• 20 Apr 2010 /  Alerts No Comments

    Northern Minnesota forests not only support an important timber products industry, but also provide important functions and benefits needed for streams to support coldwater fisheries.  This is especially true in watersheds with little groundwater, such as those along the North Shore.  In the late 1990s Minnesota developed timber harvesting guidelines intended, in part, to provide minimal resource protections, including to aquatic resources.  The adequacy of the voluntary “best management practices” for logging in riparian areas has been a contentious issue since their formulation.  The Minnesota Council and Minnesota Trout Unlimited chapters have been pressing for improvements to the riparian guidelines since 1996, including those suggested by a Riparian Science Technical Committee.

     The Minnesota Forest Resources Council (MFRC) will be considering revisions to guidelines beginning in the summer of 2010.  The MFRC is requesting comment now on the suitability of existing guidelines, and suggestions for new guidelines. Riparian area guidelines will be a focus of this second revision, but all topical and formatting suggestions will be considered.  Comments and suggestions for the scope of revisions must be submitted in electronic format to Rob Slesak at rob.slesak@state.mn.us by 5:00 pm on Friday, April 30, 2010 (the deadline has been extended).

    Inquiries and questions may be directed to Mr. Slesak via that e mail, or the address or telephone numbers below:

    Robert Slesak
    Site-level Program Manager
    MN Forest Resources Council
    150 Skok Hall
    2003 Upper Buford Circle
    St. Paul, MN 55108

    651-603-6756 (UMN phone)
    651-259-5281 (DNR phone)

    The complete set of guidelines, as well as the final report of the Riparian Science Technical Committee, is available for review in electronic format or in hard copy upon request. Electronic copies can be found at http://www.frc.state.mn.us/initiatives_sitelevel_management_development.html

    Input from anglers is critical to the development of guidelines which adequately protect the functions and aquatic resources of forest ecosystems.  Minnesota TU will develop a more complete webpage tracking the process and providing helpful resources and links.  Please check back for regular news.

    Posted by MNTU @ 10:59 pm

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