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DNR's Forest Harvest Sustainability Analysis Report

posted Jan 3, 2018, 11:04 AM by Jon Anderson

Attached for your information and action is an article written by retired DNR wildlife manager Gary Drotts. Gary worked for many years out of the Brainerd Area wildlife office. Forest planning and sustainable forest management were a large part of his work there and one of his passions. 

This article gives a good overview of the DNR's Forest Harvest and Sustainability Analysis that has just been completed and is out for public review and comment.  I encourage you to take a look at the report and submit your comments, which are due by January 8th

This report is quite technical, however, the main concern is that this analysis is being pushed upon the DNR by the governor who is getting pressure from the timber industry. They want to force the DNR to sell more wood than is currently being put up for sale as a way to lower the price of wood for the industry by flooding the market. This is all about money and economics, and not about what is best for providing a healthy forest with a diversity of plants and wildlife and associated outdoor recreation in Minnesota. 

The original level of harvesting 800,000 cords per year is likely more cutting than is ideal from a forest habitat and wildlife diversity standpoint, but it is at least a tolerable level of harvest. Moving it up to 900,000 or 1,000,000 cords would definitely move the needle to a point that maximizes wood production at serious expense to many other forest values.

I hope you will dive into this report and let the DNR know what your thoughts are on their sustainable harvest analysis. I'm going to tell them that I do not want to see the harvest level increased, and would actually prefer something on the order of 600,000 cords. Wood should be just one of the products that we get from our forests. Fish, wildlife, clean water, aesthetics and forest recreation are the other multiple uses that should have equal value in our forests!

Rich Staffon