Beltrami Island Land Utilization Project

The final Beltrami Island Land Utilization Project Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan received joint DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approval on March 29, 2013. The plan provides direction to the DNR and Fish and Wildlife Service for managing 86,000 acres of federally-owned land in the Beltrami Island area for the benefit of wildlife species by adopting a Landscape Management approach. Highlights of the plan include fostering a general goal of increasing the quantity and age of conifers on the landscape, sustaining populations of mature-forest habitat specialist species (such as martens and fishers) and early successional sedge meadow wetland species (such as sharp-tailed grouse and yellow rails), while also maintaining early successional upland species such as white-tailed deer and black bear. This will include continued logging opportunities and sound watershed management that support these goals. Another highlight is that there will be no changes in public access to the federal lands. The plan also outlines visions for limited land exchanges between State, Federal, and potentially Red Lake Tribal lands for management efficiencies and accomplishing respective governmental goals. The public planning process began in January 2011 with three open houses in Baudette, Warroad and Bloomington to gain public input. Public participation continued in the form of two full-day Focus Group workshops at Norris Camp in the spring of 2011. A draft plan was released for public review in June and July 2012, with a public open house in Warroad in June.


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