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Sample Plan

Prepared for:

Mora School District #332

400 E. Maple Ave.
Mora, MN 55051
320-679-6200

NWNW of Section  and the NENE of Section  in Township N, Range W of Kanabec County, MN.

80 Stewardship Acres
80 Total Parcel Acres

Prepared by:

Tony Miller
DNR Forestry
460 W. Maple St.
Mora, MN 55051
(320) 679-3683

May 19, 2008

Mora School District’s forest stewardship goals for this property are:
  • To provide opportunities for educating students about the natural environment.
  • To maintain forest health through proper management.
  • To provide wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.
  • To protect the property from fire, insects and disease.
  • To generate revenue whenever the opportunities arise.
           

   
May 19, 2008

Mora School District #332
400 E. Maple Ave.
Mora, MN 55051
320-679-6200

Dear Mora School District,

You have a splendid piece of school forest property with many potential stewardship opportunities. Your strong concern for the environment, your interest in conservation, and your desire to carry out activities is to be commended. In view of this, I'm pleased to provide you this Woodland Stewardship Plan.

The information that follows includes two components. Located behind the pink tab is your customized management plan that describes your property and includes management options and specific recommendations. It matches your goals with the potential of your land. Also included in this section is a place to keep records (green tabs). The remainder (white tabs) is reference material for your general use. This information also will assist you with the specific decisions needed to carry out the recommendations.

One of the first management opportunities I feel you should undertake is to secure access to the property for future forest management activities, especially for the harvest of type #1. Additional opportunities include possibly developing a new trail system, timber stand improvement in type #2, under-planting conifers in type #3, installing nest boxes in type #4, shearing lowland brush in type #4, and constructing a viewing area in type #4. Trail maintenance should always be a high priority, along with maintaining firebreaks. Accomplishing these activities will provide benefits to you and the environment by keeping your forest healthy, by creating new wildlife habitat, and by providing you the recreational enjoyment you desire.

DNR Forestry is prepared to provide the field assistance needed to carry out your plan. Detailed cost and project design information will be provided when you initiate a specific project. For some projects we may refer you to a more appropriate source of professional support. Financial assistance also may be available for many activities that do not generate revenue. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need additional information.

I strongly encourage you to sign and return the plan registration located inside. Registration will assure you of plan updates and allow you to apply for cost sharing. Please note that a donation is an option when you register your plan. The donation will be used to help print update material and provide other landowners with a similar plan. As property owner and land steward, you have the opportunities and responsibilities of protecting, improving, using, and enjoying your woodland. I wish you well and look forward to working with you. Please call if you have any questions.

Yours for conservation,

Tony Miller
P.S. I've enclosed a "field copy" of the plan in the front pocket.


Property Description


YOUR PROPERTY:

This School Forest is located miles north of Mora, MN on the side of State Highway #65 in Kanabec County. The north property line is the County line, and the property runs one half mile of Highway #65 which is the boundary. The south and west property lines are shared with privately owned lands. Access to the property is not good because of the deep ditch along Highway #65, however the property lines were cleared out for fire breaks in 1973 and are still visible. It does not appear that the interior walking trails recommended in the management plan written in 1972 have been maintained since 1976, and they have since grown in and are no longer visible. Therefore, access to the interior of the property is currently limited. The property has not been used for environmental education purposes since 1976 because of the distance from the school and changes in instructors at the school. The new administration would like to use it more in the future if possible. The property is all forested except for the wetland area adjacent to Brook, and consists of four major cover types:  mature northern hardwoods, young aspen, immature northern hardwoods, and lowland grass and brush. The topography is level to gently rolling, and drains into Brook from both sides.

There are eight major soil types found on this property. On the north side of the brook:  Mora-Brennyville, wet, complex (1% to 6% slopes) fine sandy loam and Cebana (0% to 2% slopes) silt loam make up the majority of the area, with smaller amounts of Milaca-Brennyville, complex (3% to 8% slopes) fine sandy loam and Milaca (8% to 15% slopes) fine sandy loam. On the south side of the brook:  Ossmer-Billyboy complex (0% to 3% slopes) silt loam makes up the majority of the area, with smaller amounts of Annriver silt loam (0% to 2% slopes), Billyboy-Ossmer complex silt loam (0% to 3% slopes), and Rosholt-Chetek complex loam over fine sandy loam (2% to 8% slopes).

