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Tree harvests up but advocates want more changes

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) - The amount of timber being harvested from the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest rose 6 percent last year. But advocates say more can be done to manage the timber and help the region's struggling economy.

A Post-Crescent Media report says 63.2 million board feet of wood were cut in 2013. That's up from 59.7 million board feet the previous year.

The uptick has brought more business to sawmills. But some owners say that while the growth is enough to keep current workers busy, it's not enough to justify hiring more workers.

Several Wisconsin congressmen suggest shifting more control of the federal land back to the state. But environmentalists are pushing back, saying they're concerned about the lands being over-harvested.

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