Wisconsin capitol holiday tree comes from Menominee Nation forest

Neopit, Wisconsin (AP) 11-07

This year’s holiday tree that will sit in the Capitol rotunda is a 60-year-old spruce tree cut from the Menominee forest.

Bill Beckman, building superintendent at the capitol, said the tree has to be 45 feet tall to fit in the rotunda. He was on scene recently to direct its cutting and shipping.

Menominee Tribal Enterprises president Adrian “Dusty” Miller said they contacted the state that they had a tree for the rotunda. Beckman picked the winning tree.

Miller said the selection is significant because 2008 will be the mill’s 100-year anniversary. The company is owned and operated by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin.

“Our forest and 100-year-old mill tell a wonderful success story of a lumber business that reflects harmony with nature and people,” Miller said.

Crews from Ducane Skidding of Crivitz used a skidster with a special machine on it to cut two trees. The machine had claws to hold the tree, a chainsaw to cut the tree and multiple heads to strip branches.

The branches of one tree were laid on a flat-bed truck to cushion the tree going to Madison.

The lighting ceremony – that included 2,400 lights – was November 30. The tree wasdecorated with handmade ornaments donated by state residents.