other foreign markets to sell the wood that cannot be absorbed in the North American market.
    Too many governmental leaders, particularly those in CEO positions, do not even think of acting as leaders as their office requires, or have not had the executive experience to even realize what to do.   As leaders, problem solvers and decision makers they are woefully inadequate. 
    Too many high office holders, elected and appointed, think they are primarily public relations people or partisan cheerleaders, and that their function is re-ellecion, not situational leadership.  Regardless of political party, we should recognize and reward actual leadership in government, as it has become yet another  “rare and endangered species.”

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