Forest, memorial dedicated to Steve Jackson|
|Langlade County Forest Administrator Steve Jackson was a man of action.|
So, when it came time to honor his memory of the longtime forester, who died of a heart attack last November while deer hunting, a simple plaque on a sedentary building would have been inadequate.
On Thursday, members of the Langlade County Forestry Department and county officials joined Jackson’s family and many friends for the dedication of the new Jackson Memorial Forest, an 880-tract of prime timberland located north of Summit Lake.
Jackson was instrumental in the purchase of the property, through a mix of state stewardship dollars and county funds, two years ago.
“This is something Steve was very proud of,” Erik Rantala, who now serves as forest administrator after years as Jackson’s assistant, said. “Steve went through all the legwork to get this done.”
Jackson family members attending included his wife, Heidi, their daughters, Molly Jackson and Katie Frappe, and Katie’s son, Jackson, who was born just days after his grandfather’s death at the age of 51 on Nov. 17, 2012.
Also attending was his father, David Jackson, who reflected on his son’s legacy.
“Thank you all so much for coming,” he said. “This is very gratifying.”
Rantala said work on the memorial project started shortly after Jackson’s death, and that naming the newly-added land in his memory was a natural fit.
“We knew we wanted to do something and this came to mind right away,” Rantala said.
“This is a working forest,” Rantala stressed, something that Jackson understood and appreciated. It is already producing revenue through timber sales and is also criss-crossed with trails for all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, hunting and other recreational opportunities.
The parcel also includes the pristine Horseshoe Lake, a stunning body of water that remains in its wild state,
Rantala said the marker, erected with the help of logger Tim Jacobs, was placed near a main road for easy accessibility, in a hardwood stand that Jackson would appreciate.
“The site turned out well,” he said. “It’s a really neat spot.”
Jackson was employed by the Langlade County Forestry Department for over 25 years, spending the last 10 as forest administrator.
Under his management, timber sale revenues continued to grow, exceeding the $2 million level again in 2010 and $1.5 million in 2011. He was also a leader in increasing the county’s forest land holdings and a proponent of recreation, guiding improvements to Veterans Memorial Park at Jack Lake and working with diverse groups of clubs in promoting, maintaining and adding to the county’s trail system for a variety of four-season uses.
Langlade County has over 127,000 acres in its county forest system ranking it seventh out of 29 counties in the state with such holdings.
Members of Steve Jackson's family posed at the memorial marker following Thursday's dedication. From left are daughter, Molly Jackson; Steve's wife, Heidi Jackson; daughter Katie Frappe holding her son, Jackson; and Steve's father, David Jackson.
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