The silt loam soils are intermediate in drainage characteristics and occur in the poorly drained areas of the property. The un-cleared lands on this soil in the County are covered with willow, dogwood, and alder thickets, or with fair-sized elm, basswood, ash, sugar maple, red oak, bur oak, and a few white pine trees. Poplar thickets are common on the burned-over areas. The fine sandy loam soils are moderately well drained, as surface run-off is rapid and internal drainage is excellent. The original forest growth on this soil type was principally white pine and red pine, with some oaks and other hardwoods. The second growth is mostly aspen and paper birch, with thick undergrowth of briers and hazel brush. The soil found adjacent to Bergman Brook is Bowstring muck and Fluvaquents, loamy (0% to 1% slopes). This soil is composed mainly of plant remains that have accumulated in wet depressed areas. Most are covered with sedges, wild grasses, and scattered swamp birch, tag alder, and willow.

A check of the State Archeologist’s inventory did not reveal any recorded historical features on your land. No rare or otherwise significant natural features were listed in the DNR’s Natural Heritage Information System for your property or nearby properties. Other rare features may still exist on your property since neither this plan, nor the existing records are based on exhaustive inventories. If you believe your property might have some rare or historical features, please contact me about the process of further survey work.


INTERACTION WITH NEARBY PROPERTIES:

This property is surrounded by private land that is used mostly for hunting recreation. The Wildlife Management Area (240 acres), which is surrounded by 1800 acres of tax forfeit and school trust lands, is located one mile south of the property and east of Highway #65. The State Forest (approximately 8,000 acres) is located 4 miles to the east, which includes the Wildlife Management Area (200 acre). The Wildlife Management Area (280 acres) is located 7 miles to the east. All of these public lands are managed for timber and wildlife. Public recreational use is very high in this area, however the Mora School District has not encouraged public use of this property.

Numerous lakes and rivers are in the vicinity of this property. Brook runs through the property from west to east, and drains into the River less than two miles to the east. Two public accesses to the River are provided within 3 miles of the property. Brook is just over two miles to the east, and Creek is less than two miles to the south. Nearby named lakes include Lake Five, Long Lake, Loon Lake, Beauty Lake, Lake Eleven, Bass Lake, Lake Twelve, Thirteen Lake, Flathead Lake, and White Lily Lake in Kroschel Township, and Snowshoe Lake in Ford Township, all within 10 miles of the property. There are several unnamed lakes in the area as well, mainly surrounded by private property.


Property Description


INTERACTION WITHIN THE LANDSCAPE REGION: Mille Lacs Uplands

The enclosed Minnesota map shows our ecological landscape regions (or subsections). The actual boundaries are not as sharp as the lines might imply. In fact, there can be islands of one landscape region inside another. However, there are basic ecological differences between the units.

Your land is primarily within the region named above and described on the following page. The purpose of providing this “landscape region” and the “interaction with nearby properties” information is to help you assemble a picture of how your land and your activities fit into the larger landscape. The issues of concern are of particular note. It is likely that at least some of your activities will affect these larger scale issues.


Mille Lacs Uplands Subsection

DISCUSSION
The jewel of this region is Mille Lacs Lake, well known for walleye fishing. Forestry, recreation and some agriculture are currently the most common land uses.

CLIMATE
Total annual precipitation in this subsection ranges from 27 to 30 inches, with growing season precipitation averaging 12 inches. Snowfall is relatively light. Growing season length is quite variable, ranging from 97 to 135 days, with the longest growing season in the south and the shortest on the outwash plains at the northern edge of the subsection.

LANDFORMS
Gently rolling till plains and drumlin fields are the dominant landforms in this eco-region. The depressions between drumlin ridges contain peatlands with shallow organic material. There is a large end moraine that was the dam for the formation of Mille Lacs Lake. In the northeast, there is another series of end moraines, which marked later advances and retreats of the Superior Lobe.

HYDROLOGY
Major rivers running through this subsection include the St. Croix, which forms part of the eastern boundary, Kettle, Snake, Rum, and Ripple Rivers. The drainage network is young and undeveloped, with extensive areas of wetlands present. There are 100 lakes that are greater than 160 acres in size. Most are found on end moraines.

