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1 Forestry Account Legislative Audit Bureau February 2002.

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1 1 Forestry Account Legislative Audit Bureau February 2002

2 2 Overview u Forestry Account supports activities in DNR and eight other state agencies u Account is funded by a state property tax of $0.20 per $1,000 of assessed property value u Must be used to acquire, preserve, and develop forests of the state

3 3 Program Expenditures u Increased from $63 million in FY 1997-98 to $72.3 million in FY 2000-01 u Staffing costs represent 60 percent of all expenditures u Funded 644.1 FTEs within DNR –449.7 FTE directly associated with forestry –194.4 FTE mainly administrative positions

4 4 Expenditures By Activity Type u Of the $72.3 million spent in FY 2000-01: –$52.2 million spent for forestry activities; –$12.2 million spent for department-wide administration and support activities; –$4.5 million supported activities not directly related to forestry; and –$3.4 million spent for debt service

5 5 Administrative Expenditures u Totaled $18.7 million in FY 2000-01 u Represented 27.8 percent of all Forestry Account expenditures made by DNR u $12.2 million for department-wide administrative and support costs u $6.5 million for forestry administration costs

6 6 Department-wide Administrative Costs u $7.1 million for services such as: –financial services –human resources –management and budget, and –facility rental u $2.7 million for land program management u $2.2 million for customer assistance and licensing

7 7 Questioned Benefit to Forestry u Forestry Account funded 15 percent all all costs for customer assistance and licensing u Only 3.5 percent of license revenue deposited in Forestry Account u From FY 1996-97 to FY 2000-01: –Administrative positions increased by 28 FTE –Forestry positions decreased by 12 FTE

8 8 Costs Not Directly Related to Forestry u $4.5 million in FY 2000-01: –$1.3 million by DNR –$3.2 million by two other agencies u For DNR, costs increased 84 percent between FY 1997-98 and FY 2000-01 u In FY 2000-01 included: –$455,000 for 8 wildlife positions –$155,000 for grant and land acquisition –$27,000 to register deer, bear, and turkeys

9 9 Other Agencies’ Non-forestry Costs u In FY 2000-01: –$3.2 million spent by the Wisconsin Conservation Corps for a number of conservation projects –$33,700 by the Wisconsin Historical Society for staff person at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center

10 10 Managed Forest Law Program u Provides tax relief to individuals and corporate forestland owners u Requires commitments by participants to practice sustainable forestry u Applications increased 78 percent since 1997 (3,251 submitted in 2001) u More than 2 million acres enrolled in the program

11 11 Workload Issues u Most work related to development of management plans for enrolled land u Staff have not been able to address all of their responsibilities u Over 12,000 mandatory practices on 187,165 acres are overdue u Backlog has led to deferral of $2.4 million to the State and local governments

12 12 Closing Enrolled Acres u May close enrolled land to public access for $1.00 per acre u Concerns exist about participants dividing their land to close more acres u 81 percent of 20,000 enrollments were closed to public access u Options are available to encourage more land to remain open

13 13 Forestry Account Legislative Audit Bureau February 2002

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