Forest Enhancement Projects
Small Scale Deer Exclosures
A look at the mature mixed conifer canopy seed trees
Small Scale Deer Exclosure Fence: 10' W x 10' L x 6' H
Forest Opening Reclamation and Native Pollinator Project
The Carlton County Land Department has recently been awarded a Conservation Partners Legacy Grant for the establishment of a native pollinator seed collection area within our existing County tree seed orchard. We have a dual objective of reclaiming degraded areas including abandoned logging landings, forest road decommissions, trail side erosion control sites, etc, while simultaneously creating pollinator habitat. Seed will be gathered from a mix of native pollinator wildflowers, grasses and forbs from the proposed collection area and be distributed on degraded sites on county managed land. Every year Carlton County has a variety of timber harvests occur on tax-forfeit public lands. For most harvests there is an area designated as a logging landing where equipment is staged, trees are de-limbed, cut to length, stacked in piles and logging trucks are loaded. Operations on these landings sites can lead to conditions that are susceptible to invasive plants, compact and degrade the soil and struggle to re-vegetate. These areas could benefit greatly from reclamation through scarification and planting a mix of site-specific pollinator plant species. Establishment of these species at reclamation sites will improve soil and water quality.
By planting native pollinator grasses and forbs endemic to the forest floor and forest edge these sites will provide ecological diversity to the stand and valuable habitat for insects and other wildlife. Local insects (wild bees, flies, wasps, moths, butterflies, and other pollinating insects) are a critical component of Carlton County’s ecology because they pollinate a wide variety of native trees (basswood), forbs and fruits (blueberry, serviceberry, wild sarsaparilla, etc), nuts, vegetables, animal forages, and fiber crops. According to the Minnesota DNR, populations of native insect pollinators have declined throughout Minnesota, the U.S. and North America in recent years. Factors contributing to the declines are complex but include habitat fragmentation and disappearance of floral resources. By creating and maintaining a pollinator seed collection area and utilizing this seed stock with technical assistance from the DNR Pollinator Best Management Practices and Habitat Restoration Guidelines, the Carlton County Land Department will promote local pollinator populations by restoring and enhancing degraded sites throughout Carlton County.
A monarch butterfly caterpillar feeds on a Common Milkweed Plant (Asclepias syriaca)
A candidate site (abandoned logging landing) for forest opening reclamation
Site Preparation (stump removal and scarification) prior to establishment of native pollinator plant species