PRE-SETTLEMENT VEGETATION
The original vegetation consisted of a mosaic of forest types. Along the southern boundary, maple-basswood forests were prevalent. The rest of the subsection was a vast mix of conifer, hardwood and mixed conifer-hardwood forests. Peatland areas were inhabited by sedge-fen, black spruce-sphagnum, or white cedar-black ash communities.

NATURAL DISTURBANCE
Both fire and windthrow were important in determining the vegetation of the subsection. Windthrow was and is common because of the subsection nature. A dense layer occurs in the soil at depths of 20 to 40 inches throughout much of the subsection. Because of this, rooting depths for trees are shallow and they are subject to windthrow.

PRESENT VEGETATION AND LAND USE
Agriculture is concentrated in the western and southern portions of this subsection. Forestry and recreation are the most important land uses in the central and eastern part. There are large areas in eastern Pine County that are still heavily forested and relatively undisturbed, although there are no significant examples of large white pine stands remaining.

RARE ANIMALS AND PLANTS
Peregrine falcon. Loggerhead shrike, Bald eagle, Gray wolf, Wood turtle, and Blandings turtle are rare animals found in this subsection. Rare plants include Ross’s sedge, Ram’s head Lady’s-slipper, Tubercled Rein-orchid, Bog bluegrass, Carey’s Smartweed, and Rough-seeded flameflower.

CONSERVATION CONCERNS
Native American fishing and hunting rights are a major conservation issue that is going to be decided by the federal courts. Other conservation concerns include tourism, timber harvesting, old forest, and water quality.


Stewardship Cover Types

Mature Northern Hardwoods
Cover Type Number: 1
Cover Type Acres: 28
Cover Type Description:

This cover type is the part of the aspen forest from the 1972 management plan that was not harvested in 5-acre strips (see cover type #2 description). Most of this cover type is located north of Brook, with only a small area found south of the brook. In 1972, this was an aspen type with other hardwoods scattered throughout the overstory. It has since then converted to a northern hardwoods type with a larger presence of the other hardwoods in the overstory. Aspen and bur oak are the predominant overstory species with smaller amounts of basswood, red oak, red maple, and white pine mixed in. A few large white spruce trees were also observed scattered throughout the stand. Much of the aspen has been eliminated from this stand through mortality and the bur oak component has increased over the years. Tree regeneration in the understory consists of 250 stems/acre of red maple (0-3” diameter), 125 stems/acre of black cherry (1-3” diameter), 75 stems/acre of bur oak (1-3” diameter), and 25 stems/acre of basswood (1-3” diameter). The shrub layer is mostly hazel, with smaller amounts of dogwood and nannyberry. Grass and common forbs make up the ground cover.

     Tree Summary Data
 Estimated Volume
Age (Aspen)..................................... 75+ years
Growth Potential ....…...... Good (Site Index = 65)
Stocking................ Adequate (Basal Area = 105)
Timber Quality......................................…... Fair

Bur Oak ………..........……...... 12.75 cords/acre
Aspen ........………………........ 11.75 cords/acre
Basswood ...........……………...... 3.5 cords/acre
Red Oak ......………………......... 0.75 cords/acre
Red Maple ........……....……….... 0.5 cords/acre
White Pine ……………....... 275 Board Feet/acre
 Total Timber Volume = 29.25 cords/acre, 275 BF/acre (Volumes not accurate for sales)

Cover Type Objective:

To improve forest health through proper management.

Recommended Management Activities:

It was recommended in the 1986 management plan to harvest most of this area. Application to install a culvert was submitted to MNDOT, however the cost was prohibitive to the school at that time and the access to harvest was never secured. It is still our recommendation to harvest all the mature aspen as soon as possible before it is too late to stimulate regeneration from the roots, along with all the maple and basswood to stimulate sprouting from the stumps. Reserve all the oak and all conifers to provide mast for wildlife. If access cannot be secured from MNDOT, check with the landowner to the north about possible access through their property. DNR Forestry is available to revise the original timber sale appraisal if access can be secured. Reserve the small part of this cover type south of Brook to maintain an area of older timber on the property for wildlife habitat diversity.

