North Country Trail near Solider Lake (photo from HSS Chapter)
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based on a news release of the Hiawatha National Forest
North Country Trail hikers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan near Soldier Lake need to be aware of a timber harvest operation which will be conducted this year to remove older jackpine which are damaged by budworm.
some harvesting is taking place this spring, before the camping season, in the area around Soldiers’ Lake Campground. This spring, a timber sale just over 100 acres will remove only jack pine in a circle around the north, west and south sides of the campground. While hazard trees within the campground itself will continue to be identified by the Forest Service recreation staff for removal, the timber sale will help reduce the fire danger from this dying jack pine. The North Country Trail runs along the west side of the area. Removing the older, larger dying jack pine in the area reduces the hazards to hikers and campers who are exploring the area. The plan is to complete the harvest by May 15th in the Soldiers’ Lake Campground area.
The sale area is part of a 60,000-acre area dominated by sandy outwash plains that grow jack and red pine which lies between Raco and Strongs. The larger area has seen a lot of timber harvesting over the last two decades because the jack pine, much of it planted by the CCC, has gotten older and is susceptible to defoliation by the jack pine budworm.
Forester Martha Sjogren says “Every five to ten years, older jack pine trees’ foliage turns red and then brown as the budworm eats their needles.” The last major budworm outbreak in the area took place in 2000 and has caused tops to die and in some cases, complete tree mortality.
This segment is on NCTA map MI-08
See Hiawatha Shore-to-Shore Chapter of the NCTA