Posts tagged ‘Minnesota’

Itasca County woodland property tax postcard

On November 20, 2009,  a postcard was mailed to owners of 20+ acres of woodland in Itasca County.  If you’ve just received a postcard and are looking for more information, you’ve come to the right place.

Naturally, the first step is to develop a Woodland Stewardship Management Plan for your land.  A Woodland Stewardship Management Plan is an overview of your property developed with your goals for your land.  A Woodland Stewardship Management Plan may qualify you for cost-share funds that can reduce costs for projects like tree planting.  There is a fee for the plan, and there may be a delay due to high demand.  Learn more about recent Woodland Stewardship Plan policy changes here.

Woodland Stewardship Plan Writers Serving Itasca County:

1.  MN DNR Forestry:
Currently there are two MN-DNR Forestry offices that provide services in Itasca County (See Map).  Due to a reduction in funding, the DNR has recently made changes in its program and will be moving to a fee for service based program.
  • Deer River Area:
    Terry Keeler,
    1201 Hwy. 2
    Grand Rapids, MN 55744
  • Hibbing Area:
    Roger Nelson,
    7979 Hwy. 37,
    Eveleth, MN 55743
Itasca County DNR Forestry Areas

Deer River (green) and Hibbing (blue) DNR-Forestry areas in Itasca County

2.  Itasca Soil and Water Conservation District

  • 1889 East Hwy. 2
    Grand Rapids, MN 55744
    218-3276-0017

3.   The Minnesota Association of Consulting Foresters

Current Property Tax Programs for Qualifying Landowners in Itasca County

1.  2c Managed Forest Land Tax Classification:
This is a new tax classification for vacant wooded land.  The class rate is 0.65%, 35% lower than the class rate for 2b Timberland.  Enrollment requires a registered Woodland Stewardship Management Plan.  Landowners must complete the application form CR-2c MFL and provide it to the county assessor to verify that the property qualifies for this program.  Learn more about the 2c Managed Forest Lands tax class.

  • Itasca County Assessor’s Office
    123 NE Fourth Street
    Grand Rapids, MN 55744
    218-327-2861

2. Sustainable Forest Incentive Act
This program, administered by the MN Department of Revenue, provides woodland owners with an annual incentive payment.  This program requires filing a covenant with the county recorders office. You’ll need the legal description of your property, a copy of the woodland stewardship plan map and parcel identification numbers (PID).   Be sure to exclude any area that you might develop in the future.  For complete details, read the SFIA Fact Sheet.  Allow the county recorder two to three months to process your request.

  • Itasca County Recorder’s Office
    123 NE Fourth Street
    Grand Rapids, MN 55744
    218-327-2856

To learn more:

Questions?

Call the Itasca County Woodland Owner’s Answerline 218-327-2815
Email: itascawoods@co.itasca.mn.us

November 22, 2009 at 6:36 am Leave a comment

DNR Forest Stewardship Program policy changes

By Gary Michael, MN DNR – Division of Forestry

The Department of Natural Resource Division of Forestry’s Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) is undertaking a major shift in how it operates. For decades the FSP has been delivering free forest management plans to non-industrial private forest landowners.  A recent change in funding will require the FSP to be a more self sufficient program.  To achieve greater self sufficiency, the FSP is moving to a fee for service based program.

Stewardship eligible lands are any forestland with existing tree cover and other woody vegetation or lands suitable, and likely, for growing trees and other woody vegetation or land which has significant effect (e.g., streams within a wooded type, wetlands, fields to be planted for wildlife or timber, etc.) on the forested acres.

The minimum acreage necessary to receive a stewardship plan is twenty acres of tree or other woody vegetation after the plan has been implemented.  Exemptions may be applied for on either a county or individual basis.

A couple of examples to help clarify the twenty-acre minimum are as follows:

  • If a landowner owns 40 total acres with only 11 acres of woodland, and he or she is interested in planting 9 more acres of trees, they would be eligible to receive a Stewardship Plan and would be eligible for cost share assistance.
  • If a landowner owns 18 acres total, and all the acres are wooded, he or she would need an exemption to receive a Stewardship Plan, as they could not meet the minimum 20 wooded acre criteria.
  • If a landowner has 30 total acres with only 11 acres of woodland and the landowner does not have any interest in establishing additional acres of trees or other woody vegetation, he or she would not be eligible to receive a plan unless an exemption has been granted

The fee will be a minimum of $230 for a 20 acre plan and a maximum of $1,000 for all plans over 260 acres (up to 1,000 acres).  The plan writing fee will be rounded to the nearest whole dollar.  All stewardship plan requests over 1,000 acres should be turned over to a FSP partner (consultant forester) so that they can negotiate with the landowner a fee for service (cash plan).

