1/21/2021 8:25:00 AM Cass County Board: Forest Resources Management Plan Approved
by Kyndra Johnson of the Press-Citizen
BACKUS - Cass County Land Commissioner Kirk Titus presented the Cass County Forest Resources Management Plan at the Tuesday, Jan. 19 board of commissioner's meeting. Titus stated that every ten years this plan, that covers the use and management of approximately 255,000 acres of tax-forfeited land, needs to be re-evaluated and updated.
The purpose and benefits of the Forest Resources Managment Plan are as follows:
Describes the County's forest resource, its extent, location and current condition.
Sets forth a desired future condition to which actions are directed.
Documents County management policies, practices and management initiatives.
Provides the basis for improved coordination with other public and private resource managing agencies.
Promotes continuity of management efforts over time.
It was noted that the initial announcement of the launch of the project was released to local papers on Sept. 17, 2019, with a public meeting being held on Dec. 10, 2019. On Oct. 5, 2020 a 30-day public comment period was opened up with the county receiving 10 individuals and organizations providing input. Commissioner Neal Gaalswyk mentioned that he noticed that the majority of the comments were concerns from residents around Andrus Lake with the issue of timber harvest. Titus stated that Andrus Lake is the area that was destroyed by the 1969 tornado near Outing and therefore a vast amount of land has mature trees that are ready for harvest.
Another public comment received was a request to open gates at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve to motorized travel two weeks prior to deer season. This comment was sent in the form of a petition with a total of 32 signatures collected.
The Cass County Forest Resources Management Plan was approved with the following updates:
No policy changes.
Reviewed and updated text, maps, tables and graphs with current data.
Removed McKinley Prairie as a High Conservation Value Forest.
Removed the 1976 Fire Area as a Representative Sample Area.
Policy change to be determined. A request to open gates at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve to motorized travel 2 weeks prior to deer season.
A motion was made to approve the plan as presented and also establish a Committee of Board to discuss the possibility of opening the gates at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve with Commissioners Jeff Peterson and Bob Kangas both volunteering to serve on the committee. The motion was approved unanimously.