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Walker signs Fox River land sale bill

Honorary lock tender for a day, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker closes the lock after signing Assembly Bill 810 into law at Appleton Lock 3, Thursday, April 14, 2016 in Appleton, Wis. Assembly Bill 810 is legislation that amends state statutes to allow the locks to have more control into developing the property. (Wm. Glasheen/The Post-Crescent via AP)

Gov. Scott Walker closes a lock after signing Assembly Bill 810 into law at Appleton Lock 3 on Thursday. (Wm. Glasheen/The Post-Crescent via AP)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that reforms Wisconsin’s managed forest program.

Participants in the program receive property tax breaks if they follow timber management plans and open their land to the public. Participants who close their land get a smaller tax break and must pay a fee.

The bill caps closed land at 320 acres, reduces the fee for withdrawing from the program early and lets property owners lease out their land.

The measure also eliminates local taxes on timber harvested from the land. Local governments will keep 80 percent of closed acreage fees. Right now 100 percent of those fees go to the state forestry account.

Walker signed the bill Thursday afternoon at a logging equipment manufacturer in Rhinelander.

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