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Beltrami County roots plan to save trees

Portions of Three Island County Park and Movil Maze Recreation Area in Beltrami County have been designated as no harvest zones.

In 2012, a Legacy Stand Group was formed by the Parks and Trails Advisory Council to identify acreage in the parks where forest management practices would be minimized. These parcels of land are referred to as “legacy stands.”

Legacy Stand Group member Jim Gallagher presented the group’s recommendation to Beltrami County Commissioners on Tuesday.

Gallagher said less than one percent of Beltrami County land is reserved for old growth. With minimal human intervention, it is expected that ecological processes will prevail.

The undisturbed ecosystems are expected to provide educational and recreational opportunities, according to the Legacy committee’s management guidelines.

No timber harvest or timber stand improvement activities will be allowed within 293 acres in Movil Maze and 104 acres in Three Island Park. The use of herbicides for site preparation or tree release will not be allowed. Additional regulations are outlined in the guidelines.

Commissioner Jim Lucachick noted the request to have 10 percent of roughly 4,000 acres designated as legacy stands was made five years ago.

“We’re not trying to reach further and apply these kinds of measures to the remaining portions of our Beltrami County production cutting land,” Lucachick clarified. “This is really directed at the recreation and park areas.”

In addition to saving trees, the county has implemented an electronic document management project in the health and human services department. Through an interdepartmental effort 7,200 paper files were turned into digital images.

Twenty-six of Minnesota’s 87 counties have converted to e-document formats.

Eventually, the county would like to arm social workers with tablets to conduct work more efficiently in the field. That concept, however, is not slated for the near future.

Next steps include a digital appointment component in December and improvements to the child support process are planned for 2014. 

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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