Inside the new DNR Forestry headquarters in Rhinelander

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RHINELANDER, Wis. (WSAW) -- State and public officials celebrated Arbor Day by planting new trees in front of the new headquarters for forestry in Rhinelander on Tuesday.

The Department of Natural Resources gave the public an inside look at their new operation in the northwoods.

60 percent of the DNR field staff are located north of highway 29 which helped fuel their move last year. "The key advantage for us is to be able to be close to our partners that we we work with in the state, county and national forests. Most of our forests are up here in the north. We work with these partners very close. By having them close we can understand their challenges and opportunities and work with them," explained Chief State Forester Fred Souba Jr.

Their partners include the U.S. Forest Service, Wisconsin County Forest Association and the Great Lakes Timber Professionals.

The move has support from a local legislator. "Anytime we can get the state of Wisconsin to have an office based in the northwoods we win. For the DNR to choose Rhinelander for the forestry department it makes a lot of sense. Rhinelander is a warm, welcoming community and it is great the industry professionals are close to each other," said State Senator Janet Bewley, a Democrat representing the 25th Senate District.

So far the move has been helpful for the DNR. "My leadership team that are focused here travel where they have to be for the state to perform their duties. Having us here and being able to talk with our partners about opportunities and challenges has been beneficial," said Souba Jr.

Arbor Day was celebrated nationwide on April 26 but is celebrated differently around the world depending on the best time to plant trees for a certain area.