Leadership Team for the Statewide Forest Plan
Conserving Wisconsin's Biological Diversity
Biological diversity refers to the full range of natural variety and variability within and among living organisms, and the ecological and environmental complexes in which they occur. It encompasses multiple levels of organization, including genes, species, natural communities, landscapes and ecological systems or ecosystems. Biological diversity emerged as an important issue to Wisconsin citizens and stakeholders who provided input on Wisconsin's Forest Assessment and Statewide Forest Plan. Over half of the issues and objectives in the Plan are related to biological diversity. Currently there are two areas that need particular attention. First, it will be important to agree on a practical, science-based method to set goals for and measure the conservation of biological diversity for Wisconsin landscapes. This can then be used by Wisconsin's landowners and policy makers to protect and manage our state's biological diversity, as well as determine what is needed to create this information for Wisconsin. The second area is to identify specific, effective actions to protect biological diversity in Wisconsin.
- Increasing demands placed on Wisconsin's forests and other land uses present a challenge to managing for biological diversity statewide.
- Sustainable ecosystems are needed to support forest-based economies over the long term.
- Information about the biological diversity of Wisconsin's forests is scarce. Better understanding of biological diversity will help us manage issues such as old growth and endangered and threatened species.