“I write with a philosophy of trying to be a teacher, and I try to teach readers about the outdoors.” – Vig
Cedric A. “Ced” Vig has been educating and writing about nature all of his life. That includes more than four decades as an educator and school administrator and another four-plus decades as a nature writer, author and photographer. In his 90s, he continues to write a weekly nature column for the Rhinelander Daily News, New Richmond News and Phillips Bee.
The Hawkins native earned an undergraduate degree at Central State Teachers College in Stevens Point in 1933. He recalls that one of his major influences at Stevens Point was Fred Schmeeckle, a natural resources professor and 1990 inductee into the Conservation Hall of Fame. Vig was an assistant to the professor.
Vig was a high school principal in Hawkins from 1934-39, there marrying his wife of more than 40 years, Marvel. He earned his master’s degree at the University of Minnesota in that period, too, and continued as a principal and then school superintendent in several Wisconsin cities, including the years 1934-77 at Rhinelander High School. As an educator in the 1960s, Vig served on the state Department of Public Instruction Conservation Curriculum Committee working to fashion a conservation curriculum for Wisconsin schools.
He helped to establish one of the early school forests at Rhinelander, and the school board there later named a diverse 80-acre parcel of woods in his honor. The Cedric A. Vig Outdoor Classroom is an environmental resource center for area kindergarten through 12th grade students.
Vig’s “Wisconsin Woodsmoke” newspaper column has been a favorite among northern Wisconsin readers since the early 1960s. His idea from the start was to focus on nature appreciation, believing that other newspaper columns already had plenty of information about hunting and fishing. His weekly columns are full of information about the natural wonders of his northern Wisconsin home. The Rhinelander Daily News compiled 40 years worth of his columns for a 1999 book, Wisconsin Woodsmoke, and more than 5,000 copies were sold. An accompanying book of his outdoor photos was also popular.
Ced Vig’s bright, lively style of writing continues in his weekly columns, and he remains a teacher, educating seniors about nature at Treehaven Environmental Station near Rhinelander and at Nicolet College in the city. He also teaches at Trees for Tomorrow and writes a column for the education center’s national newsletter. A friendly voice from the north, Ced Vig is a worthy inductee into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame.
- Outdoor writer, author, photographer in Rhinelander for more than four decades
- Longtime school superintendent
- Helped establish state conservation curriculum
- Teacher of outdoors education at Treehaven and Nicolet College
(Publication of this fact sheet made possible with assistance from Krause Publications, Iola, Wisconsin.)