DNR gets input on Western U.P. state forest plans

The Department of Natural Resources in the middle of planning forest management treatments for 2016.

The public was able to comment on the plan concerning land in the Western U.P.

The DNR evaluates one-tenth of state forest land every year. DNR staff was out all winter getting field inventory on timber and are making recommendations on portions of timber to harvest or recreation improvements.

“The total land base (of the Baraga Management Unit) is comprised of about 142,000 acres in five western counties of the U.P. [Baraga, Houghton, Gogebic, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon], and so what we’re doing is field inventory, collecting data on stands of timber–age, health, things like that–on about 14,000 acres of land,” Baraga DNR Office’s unit manager Don Mankee said.

The public’s input will help the DNR make decisions on what recreational improvements to make or what trees should be removed on the state forest land.

“Sometimes the public has concerns about particular things, whether they’re interested in a featured species of wildlife that occupies a certain area they’re interested in for hunting, if they have concerns about access to their favorite places on state forest land for disperse camping or for fishing or whatever it might be,” Mankee said. “We (the DNR) are entrusted in managing public land, so it’s very important for us to get the input from the public on how we go about doing that.”

The DNR will take into consideration the public’s comments and will have a formal review session in mid-July with final recommendations for the land.

More information on forest management treatments can be found on the DNR’s website.