Forestry and Recreation
Erik Rantala- Administrator
(715) 627-6276 - fax
1633 Neva Road
Antigo, WI 54409
The Langlade County Forestry and Recreation Department is responsible for the administration and management of the 127,000 acre Langlade County Forest and associated park and recreational facilities. This includes an active timber sale and tree planting program. Recreational activities include the development and maintenance of county parks, camping facilities, swimming areas, picnicking facilities, boat landings, waysides, snowmobile trails, ATV trails, cross country ski trails, mountain bike trails, horse trails, hiking trails, nature trails, ski hill and a target shooting range. Opportunities are also provided for hunting and fishing.
- Erik Rantala, Administrator - E-mail
- Nathan Gilbert, Assistant Forest Administrator - E-mail
- Richard Dedeyne, Forester
- Lucas Williams, Forester
- Taylor Schenk, Recreation Coordinator/Forest Tech
- Thomas Lazers, Park Manager
- Teresa Poltrock, Office Manager
COUNTY FOREST AND PARKS INFORMATION
Forest Acreage: 129,968 acres (7th largest in Wisconsin)
The mission of the Langlade County Forest is to manage and protect the
natural resources found on the forest on a sustainable
basis. These natural resources, occurring on the Langlade County Forest, are the base for satisfying ecological and
socioeconomic needs of present and future generations.
County Forest Resources should be protected from natural
catastrophes such as fire, insect and disease outbreaks, and from
human threats such as encroachment, over-utilization, environmental degradation and excessive development. While managing
for environmental needs including watershed protection, protection of rare plant and animal communities, and biological diversity,
these same resources must be managed for sociological needs which include provisions for recreational opportunities and the production of raw materials, for wood-using industries.
Management must balance local needs with broader concerns through integration of forestry, wildlife, fisheries, endangered resources, water quality, soil, and recreational recommendations and practices. Management will provide this variety of products and amenities for the future through the use of sustainable forest management practices.
Description of Forest
Langlade County, located in the northeast part of the state, is
comprised of 17 civil townships having an area of 569,128 acres.
Topography of the county is the result of glacial activity. The last
glacier, known as the Wisconsin Stage, deposited a large moraine,
10 to 12 miles wide and of hilly topography, arching from the northwest corner of the county, southeast to the center, and finally
south to the county line. This is a very distinctive feature and is called a terminal moraine.
The vast bulk of the county forest lies north and east of this
moraine. The land is rolling to hilly, with many kettle-like
called potholes. These depressions are often basins for lakes.
Langlade County has a land area of approximately 569,128 acres,
plus another 10,696 acres of water included in lakes and
streams. Approximately 62.5 percent of the land in the county is classified as forest land. The county forest, which contains approximately 126,572 acres, is the seventh largest county forest in the state.
Vegetative Cover Types
Approximately 86 percent of the county forest is forested. The
remainder is primarily an open landscape comprised of wetlands,
lowland shrubs, upland shrubs, bogs, lakes, streams, grassy
openings, roads, rock outcroppings, and utility right-of-ways. The
forest which may include endangered and threatened plants, is composed of nearly 126,572 acres, with 27 forest types comprising
the commercial forest. The northern hardwood type alone comprises approximately 39 percent (42,200 acres) of the total
commercial forest acreage.
Forest based recreation has expanded rapidly in recent years in
Langlade County. Recreational opportunities providing developed
facilities include parks, beaches, campgrounds, waysides, boat
landings, canoe campsites, and snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle, sled
dog, mountain biking, hunter/walking, Ice Age Trail or cross-country
ski trails. The county forest also provides tremendous
opportunities for informal recreational pursuits not requiring developments. These include hunting, fishing, berry and mushroom
picking, bird watching, hiking, biking, and sight-seeing.
History of the Langlade County Forest
At one time, Langlade County was covered with magnificent stands
of pine, hemlock, and hardwoods on the highlands, and cedar, spruce,
and balsam on its lowlands. These forests provided raw material for
a thriving lumbering industry from 1860 to about 1910.
As a result of the clamor to conquer the wilderness, supply lumber to house the masses, and without proper forest management,
the forests were nearly completely destroyed. The logging slash was ideal for wildfires which essentially culminated with the
Peshtigo fire. Immigrants rushed to these newly cleared lands hungry for a place to farm and build their lives. But in just a few
years, the soils gave out and these people left to seek their fortunes elsewhere, leaving the land increasingly barren and tax
delinquent. The Langlade County Forest originated with the taking of those tax delinquent lands.