Visitors to Mud Lake, Grassy Lake and Paradise Marsh Wildlife Areas in Columbia County are likely to see active timber harvests on these public properties in the near future.

Harvests are scheduled for a total of approximately 213 acres across these properties this fall and winter. Harvesting may also occur as a result of a 33 acre timber sale on the Rocky Run Fishery Area and the adjacent Rocky Run State Natural Area. No harvesting will occur during the upcoming nine day gun deer hunting season on any of these properties.

"Harvesting will start over the next several weeks," said Bruce Henderson, DNR forester ranger for Columbia County. "These lands are managed based on long-term plans with objectives that include maintaining or improving wildlife habitat. Our forests are tremendous natural assets and the management plans help balance current environmental, social and economic benefits while ensuring opportunities for future generations."

The scheduled harvests will change the short term appearance of these popular hunting spots, but the work is necessary to achieve the management objectives and, where applicable, create conditions ideal for the next crop of tree seedlings to grow. Specific objectives for the Columbia County lands include regeneration of oak and aspen forest stands as well as thinning of pine plantations and oak forest stands, said Henderson.

"Access restrictions may apply to areas where equipment is actively working," Henderson said. "We appreciate citizen support for these efforts and ask for patience while these management activities are underway."

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