Upgrading of wood stoves in Montana, raw materials for generating heat in federal and state buildings, preventing the spread of invasive species via firewood, and protecting rural properties from forest and grass fires are projects in various stages.
These projects are all being overseen by the Glacierland Resource Conservation and Development Council's forestry consultant Don Peterson.
At the council's latest quarterly meeting held at council president Chuck Wagner's tree farm in northern Kewaunee County, Peterson provided updates on that group of activities.
The major project on Peterson's list is the $276,000 grant provided by the United States Forest Service for replacing of older-style outdoor wood-burning stoves at Lake Seeley in Montana's Missoula County.
This is an effort to reduce the air pollution, which had been generated by those stoves.
Peterson reported that $167,000 has been spent on the replacement of 102 of wood-burning stoves.
He said the goal is to replace a total of 157 wood stoves. He observed that Forest Service are very pleased with the first project of its type and hoping it will serve as a model for similar ventures.
A three-year project that has not yielded similar success is the educational effort directed to limiting the likelihood that firewood would be the vehicle for spreading invasive species, Peterson reported.
He said the major immediate concern is the emerald ash borer, which has established itself in many states, including Wisconsin, in recent years.
The parties in a seven-state area who are being asked to carry out practices assuring that the firewood they create, handle, or sell is infected with invasive species are not being especially cooperative - something Peterson ascribes to their "independent attitude."
Nonetheless, he plans to schedule a national conference on topic to be held in Wisconsin during 2014.
Under a two-year grant from the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board, Peterson organized a woodland owners conference that drew a crowd of 170 to Green Bay in January.
He said the very good reaction to the conference by attendees who were seeking more information has resulted in the devising of a newsletter.
A conference titled Wildland Urban Interface is set to be held in Madison on Aug. 6-7 of this year.
The conference is designed to acquaint rural property owners on how to protect their buildings from runaway fires similar to those that have destroyed hundreds of residences in episodes around the country in recent years.
One of the cooperative parties on this conference is the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. For its efforts in organizing the event, the Glacierland council will receive a payment of $10,000.
Peterson is also involved in a study of heating and cooling techniques in several federal and state buildings. This includes how wood products and solar power can be used to reduce costs.
Although the official period for his involvement has expired, Peterson indicated he is still advising three entities on Washington Island (tip of Door County) on business plans based on using the natural resources of the island, which has 9,000 acres of woods.
He said one involves bee hives and honey, a second pertains to carvings made from wood, and a third for which the entrepreneur does not want any specifics to be disclosed.
Although his office is in Crystal Falls, MI, about 90 percent of his professional activities are conducted in Wisconsin, Peterson noted.
He has been affiliated with Glacierland since 2002 as a grant application writer and overseer of numerous projects.
Peterson can be reached by phone at 906-875-3720. His business (Renewable Resource Solutions LLC) has a website at www.rrsllc.org.