Northeastern state forests will likely see more pine trees and fewer
aspenand an increase in logging on state landsunder a long-range
plan proposed by the state's Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The DNR wants to replace older aspen and birch with conifers, like spruce
and red and white pines; root out new aspen growth; and increase
logging on state lands around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
by about 9 percent, that is, from 81,000 to 88,000 cords annually over
the next seven years.
DNR officials say the changes will eventually restore a balance to forest
growth, offer trees of higher value to sawmills and provide habitat for
some bird and wildlife species that depend on conifers. There are some
dissenters to the plan, however. Some grouse and deer hunters are angry
because those animals favor young aspen; the timber industry isn't keen
on logging too many old trees; and environmental groups say increased
logging is unacceptable.