North Shore Forest Collaborative hosts meeting to discuss conifer forest restoration Wednesday at Gunflint Ranger District

Learn about the efforts to restore the conifer forest along the North Shore of Lake Superior and take an active role in making that restoration happen at two public meetings hosted by the North Shore Forest Collaborative (NSFC).Attendees will be able to review and discuss key goals and projects proposed by the Collaborative as well as learn how they can help accomplish those projects.

The first meeting is at 6 p.m. Jan. 28 in Grand Marais at the Gunflint Ranger District Office on Highway 61. The second meeting is the next day, Jan. 29 in Two Harbors at the County Courthouse, Law Enforcement Conference Room.

The mission of the North Shore Forest Collaborative (NSFC) is to revitalize and maintain a healthy and functioning ecosystem along the North Shore of Lake Superior with emphasis on restoring and maintaining native trees and associated forest communities.The Collaborative was formed in 2011 and its members include natural resource professionals, nonprofits, local units of government and agencies, and perhaps most importantly, private landowners and interested citizens.

We are very excited about the opportunity to work with both private and public landowners on restoration efforts.We believe the restoration effort will be contagious and spread throughout the North Shore as neighbors share information with each other, and work together on tree planting and other restoration activities. These meetings are a good opportunity for landowners to learn how they can begin the restoration process and have a say in how they can help said Duane Lula, coordinator for the NSFC.

Lula added that even the casual observer travelling up the North Shore will notice the dead and dying paper birch and the brush understory. Logging in the early 20th century, fire, and deer browsing have reduced the white pine, cedar, and spruce that were once dominant along the north shore. In many places these species have been replaced by birch and aspen.But now, old age, weather and soil conditions have led to the birch decline.

More information about the North Shore Forest Collaborative and this project is available at www.northshoreforest.org

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