DNR seeks public comment on Father Hennepin timber harvests

The Department of Natural Resources is amending the management plan for Father Hennepin State Park, located on the southeast shore of Mille Lacs Lake. The amendment will allow timber harvest activities that are planned as part of natural resource management work.

An open house to review the amended management plan and timber harvest activities will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 23, at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park.

Public comments on the amendment will be accepted through April 15.

The initial timber harvest activity at Father Hennepin State Park will involve thinning a red pine plantation near the park shop and sewage pond area. Thinning the pine stand will promote better growth and health of the stand, create a more natural look, reduce wildfire fuel loads, and reduce the risk of disease and blowdown. The thinning project may also involve removing undesirable trees and brush, including non-native vegetation such as European buckthorn.

Timber harvests take place in state parks and state recreation areas primarily to restore or manage native plant communities. In some cases, a harvest is necessary to restore visitor access and safety by clearing trails and reducing the risk of forest fires from downed timber following a storm.

For more information or to comment on the plan amendment, contact Jade Templin at 651-259-5598 or jade.templin@state.mn.us.