Crow Wing County natural resource managers have completed the development of a five-year candidate stand list. The list is a tool for managers to identify which timber stands are ready for thinning or harvest.
The list is also a proactive approach by the county to inform neighboring landowners and other forest users of the county’s forest management plans for the next five years.
In forestry terms, a “stand” is a group of trees that is relatively uniform in species composition, size, density and can be managed as a single unit. County natural resource managers evaluated more than 5,300 different timber stands on the county manage public land by utilizing the forest inventory data such as species, age, site productivity and density in a geographic information system (GIS).
Since all tree species have unique characteristics, they are managed accordingly. Short lived species like aspen are mature at age 50 and harvested. Longer lived species like red pine can be thinned several times before the reaching maturity with a final harvest at age 100.
Ryan Simonson, Crow Wing County natural resource manager, said, “The five-year candidate stand list is an important planning tool that provides clear direction on which stands are evaluated for a potential harvest in the next five-year period and also helps distribute the timber harvests geographically over the county managed public lands.
“The GIS and GPS technology used by county land managers has created increased efficiencies and greatly improved the work product,” he added.
The five-year candidate stand map can be found as a data layer on the county’s interactive maps page at http://www.crowwing.us/index.aspx?NID=85.