Formula to calculate Stewardship Plan fees:

Formula to calculate the fee for a new or revising an outdated stewardship plan [(stewardship acres – 20 acres)*$3.21)+$230 = plan writing fee

A few examples:

43 acre stewardship plan:  [(43 acres – 20 acres)*$3.21] + $230 = $304

178 acre stewardship plan:  [(178 acres – 20 acres)*$3.21] + $230 = $737

271 acre stewardship plan:  This request is over 260 acres, so the cost is $1,000
Many times only a portion of the land is eligible for a stewardship plan.  The fee only reflects the acres included in the plan.  The forester will determine the plan acres.  All plans will need to be registered with the DNR Division of Forestry.

 

November 20, 2009 at 6:50 am 3 comments

Two videos: Natural disturbance-based silviculture and restoring late-successional structure

Back in June 2009, someone named Tom posted a great question about applying the Dauerwald concept in Minnesota.  In a nutshell, the Dauerwald approach involves intensive management designed to maintain a high diversity of tree species and ages.  This approach can be attractive to those interested in active management but less comfortable with more extensive harvests such as clearcuts or shelterwood treatments.

This month we feature a two-part video response to Tom’s question and the ensuing discussion from Tony D’Amato, silviculturist at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Forest Resources.  Tony’s first video addresses the concept of natural disturbance-based silviculture.  His second video addresses a somewhat related concept, of active management to restore late-successional structure. Tony discusses how ecological forestry can complement other approaches like production forestry and multiple use sustained yield forestry on the landscape.

Ecological forestry: Natural disturbance-based silviculture

Links:

Ecological forestry: Restoring late-successional forest structure

Links:

Your turn

How does (or doesn’t) ecological forestry fit into your woodland plans?  Why or why not?  Leave a comment below or add to the initial discussion begun by Tom.

November 10, 2009 at 6:05 am Leave a comment

Conference: Growing the Bioeconomy

Some MyMinnesotaWoods readers may be interested in this early December, 2009 event:

Growing the Bioeconomy: Solutions for Sustainability

Dec. 1-2, University of Minnesota Continuing Education and Conference Center, St. Paul campus

Hosted by University of Minnesota Extension and the University of Minnesota Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment. Cost is $50 per day, $85 for both days.
Program schedule and registration.

This two-day conference will bring together national and local players from Minnesota’s bioeconomy to explore renewable energy opportunities. Agricultural producers, landowners, community and business leaders, and citizens interested in economic development and biorenewables are encouraged to attend and identify ways they can participate in solutions to the global climate change and energy supply issues facing Minnesota.

On December 1, you’ll be part of a virtual conference hosted by 12 Midwest universities. You’ll get a big picture overview of the issues through broadcast viewing and a live panel discussion. Speakers include: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu, Renowned biochar and climate change expert Dr. James E. Lovelock.

December 2 is all about Minnesota. We’ll focus on local success stories, getting your questions answered, and giving you information you can put to use right away.

Learn more about the conference, including agenda and registration, here.Conf

November 9, 2009 at 8:38 am Leave a comment

Emerald ash borer and your Minnesota woodlands

A few months ago, we heard from a frustrated reader.  Noting the abundant info about emerald ash borer (EAB) in urban environments, he could find almost nothing on managing ash in woodland stands.  Philip Potyondy created this video to begin to answer that question.

The video has four sections:

  • First Extension’s Jeff Hahn reviews basic EAB biology, dispersal, and impacts on host trees.
  • Second, Keith Jacobson of the MN DNR’s Utilization & Marketing unit briefly reviews markets for ash wood in Minnesota.
  • Third, we head to the woods for brief comments from Paul Dickson, president of the Minnesota Association of Consulting Foresters.
  • We close with a summary of research and management recommendations for woodland ash stands from Extension’s Angela Gupta.

