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On a sunny day in a shaded forest, Don Waller and Dave Zaber, two environmental professionals, came across an orchid growing on the forest floor. This part of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest near Eagle River is maturing, with tall trees, a shady canopy, and a cooler temperature. It’s good orchid habitat. But that might change soon, Zaber said. “We’re in a proposed cutting unit of the Fourmile timber sale,” he said. The National Forest has slated this area for selective harvest, part of 11,700 acres identified for cutting as part of what’s called the Fourmile project . Cutting on the National Forest is not uncommon, and neither is the size of the project. But the loudness of the objections to this project from people like Waller and Zaber is rather rare. Like most of the Northwoods, these forests were cut over during the timber boom more than a century ago. They’re still catching up, Waller said. “What we have are forests in the 20 th century and early 21 st century still in a

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