TO THE EDITOR: The DNR Forestry Department needs to do a better job of consistently applying the agreed upon conditions contained in the MFL Contracts.
Landowners are placing wooded lands, sometimes not quality timber land, in MFL to avoid paying the taxes, but spend no time cleaning up the forests of invasive species. Such disregard allows lands to deteriorate to the point that prohibits meaningful tree growth.
When State Foresters write MFL Contracts, they indicate that certain practices are required and others only recommended. The recommended conditions are usually not complied with and these types of contracts have the greatest amount of neglect among landowners.
I am a former owner of hundreds of acres of Pierce County Timber Land and worked closely with the Pierce County Forester, whom I have a great deal of respect for. Many of my neighbors did nothing to improve their lands in part due to their contracts, which required no work yet benefit from lower taxes. A form of welfare, if you will.
The State will generate a significant amount of Real Estate Taxes if landowners are required to do the work to maintain forest lands. The State needs to re-write these contracts, which they may legally do requiring that each landowner accept DNR Supervision which meets the required maintenance standards on their properties.
Canceling MFL Contract for non-compliance is in the best interests of our taxpaying citizens.