Special thanks to Jeff Hahn, Keith Jacobson, Paul Dickson, and Angela Gupta for their contributions to this video.  You can learn much more about EAB in Minnesota at the UMN Extension EAB page.

What are you doing to prepare your woods for EAB?  Leave a comment to let us know.

October 12, 2009 at 8:02 am 5 comments

The Minnesota moose population

There’s been a lot of news lately about declining moose populations in Minnesota.  According to NRRI, the northwest Minnesota population has declined from over 4,000 to fewer than 100 over the past 20 years.  There’s some concern now about a decline in northeastern Minnesota as well.

The following announcement is from the KAXE radio website:

REPORT YOUR MOOSE SIGHTINGS
MooseCalfWe talked with Mark Johnson, Executive Director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, about what he learned as a member of theMinnesota Moose Advisory Committee. The Minnesota moose population is facing a lot of biological and natural threats, and has seen sharp declines in the Northwestern part of the state.

While the decline has not been as dramatic in Northeastern Minnesota, biologists and others interested in moose populations are still concerned. Mark indicated that we have a lot to learn about what is affecting the population, and one of the ways that you can help is to report your moose sightings on a special website.Please report your moose sighting(s) here, or read why it’s important to report what you see.

Read more about what’s happening to moose in Northeastern Minnesota on NRRI’s Moose in Minnesota website.

October 9, 2009 at 5:37 am 3 comments

MLEP offers online Landview mapping training

Landview for Loggers, Foresters, and Landowners - Section 1The Minnesota Logger Education Program announced a new online mapping training this month.  The new training is based on the Minnesota DNR’s Landview application.  A basic version of Landview is already online, but this training introduces a newer, far more powerful version that can be downloaded to any PC running Windows.

The training has two components: Introduction and Advanced.  The training is best suited to those comfortable with computing and working through a relatively high-speed internet connection.  It may be of greatest interest to loggers, natural resource professionals, and advanced woodland owners.  Beginners may be more comfortable with the more basic mapping options, as well as links and tutorials, on our Maps & Airphotos page.

Why is MLEP’s new training worth the time? The version of Landview covered in the training offers excellent quality airphoto imagery as well as numerous data layers not available through other sources.  It also has other important features, notably the ability to transfer GPS data to or from your GPS receiver.  This version is far more powerful than most online mapping applications.

Best of all, there’s no charge and the presentation is excellent.  Check out MLEP’s new Landview training now.

September 16, 2009 at 9:10 am Leave a comment

Woody biomass: Sept. 2009 bio-baler demonstrations

I received the following announcement from Dean Current, University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources, today.  It may be of interest to loggers, natural resource professionals, and some woodland owners considering woody biomass harvest options.  -ed.

Update: these demonstrations have passed. A nice KEYC TV news story with video of the harvester is here.  We’re working on a video from the demos and will post that link shortly.

FLD image

FLD image

Attached is a schedule of September 2009 Minnesota demonstrations of a bio-baler that has been developed for small diameter woody vegetation (Short rotation crops – willow, poplar, brushlands and young aspen thinnings.  The bio-baler will be in Minnesota from Sept. 17th to Sept. 24th starting in Waseca at the Southern Research and Outreach Center harvesting short rotation willows and finishing up near Hibbing doing a thinning in young aspen.  This could be an option for recovering biomass from some of the DNR’s wildlife habitat projects,short rotation woody crop plantings and other brushlands on a one-time or continuing basis.  It might even be used for controlling hazel underbrush.

As woody and herbaceous biomass becomes more and more viable for renewable energy, equipment companies have started engineering machines capable of harvesting the biomass quickly and efficiently. One such company is FLD Biomass Technologies of Canada who specialize in the design and manufacturing of machinery for agricultural and forestry production.  A number of organizations are proud to be funding a demonstration tour of FLD Biomass Technologies’ FLD Biobaler WB55 in various locations around the state of Minnesota from September 17 to September 25, 2009. Click here for detailed schedule and contact info for the Minnesota demonstrations.

The FLD Biobaler WB55 is an all-in-one tractor-pulled machine capable of cutting, compacting, and baling biomass up to four inches in diameter and 25 feet in height.  This maneuverable machine has a rotating blade or hammer cutting system that has a low power requirement and produces naturally drying bales that can be transported using standard equipment.  The Biobaler is suitable for many woody crops including: willow, poplar, aspen, alder, under story vegetation, invasive woody vegetation.

