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Offline Lee Borgersen

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DNR facing fallout
« on: August 15, 2019, 10:15:06 PM »
   Timberjay Editorial: :reporter;

 :police: DNR facing fallout :police:


Agency shouldnít let push for higher timber targets undermine wildlife habitat
Posted Wednesday, August 14, 2019 5:59 pm

 :coffee: .....
The Department of Natural Resources appears to be breaking faith with hunters, trappers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds through its decision to include lands that are supposed to be managed primarily for wildlife as part of its goal for maximizing the stateís timber harvest. :tut:

 :popcorn: ...
Wildlife is critically important to Minnesotaís outdoor traditions, and at a time when wildlife populations are under increasing threats from climate change, habitat loss, agricultural chemicals, and more, this is the worst possible time to disregard the value of the stateís 1.3 million acres dedicated to wildlife production as part of our statewide system of Wildlife Management Areas, or WMAs.
 
 :reporter;....
Since the founding of the WMA program in the 1950s, the DNR has financed the acquisition of WMA lands primarily from the license fees that hunters pay or the extra donations that drivers make to acquire Critical Habitat license plates. Conservation groups and their members have donated millions of dollars and thousands of acres of land for creation and expansion of WMAs. Outdoor heritage funds, approved by voters specifically for Minnesotaís environment, are also part of the mix.
 
 :bow: ....
In other words, these dedicated wildlife lands exist today precisely because outdoor enthusiasts have been willing to invest in them. They didnít do so to ensure maximum yield for the wood products industry. :angry2:

 :taz: ....
 They did so to benefit Minnesotaís wildlife. Altering that mission in a way that undermines the very purpose of these lands is an affront to the millions of Minnesotans who have invested in these public lands and who regularly enjoy them.

We donít mean to suggest that producing timber for harvest isnít an important goal for the DNR. The stateís wood products industry is incredibly valuable to the northern Minnesota economy and ensuring that there is adequate supply from the stateís commercial forests to sustain the industry has long been a top focus of the DNR, and rightly so.
 
 :pouty: ...
But Minnesotaís public lands have value that goes well beyond the production of commodities. For the vast majority of Minnesotans, the value of our forests lies in their scenic beauty and in the opportunity to see and enjoy wildlife, and it is such values that are potentially undermined by the DNRís singular focus on increasing timber harvest.

We recognize that DNR leadership sees it differently, and believes that their plan for ramped up harvest still protects these other values. Yet, as we report this week, the people who are really in a position to know, donít agree with the direction coming from St. Paul. :bonk:
 
 :police:
 A total of 28 DNR area wildlife managers recently signed a letter to DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen, expressing concern that valuable wildlife habitat is being lost in the rush to cut. And they are not just talking about lost habitat within the stateís commercial forests. Theyíre talking about habitat lost from WMAs, which arenít being spared from the ramped-up cutting plan.

That should never happen. When the public invests in wildlife lands in Minnesota, itís done in good faith, and with the expectation that wildlife production is the primary objective in the management of those lands. In forested WMAs, that certainly doesnít preclude timber harvest, since it can be a valuable tool for wildlife managers as well. But timber harvest on WMAs should be used when appropriate for wildlife management, not when its necessary to meet an otherwise unrealistic harvest objective for industry.

 As we report this week, prime stands of oak, which produce some of the most valuable wildlife food, have been leveled from WMAs. Closer to home, wildlife managers cite the loss of critical conifer understory as well as denning and nest sites from aspen stands in northern St. Louis County as a result of the DNRís recent decision to shorten aspen stand rotation, which is part of the ramped-up harvest initiative. :moon:

While the DNR is boosting harvest to help the wood products industry, letís not forget that thereís another major industry that could be undermined by the current policies. Outdoor recreation, such as hunting and wildlife watching, is a major economic factor in Minnesota, one thatís estimated to generate a billion dollars in sales annually and to employ tens of thousands of Minnesotans.

 :tut: ......
We shouldnít have to sacrifice quality wildlife habitat to sustain the stateís wood products industry. If the DNR wants to ramp up timber harvests, it should do so by increasing the harvest on private lands, by hiring more consulting foresters to work with private landowners. Thatís where harvest levels have declined in recent years. Making up for the shortfall of timber harvest on private lands by sacrificing the mission of public lands dedicated to wildlife management is absolutely the wrong way to go.


