The Cass County Board approved development of a 10-year update to the county’s forest resource management plan, which addresses the 255,000 acres of tax-forfeited land administered by the Cass County Land Department.

A public meeting about the plan was held in December 2019 and the updated plan is now available for a 30-day comment period. Public comments are due by Nov. 4. Comments can be directed to the contracted project manager, Katie Fernholz, at katie@dovetailinc.org, 612-414-8041 or mailed to Dovetail Partners, 528 Hennepin Ave., Suite 703, Minneapolis, MN 55403.

The updated plan can be accessed at the Cass County Land Department website at http://www.co.cass.mn.us/government/county_directory/land_department/forest_resources_management_plan_revision.php.

In addition to addressing forest resource management, the updated plan provides guidance in the management of recreational trails. The plan also addresses various land use related policies, including the general land base policy, leases, easements and use permits.

Timber harvesting as well as the policies and permit requirements for non-timber forest products, such as maple syrup tapping, balsam bough and birch bark collection, and firewood are also included in the plan.

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The updated plan is anticipated to be completed in 2020, following opportunities for public input and a public comment period.

For more information, visit the Cass County Land Department website at http://www.co.cass.mn.us/government/county_directory/land_department/index.php

The mission of the Cass County Land Department is to professionally manage the county’s forestland base within the confines of Minnesota Statutes 282 and to improve the quality and value of the county’s forestland resources. Department activities include wildlife management, sale of timber, reforestation, forest inventory, easements and management coordination with state and federal resources management agencies.

The 255,000 acres administered by the Land Department represent about 20% of the county’s total area. About three-quarters of the tax-forfeited land is forested. The area under management also includes brushlands, water and developed uses such as forest roads and gravel pits. The most common forest cover type is aspen. There are also spruce-fir, pine, oak, birch, and other northern hardwood forest types managed by the county.

The Cass County Land Department has been third-party certified by the Forest Stewardship Council for responsible forest management since 2001.