Good forest management includes periodic review of timber harvest levels and its impact to the greater forest ecosystem and economy. At the request of Governor Dayton, the DNR is currently analyzing the sustainability of harvesting one million cords of timber per year from DNR-administered forest lands. If an annual harvest of one million cords is not sustainable, the DNR will analyze and identify an alternative sustainable harvest level. An independent contractor is conducting the analysis and a stakeholder advisory group is providing input.
DNR strives to provide a stable, quality source of wood fiber to industry in a manner that is sustainable and conserves Minnesota's state forest resources into the future. A variety of environmental and economic factors will be considered in the analysis. The final report will provide important benchmarks for the amount of timber harvested from DNR-administered forest lands.
The DNR has contracted with Mason, Bruce & Girard (MB&G) to complete the modeling and analysis work for this project. They have developed a "Phase I" progress report on the initial work for this project. It shows model inputs included so far and some initial results. The modeling and analysis is incomplete at this time and the DNR is not ready to draw any conclusions about sustainability from the initial modeling. Rather, the work done so far serves as a launching point into more in-depth modeling and analysis that will be completed during the remainder of the project.
Fourteen citizens representing a broad range of interests were selected based on their knowledge of and interest in forestry and forest management; wildlife habitat; conservation impacts; and the timber industry. All members are dedicated to working collaboratively to meet common goals.
Group members represent: Blandin Paper, Izaak Walton League, Potlatch, Minnesota Forest Industries, U.S. Forest Service, Minnesota Deer Hunter's Association, Minnesota Forest Resources Council, The Nature Conservancy, Ruffed Grouse Society, Fond Du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Audubon Society, University of Minnesota, Timber Producer's Association, and Minnesota Association of County Land Commissioners. In addition, DNR staff representing the divisions of Forestry, Wildlife, and Ecological and Water Resources participate in the stakeholder advisory group.
Jon Drimel, DNR Forest Resource Planner