Local partnership makes timber stand improvement possible
A collaboration among public and private agents spurred a logging operation in the Bemidji School District Office forest. The partnership includes the Bemidji Regional Airport, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Lab, Nortech Systems Inc., Bemidji Wo...
A collaboration among public and private agents spurred a logging operation in the Bemidji School District Office forest.
The partnership includes the Bemidji Regional Airport, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Lab, Nortech Systems Inc., Bemidji Woolen Mills, the city of Bemidji and the Bemidji School District led by the Beltrami Soil and Water Conservation District Forestry Program.
Jerry Stensing, Beltrami SWCD forester, said the logging operation by Timber Salvage Specialties of Bemidji started last week and is scheduled for completion during the weekend. The work is the final phase of timber stand improvement projects in the airport entrance area triangle.
"Basically, what we're doing is taking out the high-risk trees that put other trees in jeopardy," Stensing said.
He said the jack pines being harvested are old trees that have suffered various stressors during the last few years. Besides their age, the trees were affected by groundwater flooding about six years ago, Stensing said. Then they lived through a drought period, and more recently, budworm damage.
The natural defenses of the jack pine have been weakened, Stensing said. Under natural conditions with no management, the forest would have burned.
"Right now, it's a bark beetle infestation waiting to happen," he said.
Instead, the jack pine is being salvaged for building materials.
"The selective removal of the jack pine component from the forest will help protect the potentially long-lived Norway pine by reducing the risk of concentrations of bark beetle," Stensing said. "The Norway pine, if protected and maintained, has potential to persist for centuries."
Preserving the Norway pines is important to the character of the Bemidji area, he said.
In exchange for using his specialized equipment to selectively log the small forest, Crosby will receive the timber. Without the partnership, Stensing said the cleaning up the site wouldn't have been cost-effective.
He said the operation is an example of the SWCD mission in action -- working with people to protect the soil and water.