Prior to the noon luncheon, two or our members, Dick Krawze and Bill Johnson Jr. were able to sit down for a private round table meeting with Vice President Cheney to discuss issues pertaining to the Lake States Region.
has informed me that he
has received several calls from around the state and the nation complimenting the Lake States Group
..."When the Governor announced that 64,000 acres of forest land in northern Wisconsin would be sold to an out of state firm, we were dumbfounded," said Dick Krawze, Vice President of Pine River Lumber Company of Long Lake, and past President of Lakes States Lumber Association (LSLA).LSLA
is the statewide association of sawmill operators, wood product manufacturers and Forest land owners.
LSLA members say Conservation Forestry LLC
, of Woburn, Massachusetts and Forest Investment Associates
of Atlanta, Georgia partnered with the Nature Conservancy, were given special treatment by the state of Wisconsin in a deal to purchase 64,000 acres of forest land from International Paper
, one of the largest private landowners in the world.
According to one insider close to the deal, "The state did exclusive forest assessment work on the land," thus, providing free due diligence services for the Eastern companies."If Forest Investment Associates had to pay for this free service from the state, it would have cost them tens of thousands of dollars," says Krawze
In addition to its free due diligence service from the state, the select group got an exclusive $39 million development rights buyout from the tax payers."The cash infusion obviously clinched the deal for them," says Krawze
I don't understand how he
could let such a tainted deal get to the Governor for his
approval," said Krawze