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More logging set for state forests

Minnesota State Roundup

March 1, 2002

More logging set for state forests

Northeastern state forests will likely see more pine trees and fewer aspen—and an increase in logging on state lands—under 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.

Kathy Cobb