Parks & Recreation

Forest Revitalization Project

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Project Status: Planning

Project Overview:

The forest revitalization project will impact an estimated 108 acres. City forestry staff have identified targeted areas throughout the City that would include pine and aspen thinning as a part of the revitalization project. Targeted areas include Seven Bridges Road, Hawk Ridge, Hartley and Enger Parks, and Spirit Mountain. The identified areas will significantly benefit from the proposed forest stand improvement work. Within each specific area, invasive species will be removed, and mature trees will be thinned by an estimated 20-50 percent. Trees will be planted or sown in at approximately half of the acres that are proposed to be thinned, where site appropriate. Approximately 20 percent of the acres targeted will naturally reseed themselves and perpetuate the currently growing forest. The remaining acres will need additional work before the next generation of trees can grow. Revitalization work is a best practice and an essential part of forest management. It helps to ensure the survival of native tree species, as well as restoring ecological systems. Thinning methods allow trees to get the right amount of nutrients, sunlight, water while providing more space for root systems to grow. The purpose of this work is to support the forest for future generations, reduce competition, enhance habitat, increase biodiversity, and promote the regeneration of native plant species.

Project Update:

The forest revitalization project was presented to the Natural Resource Commission for comment on February 4, 2021. A public meeting followed on February 11, 2021.  Comments are currently being collected on the project (see comment form below)

Funding Source:

Funding is not needed for the thinning work as contractors will be bidding for the timber. Proceeds from the timber sale will be put back into forest stand improvement projects (i.e., invasive species removal, etc.)

Timeline:

Revitalization work is set to begin during the 2021-22 winter seasons to protect trails in the impacted areas. No work is anticipated to start until this forthcoming winter at the earliest.

Important Documents:

Forest Revitalization – Public Meeting (Recording) (2/11/21)
(https://duluthmn.webex.com/duluthmn/lsr.php?RCID=21d69c2c5bd34e9daf83f541f3b03297)

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