The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking public input by March 29 on a preliminary issues and assessment document that will be used to revise the forest management plan for the blufflands and Rochester plateau subsections.
The 98-page document is available online at www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/subsection/blufflands/index.html.
The forestry plan guides vegetation management on nearly 60,000 acres of DNR forest lands, including the Whitewater Wildlife Management Area and Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest.
The original forest management plan was completed in 2002 and needs to be revised, forestry officials said.
“Our focus at this time is to gather updated data describing the forest resource in this part of the state, and to identify issues to be addressed during the upcoming plan revision process,” said Bob Pulford, DNR forest planner.
The DNR is asking citizens to identify issues they want addressed and to suggest strategies for addressing those issues.
The plan covers some DNR-administered lands within the boundaries of two large landscape units in southeastern Minnesota.
These two subsections extend southeastward from the Twin Cities to the Iowa border and include parts of the following counties: Dakota, Goodhue, Wabasha, Dodge, Olmsted, Winona, Mower, Fillmore, Rice and Houston.
The majority of DNR lands managed through this plan are in Goodhue, Wabasha, Winona and Houston counties.
An interdisciplinary planning team of DNR staff with wide-ranging expertise in forest, wildlife and ecological resource management will coordinate the plan revision process.
The process should lead to adjustments to or reaffirmation of desired forest composition goals for the DNR lands; and, identification of DNR forest stands intended to be managed during the upcoming 10-year plan period. There will be another opportunity later this year for public review and comment on proposed plan revisions.
For information about the types of issues to be considered or to request a copy of the initial revision document, contact Bob Pulford at DNR, 1601 Minnesota Dr., Brainerd, MN 56401; 218-833-8704; toll-free 800-657-3929; or email email@example.com.