Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Timber Sale May Cut Across New Minnesota Trail

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Splashes of color in the forest: The blue marks the North Country Trail and the red shows the boundary of a temporarily delayed timber sale, just feet from the trail on county tax-forfeited land in Round Lake Township. (photo from Detroit Lakes OnLine)

based on news stories in Detroit Lakes OnLine and Minnesota Public Radio

New trail in western Minnesota's Becker County near Detroit Lakes will soon be stressed by timber interests. Tax-forfeited lands in the county are added to the county forest system, where 1200 acres a year are harvested for revenues. Recently built North Country Trail is right in the path of one projected cut.

Ryan Tangen, who handles the timber sales, said "We want to make sure that area is preserved along the trail." Although the red boundary markers look ominous, the county is proposing to selectively cut for aspen, birch, red oak and basswood.

But the Stewardship Association says that logging equipment will scar the landscape and even species-specific logging will damage the fragile ecosystem of what is essentially a 100-year-old forest. They would prefer that tourism be considered more strongly in management of the tax-forfeited land. "Fully developed forests are what you need — that’s what people want to walk through," said Willis Mattson.

In 2010, timber sales contributed just over $167,000 to the county's $38 million budget. Some have noted that this isn't a very significant contribution and that tourism could probably provide just as much money.

A public hearing tonight may shed some light on what local citizens would like to see in a recreation plan.

See Laurentian Lakes Chapter of the NCTA


Matthew Davis said...

Thanks for sharing the MPR link Joan. I hadn't seen it!

Matthew Davis said...

One other thing...

This issue is actually related to the Laurentian Lakes Chapter - - and not the Star of the North.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Thanks Matt- I made the change