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MN DNR Asking For Public Comments On Forest Resource Plan

Friday, February 10th, 2012 at 5:59 am

A draft of the Anoka Sand Plain Subsection Forest Resource Management Plan (ASP SFRMP) is now open for public comment until 4:30 p.m., March 8, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The plan consists of two primary products. The public review document outlines the planning process, forest vegetation management goals and directions, and implementation strategies and stand selection criteria used to identify the forest stands to be site-visited by foresters and possibly treated over the next 10-year period, 2013 through 2022. The 10-Year Stand Examination List includes 268 stands totaling 3,883 acres that are being considered for site visits and possible treatment over the next 10 years.

“The focus of the public review is to seek comments on the process and criteria used to select specific forest stands for site visit and possible treatments,” said Robert Pulford, a forest planner with the DNR Division of Forestry. “We also are looking for comments about the specific stands included on the stand exam list.”

In addition to the ASP SFRMP, a management plan has been prepared specifically for the Sand Dunes State Forest located in Sherburne County. The focus of the operational plan for management of the Sand Dunes State Forest is to guide vegetation management within the Sand Dunes State Forest and is a part of the broader ASP SFRMP.

Stands on the list have received a preliminary prescription (i.e., harvest, thin, site visit to determine management or re-inventory) based on the directions as stated in the draft
ASP SFRMP. Once the stands are site-visited and evaluated, final treatment will be assigned. Based on past experience, not all stands identified for site visits result in a timber sale and harvest.

The Anoka Sand Plain SFRMP public review document, 10-Year Stand Exam List, and operational plan for Management of the Sand Dunes State Forest are available online at: www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/subsection/anoka/index.html. Paper copies (235 pages) may be requested from the DNR at the address below.

Comments on the public review document or individual forest stands placed on the Ten-Year Stand Exam List may be submitted to: Robert Pulford, DNR Division of Forestry, 1601 Minnesota Drive, Brainerd, MN 56401; phone: 218-833-8704; fax: 218-833-8668; or email: robert.pulford@state.mn.us.

All written comments received will be considered with responses prepared. Comments and responses will be included in the final Anoka Sand Plain SFRMP scheduled for adoption by the DNR in April.

The Anoka Sand Plain is an ecological subsection in central Minnesota that includes approximately 42,000 acres of state forest timberlands (lands capable of producing timber) administered by the DNR divisions of Forestry and Fish and Wildlife. This subsection covers all or parts of 12 counties: Crow Wing, Morrison, Stearns, Benton, Wright, Sherburne, Mille Lacs, Isanti, Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Hennepin. However, the majority of lands subject to this SFRMP are located in Morrison, Sherburne, Anoka, Isanti and Chisago counties.

The draft ASP SFRMP takes into consideration a broad range of factors that affect forest management including: increasing forest health and productivity, managing vegetation for rare species and habitat, balancing timber age classes over time, identifying stands to be managed as older forest to accommodate diverse wildlife and ecological resources, and limiting impacts to cultural, visual and water resources – all balanced to provide sustainable forest resources. Sustainable forest management is the underlying goal of the SFRMP planning process.

The DNR prepares management plans consistent with ecological subsection boundaries to ensure that ecological characteristics are considered as forestry management is implemented. The ASP SFRMP is one of 10 ecological subsections in the state for which the DNR has prepared a subsection plan.

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