DNR seeks public input on forest management plan for northeastern Minnesota

A report that identifies major forest management issues for the Northern Superior Uplands in northeastern Minnesota is available for review, according to the Department of Natural Resources. The report is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/subsection/nsu/index.html.

The preliminary issues and assessment report identifies issues for the forest management plan and also provides information on trees in the forest, land ownership and administration, forest health, wildlife species and ecological resources in the area.

The Northern Superior Uplands extend across far northeastern Minnesota and include all or parts of Carlton, Cook, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis counties. The largest blocks of DNR land within the section are the Kabetagoma, Bear Island, Cloquet Valley and Finland state forests, along with Swamp River and Canosia wildlife management areas, totaling an area of about 710,000 acres.

The DNR will use public input to produce a better forest management plan and to meet stakeholder needs and expectations.

Outcomes of the plan may include adjustments to long-term desired tree species on DNR lands in this section. The plan will identify DNR forest stands to be visited for management over the upcoming 10-year plan implementation period.

In addition to making planning documents available online, the DNR will use webinars to increase early public input that influences forest management planning decisions.

The webinars explain the forest management planning process, provide information to aid public input, and solicit input through questions and surveys, said Lynn Mizner, DNR statewide forest resource planner.

The first webinar addresses changes to the planning process since the development of the first plans. Changes are in response to what planning staff has learned, and to new legislation or policy regulating forest management. The first webinar is available now at www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/subsection/active.html.

The second webinar, scheduled for spring 2015, will present alternative harvest levels, age class distribution, climate change adaptation strategies, and explain models used to develop the list of forest stands to examine. The final webinar, scheduled for this summer, will present the draft plan developed using public input.

Direct questions and comments to Mizner at 218-429-3022 or lynn.mizner@state.mn.us.

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