The Department of Natural Resources will begin reforesting 10,000 acres of land within the St. Croix State Forest where trees were blown down by a powerful windstorm on July 1, 2011. The Arbor Day Foundation has awarded the DNR a grant to buy seedlings for this spring’s planting, though reforestation efforts will take several years to complete.
“The DNR Forestry Division will reforest some of the most heavily damaged areas by planting red and white pine seedlings from the Minnesota State Forest Nursery,” said Doug Hecker, DNR Sandstone area program forester. “These newly planted seedlings will benefit several wildlife species and provide valuable timber resources when mature.”
Local Cub Scout Pack 187 from Sandstone will celebrate Arbor Day, Fri., April 25, by planting seedlings in St. Croix State Forest. The last two years they have celebrated Arbor Day by planting seedlings in St. Croix State Park.
Since the 2011 blowdown, the DNR has worked to restore areas damaged in St. Croix State Forest through forest inventory and planning, removing downed and damaged trees, aerial seeding and natural regeneration.
St. Croix State Forest is in Pine County along the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. It serves as an access point to the St. Croix State Canoe Route. Camping opportunities include the Boulder Campground, with 20 drive-in sites, and the Tamarack Horse Campground, with 55 pull-through sites and areas to tie horses and dispose manure. Campsites in state forests are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Vehicle permits are not required to visit or camp in state forests. To find a state forest near you, go to www.mndnr.gov/stateforests.
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation is the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees and has over 1 million members, supporters and partners. Visit www.arborday.org for more information.