Alternative Options:

If access cannot be secured from MNDOT or from the landowner to the north, another option would be to let the stand continue to grow and change. Establishing walking trails throughout the cover type would allow students to observe the natural succession of a forest type as it occurs. The original trail system as described in the 1972 management plan is no longer visible, so the school would need to design a new trail system.

Stewardship Binder References: (for additional information)

       Tab                       Reference Name
Ecology ……………………... Forest Ecology
Ecology ……………………… Minnesota’s “Old Growth” Forests
Wildlife ................................... Woodlands and Non-game Wildlife
Wildlife ................................... Managing Your Woodland for Wildlife
Wildlife ……………………… Landscaping Your Woodlands for Wildlife
Wildlife ……………………… Habitat Components for Wildlife
Recreation …………………… Woodland Trail Construction
Heritage Resources ………….. Heritage Resources
Soils .....................................…Forestry and Soils
Tree Species ............................ Aspen
Tree Species ………………… Aspen Management Harvest & Regeneration
Tree Species ............................ Northern Hardwoods
Tree Species ............................ Oaks
Tree Species ............................ Eastern White Pine
Tree Species ............................ White Spruce
Harvest ……………………… Guidelines for Forest Management
Protection …………………… Identification of Aspen Cankers
Protection …………………… Pest Management for Woodland Owners
Protection …………………… Insect and Disease Management Guidelines
Forest Facts …………………. Managing Your Forest in a Big Picture Context

Stewardship Cover Types

Aspen Regeneration / Saplings
Cover Type Number: 2
Cover Type Acres: 8
Cover Type Description:

The management plan, written in 1972, recommended harvesting two 5-acre strips of timber running north and south in the current aspen cover type every 5 years and progressing from the east side of the property to the west. This cover type is the result of the first such strip cuttings, however the practice was not continued all the way to the west property line as suggested. Past records show that 177 cords of wood was harvested from this area before 1976, and tours were given to students at that time to educate them on timber harvesting activities and the importance of tree regeneration. There is no current evidence of an access route for this timber harvest, and our records do not show how the timber was removed. Any access approach must have been obliterated and not replaced as improvements have been made to the highway over the years, or there never was a truck access. This creates a challenge for future forest management activities.

This area may have been sheared rather than harvested commercially. Regardless of the harvest method, the tree regeneration in the overstory following the harvest is made up almost exclusively of aspen with a small amount of bur oak scattered throughout. The understory regeneration consists of 250 stems per acre of aspen (1-3” diameter), 350 stems per acre of ash (0-3” diameter), 125 stems per acre of bur oak (1-3” diameter), 75 stems per acre of red maple (1-5” diameter), and 25 stems per acre of elm (1-3” diameter). The shrub layer consists of a light to moderate density of hazel, dogwood, and nannyberry. Common forbs make up the ground cover. Hypoxylon cankers (a fungal disease symptom) were observed in 20% of the aspen trees, which is just a little more than average for aspen in this area. The topography is mostly level.

      Tree Summary Data  Estimated Volume
Age (aspen)...................................….. 36 years
Growth Potential.......................... Good (SI=70)
Stocking.................….........… Adequate (BA=98)
Timber Quality......................................... Good

 Aspen …….......……....……..... 17.5 cords/acre
Bur Oak .........…...…………...... 0.5 cords/acre

 Total Timber Volume = 18 cords/acre (Volumes not accurate for sales)

Cover Type Objective:

To allow this stand to grow while monitoring for signs of insect and disease damage.
                       
Recommended Management Activities:

This aspen stand should be left to grow without intensive management for the next ten years. This is a young area of trees, and they won’t be ready for harvest for many years. Meanwhile, aspen stands can provide opportunities for hiking, camping, hunting, and wildlife watching. Young aspen stands are also very important as cover and food for wildlife such as ruffed grouse and white-tailed deer. Be sure to check your aspen area periodically for signs of forest tent caterpillars that will strip the leaves from aspen. Also look for “conks”(fungal growths) and other disease or damage.

