Nils Folke Becker
Inducted October 5, 1990
Folke Becker, a dedicated conservationist, business executive and leader in the forestry movement in the restoration and development of forests and forestry forward via constitutional and legislative action in the 1920’s consulting in public funding for forestry, enactment of the Forest Crop Law, forest zoning legislation and the creation of the County Forest program.
Founder and President of Trees for Tomorrow, Inc. he was a member of the Wisconsin Forestry Advisory Committee and an early advocated of a statewide forest pest control program. His keen understanding and leadership to develop and enhance Wisconsin forestry programs played a vital role in developing long range Wisconsin forest policy.
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For four decades – 1920-1962 – Folke Becker, a dedicated conservationist and businessman, was a leader in the Wisconsin forestry movement, displaying a keen understanding and a deep appreciation of the importance of the state’s forest resources.
In his capacity as the chief executive officer of the Rhinelander Paper Company, he was active in the early efforts to rebuild a sound forest economy in northern Wisconsin. During the 1920s when efforts to move forestry forward via constitutional and legislative action was not always a popular cause, Folke Becker was quoted at a legislative hearing as saying, “Forestry is one of the soundest, most progressive, and farseeing policies that Wisconsin can adopt.” His strong involvement in and support of the constitutional change to permit expenditure of state funds for forestry, enactment of the forestry mil tax legislation, the Forest Crop Law and passage of statewide zoning legislation that led to the establishment of the County Forest Program during the 1920s are considered by forest historians to have been the greatest accomplishments for the state’s forestry program in any decade. Folke Becker was a key role player in making it all happen.
Becker was a founder of Trees for Tomorrow, Inc., at Eagle River in 1944. In 1955, he accepted· and served with distinction for six years as a member of the Wisconsin Forestry Advisory Council to the then Wisconsin Conservation Commission.