Dates and locations:  (CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAILS)
September 17: Waseca
– U of M SROC
September 18: Madelia
– Rural Advantage
September 19: Faribault
– The Nature Conservancy and MN DNR  
September 20: Afton
– Belwin Conservancy
September 21: Ogilvie
– Ann Lake WMA – MN DNR 
September 22: Hinckley –
St. Croix State Park. – MN DNR
September 23: Aurora
– Koste and MN DNR
September 24: Hibbing
– MN DNR

A video of the FDL biobaler in action:

Click here for detailed schedule and contact info for the Minnesota demonstrations.

Sponsors of the FLD Biobaler WB55 Demonstration Tour include: Belwin Conservancy, The Blandin Foundation, CINRAM – University of Minnesota, Iron Range Resources, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Power, The Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society, The Minnesota Sharptailed Grouse Society, The Nature Conservancy, Rural Advantage, Southern MN Initiative Foundation, University of Laval – Canada, University of Minnesota Extension, University of Minnesota Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center – Waseca, The Wildlife Management Institute, and Woodcock Minnesota.

September 11, 2009 at 7:34 am 4 comments

Light on the Land Small-scale Logging field day: Sept. 19, Brainerd

Small-scale Logging Field Day: September 19, 2009, Brainerd. Download complete event details (PDF)

Small-scale logging is a system and a range of equipment that increases logging flexibility and extends production seasons.  Small-scale logging is designed for harvesting operations where maneuverability is a primary concern.  It is not logging small trees and/or small volumes.

Why attend?

Whether you are a logger, forester, woodland owner, or other land manager, this field day will show you how to maximize profitability through the use of small-scale logging and harvesting equipment, using efficient and safe techniques.

From tree  to finished product is the main theme of this event, with a focus on the private landowner.

Equipment displays:

  • Peterson swing blade sawmill
  • Mulch-R’Down brush clearing
  • ATV arches
  • Farmi Winch
  • Portable Winch(TM)
  • Log-rite Tools

Informational Displays and Forest Products:

  • Lumber drying
  • Lathe turnings
  • Custom log work
  • Growing mushrooms
  • Maple syrup
  • Silent Auction
  • Wood carving, crafts, furniture,
  • misc. lumber, etc.

For more details, including schedule and registration information, check out the event brochure (PDF) or contact Gary Bradford at (218) 927-4599 or Patrick Lanin at (218) 764-3315.

This event is hosted by Northwoods Forestry Cooperative and the Brainerd Chapter of the Minnesota Forestry Association.

September 10, 2009 at 9:08 am Leave a comment

Sign up for Conservation Stewardship Program by Sept. 30

ST. PAUL, Minn. (9/9/2009) —Registration for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is taking place now until Sept. 30, 2009. The CSP is a voluntary program through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service that encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by undertaking additional conservation activities; and improving, maintaining and managing existing conservation activities.

CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land in all 50 States. This program has a continuous sign up, however the first-round deadline is Sept. 30.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide financial and technical assistance to eligible producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air and related natural resources on their land. Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, prairie land, improved pastureland, rangeland, non-industrial private forest lands, agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe, and other private agricultural land (including cropped woodland, marshes, and agricultural land used for the production of livestock) on which resource concerns related to agricultural production could be addressed.

CSP encourages land stewards to improve their conservation performance by installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities on agricultural land and non-industrial private forest land. CSP is available nationwide on a continuous application basis.

The entire operation must be enrolled and must include all eligible land that will be under the applicant’s control for the term of the proposed contract (CSP is a five-year contract program) that is operated substantially separate from other operations.

CSP offers participants two possible types of payments:

  1. Annual payment for installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining and managing existing activities
  2. Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations

Estimated Range for Annual Payments
Cropland: $12 to $22 per acre
Non-industrial private forestland: $6 to $12 per acre
Pastureland: $7 to $14 per acre
Rangeland: $5 to $10 per acre

Estimated Range for Supplemental Payments
Resource-Conservation Crop Rotation: $12 to $16 per acre

Landowners should contact their County USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office for more information and pick up a copy of the “Producer Self-Screening Checklist.” More information is also found at the NRCS website.

September 9, 2009 at 12:05 pm 2 comments

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