We will soon be publishing our proposed lowland conifer old growth (LCOG) designation and will be looking for your feedback! Sign up to receive an email notification when the proposal is available for public review and for future designation updates.
The DNR's existing 44,000 acre network of old growth forests does not currently include LCOG forests. The DNR defines old growth forests as forests that have developed over a long period of time, essentially free from catastrophic disturbances. They contain large, old trees of long-lived species that are beyond traditional rotation (harvest) age. High-quality old growth forests also have relatively complex stand structure (such as snags and woody debris), higher stand mortality, and few invasive species. They also include rare species or native plant communities.
Our original old growth designation effort, back in 2003, deferred designating lowland conifer forests as old growth due to their relative abundance, unique qualities, and lack of data to characterize high quality old growth characteristics. At that time, we committed to address LCOG at some point in the future when data were available to clearly define high quality old growth characteristics. Since then, we established some criteria to characterize LCOG forests and identified candidate sites that met these criteria. We are working to further evaluate the candidate LCOG sites and develop an LCOG designation proposal, which will include locations and their associated management policies. We will solicit public comments on the LCOG designation proposal.