State Forests

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Birch Lakes State Forest

 

Forest Landscape: The rolling to hilly topography of the forest was created by glacial deposition. Hills surrounding shallow depressions that contain shallow water dominate the area. The forest's highest elevation occurs one-quarter mile west of the lake and is 176 feet above the lake.

Management Activities: Birch Lakes State Forest is managed primarily as a recreation area due to its small size. The forest, however, does produce timber, provide habitat for wildlife, and demonstrate forest management principles. Aspen and other hardwoods have been harvested to benefit wildlife and are currently regenerating naturally through root and stump sprouting. Some fuelwood has been and will continue to be harvested as the result of stress from drought, insects, and disease. Scattered areas of pine and spruce have been planted to add biodiversity. The forest boundary encloses 637 acres on Section 36 of Melrose Township, with 487 acres owned by the state. The remaining lands are privately owned.

History: Birch Lakes State Forest was established by the Minnesota Legislature in 1959 with the support of local citizens who had promised the area as a state park.

Acres: 710

Year Estab: 1963

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