Alternative Options:

As the regeneration from the harvest continues to grow, natural competition will cause some of the young trees to die off. You can improve future stand quality and diversity by favoring trees other than the aspen by releasing them from competition, with the most preference given to oak. Cut all overtopping vegetation within a 5 to 10 foot radius of each tree you choose to favor. Where these other trees occur in clumps, cut all but the best stem per stump. This will ensure that the best stems are taking full advantage of the root system, free of competition from the other stump sprouts. These released saplings should be connected to the stump in the shape of a “U” not a “V”. You should also favor the stems growing out of the base of the stump rather than out of the top of the stump.


Stewardship Binder References: (for additional information)

        Tab                     Reference Name
Ecology ……………………... Forest Ecology
Wildlife ................................... Woodlands and Non-game Wildlife
Wildlife ................................... Managing Your Woodland for Wildlife
Wildlife ……………………… Northern Minnesota Young Forests
Wildlife ……………………… Landscaping Your Woodlands for Wildlife
Wildlife ……………………… Habitat Components for Wildlife
Tree Species ............................ Aspen
Tree Species ………………… Aspen Management Harvest & Regeneration
Tree Species ............................ Northern Hardwoods
Tree Species ............................ Oaks
Protection …………………… Identification of Aspen Cankers
Protection …………………… Pest Management for Woodland Owners
Protection …………………… Insect and Disease Management Guidelines
Forest Stand Improvement …. Timber Stand Improvement – Deciduous
Protection …………………… Insect and Disease Management Guidelines
Forest Facts …………………. Managing Your Forest in a Big Picture Context

Stewardship Cover Types

Immature Northern Hardwoods
Cover Type Number: 3
Cover Type Acres: 14

Cover Type Description:

This cover type includes the area between the strips of aspen regeneration (cover type #2) and the transition area between the first two cover types (cover types #1 and #2) and cover type #4. The small area south of Brook located between the south boundary line and cover type #4 is also included in this cover type. The major species in the overstory of this type are bur oak and basswood, with smaller amounts of aspen and elm. The understory regeneration consists of 150 stems/acre of bur oak (1-3” diameter) and 100 stems/acre of elm (1-3” diameter). The shrub layer is mostly hazel and dogwood, with a smaller amount of alder. Grass and common forbs make up the ground cover. The topography is mostly level.

The 1972 management plan recommended clearing and planting 6 acres of the area south of Brook with red pine, white pine, and white spruce seedlings. The school forest accomplishment reports show that 1500 seedlings were planted somewhere on the property from 1973 to 1975, but it does not specify what species were planted or where they were planted. There also are no records showing that these seedlings were ever maintained after planting. An arboretum was also proposed in the part of this cover type north of Brook in the 1972 plan. Suggested species for planting there included white pine, red pine, white spruce, white cedar, balsam fir, tamarack, and native shrub species. The idea was to incorporate this arboretum into the proposed nature trail. A few of these species were observed scattered throughout the property, however it is difficult to tell if these were part of this proposed planting or just naturally occurring.

 Tree Summary Data Estimated Volume
 Age (bur oak)..................................... 55 years
Growth Potential.................. Fair (Site Index=45)
Tree Density...………............. Low (Basal Area=45)
Timber Quality..................................…........ Fair

 Bur Oak ...............………...….. 4.0 cords/acre
Basswood …..............………... 4.0 cords/acre
Aspen …...…………………… 1.5 cords/acre
Elm ………………………….… 1.0 cord/acre

 Total Timber Volume = 10.5 cords/acre (Volumes not accurate for sales)

Cover Type Objective:

To allow this stand to continue providing benefits for wildlife and opportunities for education.

Recommended Management Activities:

This stand will require little or no management activity during the next ten years. Allow this stand to grow and mature on its own while watching for evidence of insect, disease, wind, or other types of damage. While the stand is maturing, it will provide excellent wildlife habitat, environmental education opportunities, and recreational opportunities such as hiking, wildlife viewing, and cross-country skiing.
       
Alternative Options:

Stand diversity will become more important in the future as new insect and disease challenges spring up. Stocking in the current stand is less than adequate, and is lacking a conifer component. Stand diversity could be improved by under-planting this area with conifer seedlings such as white pine, white spruce, and balsam fir, to meet your goals. Planting conifers that the site will support will improve wildlife habitat and turn this into an income producing forest, as well as help protect it from future insect attacks. This type of planting allows species that can tolerate some shade from the overstory trees to become established in the understory. The “high” shade of the canopy has openings that allow some light to reach the forest floor as the sun moves overhead.

