DNR invites public comment on timber harvests at Father Hennepin State Park

March 9, 2020


The Department of Natural Resources is amending the management plan for Father Hennepin State Park, located on the southeast shore of Mille Lacs Lake. The amendment will allow timber harvest activities that are planned as part of natural resource management work.

An open house to review the amended management plan and timber harvest activities will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 23, at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park, where the team that manages Father Hennepin State Park is located. Public comments on the amendment will be accepted through April 15.

The initial timber harvest activity at Father Hennepin State Park will involve thinning a red pine plantation near the park shop and sewage pond area. Thinning the pine stand will promote better growth and health of the stand, create a more natural look, reduce wildfire fuel loads, and reduce the risk of disease and blowdown. The thinning project may also involve removing undesirable trees and brush, including non-native vegetation such as European buckthorn.

Timber harvests take place in state parks and state recreation areas primarily to restore or manage native plant communities. In some cases, a harvest is necessary to restore visitor access and safety by clearing trails and reducing the risk of forest fires from downed timber following a storm.

The DNR develops management plans for each state park. A state park’s management plan sets the direction for the park for 15-20 years and includes recommendations for managing natural and cultural resources and providing recreational and interpretative opportunities to park visitors. The amendment to the Father Hennepin management plan will clarify that timber harvesting is a resource management tool in this state park. No other amendments are proposed as part of this update.

For more information or to comment on the plan amendment, contact Jade Templin at 651-259-5598 or [email protected].