 :doah: ....
These dedicated wildlife lands exist today precisely because outdoor enthusiasts have been willing to invest in them. They didnít do so to ensure maximum yield for the wood products industry. They did so to benefit Minnesotaís wildlife.Ē
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019, 10:26:10 PM by Lee Borgersen »
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Re: DNR facing fallout
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2019, 07:01:18 AM »
The DNR is losing it's way.  I am also very upset about them getting in the fight to change the name of Lake Calhoun.  That is not what the DNR is for in my mind.  They are spending big dollars on that issue too.  NOW THIS!!!  Something stinks here.

Offline delcecchi

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Re: DNR facing fallout
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2019, 07:48:49 AM »
Interesting. 
There doesn't seem to be an expanded harves.the h.here around Cook.  The customers in this area have decreased, and I see many fewer  log trucks on the road. 

Imported paper and lumber has increased, and the companies have sold off land.  I wonder what is really going on. 

Offline Rebel SS

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Re: DNR facing fallout
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2019, 09:37:40 AM »
Wildlife managers object to Minnesota agencyís timber plan

August 15, 2019
MINNESOTA NEWS, MINNESOTA NEWS FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) ó Minnesota wildlife managers say Department of Natural Resources leadership is mismanaging the upcoming timber harvest.   :angry:

Minnesota Public Radio News reports managers say the mishandling could risk altering state forest lands for the animals that depend on them and for people who recreate there.

MPR News obtained a letter in which 28 DNR wildlife managers, assistant wildlife managers and scientists outlined their concerns last month to Commissioner Sarah Strommen and Assistant Commissioner Bob Meier.

The group disagrees with DNRís plan to increase timber harvest by 8.75%. The letter says the group doesnít believe itís scientifically honest to say that the 10-year timber plan is ďbeneficial to wildlife.Ē

DNR leadership denies the claims and stands behind its sustainable timber harvest analysis. They say the plan stays true to the intent of wildlife management areas.

                                             #
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 10:19:07 AM by Rebel SS »

Online Steve-o

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Re: DNR facing fallout
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2019, 11:35:00 AM »
I don't know...  Its probably local and anecdotal, but I've certainly noticed an uptick in clear cut logging in the areas up north where I frequent.
 :mad1:

Offline delcecchi

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Re: DNR facing fallout
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2019, 11:47:47 AM »
Turns out the DNR puts out a report on public stumpage sales and price.    Looks like price went up in 2014 and stayed.  Amount about the same.  Was there a trade thing with Canada about then?

I attached the pdf for 2018 if anyone is interested.  Even has data by county.   
I couldn't figure out how to just insert a few of the graphs, sorry.   




Offline markn

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Re: DNR facing fallout
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2019, 12:41:42 PM »
Must be out of the loop somehow, didn't know the DNR was in the timber business too.
mm

Offline delcecchi

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Re: DNR facing fallout
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2019, 01:18:14 PM »
They manage timber harvest on public land, run auctions for stumpage etc.  They also provide advice to private landowners about forest management.

https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/index.html

Here is the list of divisions for the DNR
Divisions
Ecological & Water Resources
Enforcement
Fish and Wildlife
Forestry
Lands and Minerals
Parks and Trails
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 01:19:55 PM by delcecchi »

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Re: DNR facing fallout
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2019, 06:06:27 PM »
Although they do say that after woods are harvested that the new growth is beneficial to moose don't they????  Maybe other things too. ????

Offline delcecchi

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Re: DNR facing fallout
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2019, 07:22:26 PM »
Although they do say that after woods are harvested that the new growth is beneficial to moose don't they????  Maybe other things too. ????

Logging is good for some species and not others.....  Hard for a deer to eat a 40 year old aspen.   Might be good for grouse. 

Offline deadeye

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Re: DNR facing fallout
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2019, 06:36:20 PM »
Very interesting report, thanks delcecchi.  I read it with interest because we are in the middle of an aspen sale. That is it was put out for bids and two bids received.  We accepted one, I signed the contract but have not received anything back yet.  I did talk to the logger and met him at my land.  For the record the bids are significantly lower than what is listed as the state wide average public land sale.  Could be the locations and volume.  Between myself and brother in law the sale is about 55 acres.  It has been a struggle to make a sale.  We started three years ago.  After 6 months we accepted a bid which gave the logger two years to complete the harvest.  Nothing happened the first year.  Last winter, the logger went out of business and that was the end of that.  Not sure what will happen now.  I am more interested in cutting the mature aspen to allow new growth.  The is recommended by the foresters to help all wildlife.  I told them that is more important to me than the few bucks we will get from the harvest.  I will keep you informed as things progress. 
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Offline delcecchi

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Re: DNR facing fallout
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2019, 09:35:35 PM »
You did notice the sections by county, right?  Yeah location probably a big deal.

 

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