Plant the seedlings to avoid any dense shade from low bushes and herbaceous plants. Avoid planting under low branches that will impede seedling growth. Seedlings usually cannot grow up through other tree branches because the existing stems will rub and damage the tender new growth of the seedling. Avoid planting under the canopy of an existing tree that will likely remain in the stand as long as the new seedling will.

When planting, keep the seedling moist by wrapping them in a wet rag or towel inside a bucket. Don’t put them in a bucket of water because that washes the tiny soil particles from the roots. Do not expose seedling roots to dry air except to transfer them from a bucket into the ground. Push the seedling deep into the planting trench and then lift it out to ensure that the roots are at the bottom of the planting trench and are not sticking up in a “J” shape. Plant the seedlings at the same depth or slightly deeper than they were in the nursery. Pack the soil on top, but be especially sure that the underground soil firmly contacts the roots. Air pockets underground will cause problems.


Stewardship Binder References: (for additional information)

        Tab                                    Reference Name
Ecology ................................... Forest Ecology
Wildlife ................................... Wood Duck
Wildlife ................................... Landscaping Woodlands for Wildlife
Wildlife ................................... Habitat Components for Wildlife
Recreation …………………... Woodland Trail Construction
Soils ………………………… Forestry and Soils
Water and Wetlands ................ Managing Your Woodland Wetland
Water and Wetlands ................ Excavated Ponds for Wildlife
Tree Species …........................ Aspen
Tree Species ………………… Northern Hardwoods
Tree Species ………………… Oaks
Tree Species ………………… Balsam Fir
Tree Species ............................ Eastern White Pine
Tree Species ............................ White Spruce
Regeneration ………………… Silviculture Field Tips
Regeneration ………………… Tree Planting
Protection …………………… Guide to Some Common Insect Pests of Minnesota Conifers
Protection …………………… Insect & Disease Management Guidelines

Stewardship Cover Types

Lowland Brush / Brook
Cover Type Number: 4
Cover Type Acres: 30
Cover Type Description:

This cover type is a lowland brush wetland along Brook that makes up the remainder of the property. This type of wetland would be classified as a Type 6 shrub swamp. The soil is waterlogged or covered with as much as 6 inches of water during the growing season. Vegetation includes alders, willows, and dogwoods. Animal use in these swamps includes 12 species of reptiles and amphibians, 15 species of mammals, and 62 species of birds. The topography here is level. Brook is listed as protected by the Department of Natural Resources on the protected waters list.

Cover Type Objective:

To maintain this wetland for the benefits it provides.

Recommended Management Activities:

This lowland brush type is actually an important wetland. This wetland cleans water, helps prevent flooding, and provides habitat for wildlife. You won’t need to perform any type of management activity on this area for the next ten years. Look for species such as high-bush cranberry and dogwood on your land. In this winter, you can hike or snowshoe through this frozen wonderland.

Alternative Options:

To encourage the re-sprouting of brush for wildlife habitat improvement by shearing.

Shearing lowland sites is done in the winter with a large crawler tractor using s special blade called a “K-G” blade. It is sharp at the base so that it will cut trees and brush off at ground level. The debris is piled or windrowed and then burned. Shearing lowlands is used to encourage re-sprouting of brush species for wildlife habitat improvement. Shearing is not recommended when the ground is not frozen due to the extreme amount of damage that can be done to the soil and the watershed.

To improve this area for wildlife by installing wood duck boxes.

Wood ducks have made an amazing recovery in Minnesota in the last 30 years to where wood ducks are among the most abundant of waterfowl species in the state. Properly constructed and placed nest boxes will help continue this trend. Nest boxes should be constructed of wood that is strong and weather resistant, and should only be stained or painted on the outside. Nest boxes can be placed in woodland habitat up to one half mile from water, although shorter distances are better. Avoid placing nest boxes in aspen trees, since they are vulnerable to beavers. It is better to scatter nest boxes around an area than to concentrate them.

