Forestry Field Day May 19 highlights award-winning woodland
Invited to the free event are landowners and anyone interested in wildlife, nature and forest management.
The 160-acre Becker farm has something for nearly everyone. Diverse management practices have created havens for several species of wildlife while providing saw timber and pulpwood production. The land includes a section of the South Branch of the Little Wolf River, bringing further beauty and wildlife habitat to the property.
The property was purchased by Merlin's grandfather, Gust Kapitzke, in 1886. Managed for many years as a dairy farm, Merlin and his brother Elmer purchased the land in 1967 and began a program of good forest management. Merlin bought out Elmer's share of the property in 1979 and has continued the forestry program.
"I think of my property in Baldwin Mills as my piece of the rock," Becker said. "I always say: You don't inherit the earth from your grandparents, you borrow it from your children."
He is a lifetime member and former president of the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association. Becker received the 2011 Forest Conservationist award from the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation.
The Becker Woodland serves as a demonstration forest for the Golden Sands Resource Conservation and Development Council. It has hosted numerous public events over the years.
The Becker property is located on Military Road south of County Road KK. From Waupaca, take State Highway 54 east to Military Road for about three miles, turn north on Military Road and go approximately one mile. Parking is on the right.
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