Published March 1, 2004 | March 2004 issue
The timber industry wants the state to change its forest management policy and has begun a lobbying push in the Legislature to do so.
The industry hopes changes will lead to more logging on state lands. That's what was recommended by a task force created last summer by Gov. Tim Pawlenty to determine how Minnesota's timber industry could stay competitive. The panel also recommended the state expedite its environmental reviews and permit applications.
Environmental groups like the Sierra Club have opposed such measures.
But the industry claims Minnesota is wasting its resources by letting too many mature trees die without being harvested. More wood is dying than is being grown, they say.
Increased logging on state lands would coincide with more logging likely to begin on federal lands, as a result of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act signed last December. In Minnesota, those lands would include the Chippewa and Superior national forests.