To provide better opportunities for viewing this area for education purposes.

The proposed trail system described in the 1972 management plan suggested a spur trail leading to a good spot for viewing the beaver activity in this cover type. If a new trail system is designed, this would be a good suggestion to consider.

Stewardship Binder References: (for additional information)

        Tab                                    Reference Name
Wildlife ................................... Landscaping Woodlands for Wildlife
Wildlife ................................... Habitat Components for Wildlife
Recreation ………………….. Woodland Trail Construction
Water and Wetlands ................ Managing Your Woodland Wetland
Water and Wetlands ................ For Development Projects in and near Water or Wetlands


PROPERTY-WIDE PROJECTS


Project objectives:

To provide opportunities for future forest management and education, and to help protect the property from future wildfires.

Recommended Management Activities:

Design and establish a new trail system for management access and educational tours. Trails offer the opportunity for a variety of activities. They allow recreational access on foot, horseback, skis, or recreational vehicles. Multi-purpose recreational trails should have gentle curves to eliminate long views. The native soil base is often adequate. Trails should avoid wetlands and should be seeded to prevent erosion. To help prevent soil erosion on newly constructed or repaired trails, all disturbed areas exposing bare soil should be prepared and seeded with a grass mixture to stabilize the soil. The seedbed preparation may involve disking and/or dragging. The grass mixture should include clover to provide forage for wildlife.

The quality of a trail will depend largely on the maintenance it receives. The goal of maintenance is to continue to provide a safe and stimulating recreational experience and to prevent degradation of the trail environment. Trail maintenance includes trail bed stabilization, vegetation management, and weed control. Inspections of the trail should be done periodically to check the need for clearing of unwanted vegetation, repairing the trail bed, correcting erosion problems, and mowing.

These trails will also serve as important habitat for wildlife if properly maintained. Grassy, herbaceous openings are important to many species of wildlife, especially in heavily forested areas. Herb and forbs seeding involves improving wildlife habitat through the sowing of perennial and annual grasses and herbs. In most cases, the site should be prepared for the seeding in much the same way that a field is prepared before planting. Debris (such as logging slash) and competing vegetation should be removed and/or controlled. A seed mix that is suitable for the soil type and geographic area of the state should be used. Contact your forester or wildlife manager for details on site preparation and seed mixes.

Protection of your property from wildfire can be critical in wildfire prone areas. Well-designed and maintained firebreaks can also serve as access roads or hiking paths through the property. To provide adequate protection, firebreaks need to be kept free of vegetation from April 1st to June 1st and August 15th to October 31st each year during wildfire season. Firebreaks should be an integral part of the management plan in areas with higher fire potential.

There are two categories of firebreaks, perimeter and interior. Perimeter firebreaks surround the management area, while interior breaks divide the property into parcels. Firebreak construction is most important along public roads where ignition sources are not controlled by the landowner.

Firebreaks can be either breaks made up of a strip of land with mineral soil exposed, or a “fuel break” where the grass is kept mowed short to provide a disruption in fuel continuity. The fuel and firebreaks can also be incorporated into the road system of the property. Maintenance should include annual disking or mowing. Maintenance of the fuel and firebreaks should occur in the fall to provide the most protection for both fall and the following spring’s fire season.
   
Stewardship Binder References: (for additional information)

        Tab                                         Reference Name
Recreation ...................................... Woodland Trail Construction
Assistance Directory ...................... Important Contacts
Wildlife .......................................... Guidelines for Developing & Maintaining Wildlife Openings

FUTURE STEWARDSHIP PROJECTS

 Scheduled Year
 Cover Type
 Project Prescription
 Acres Unit
 Check when Completed
 2008 1 Secure access rout  
 2009 1 Clearcut with reserves access route 28 
 Optional 1 Develop trail system  
 Optional 2 Timber stand improvement 8 
 Optional 3 Under-plant conifers 14 
 Optional  
 4 Shear lowland brush 1 
 Optional 4 Install nest boxes  

For cost-share information contact:

DNR Forestry
460 W. Maple St.
Mora, MN 55051
(320)679-3683

or

DNR Forestry
613 Hwy 23 South
Sandstone, MN 55072
(320)245-6789


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