The Aitkin County Private Woodlands Committee was formed in March of 1985 as a pilot project sponsored by Minnesota Forest Industries and the Minnesota Forestry Association. Four counties were selected to design and implement programs that would “bring about better levels of forest management on family forest woodlands in Minnesota”. The four counties selected were Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, and Carlton.
Educational programs, tours, and workshops are a result of the committee responding to ideas developed by the members. An annual meeting is held to elect officers and to develop an annual work plan. The Committee is comprised of farmers, woodland owners, and agency personnel from county, state, and federal offices. Meetings are held as needed throughout the year.
The Private Woodlands Committee started hosting an Annual Fall Tour in 1985. Tours have been held in all parts of Aitkin County and have addressed issues of interest to forest landowners including many aspects of forest management techniques, timber harvesting, wildlife habitat management, and water quality. In more recent years, the Committee has shifted its focus away from the Annual Fall Tour and started sponsoring “Light on the Land” Logging Demonstrations. These started in 2002 and have been held approximately every three years in many locations across the state.
In 1989, the Committee developed and sponsored a Logger’s Workshop to give area loggers information on new techniques in timber harvesting such as Best Management Practices and legislative updates that could affect their business. The workshops were so successful they served as a pattern for a series of workshops that are now held statewide. The Logger’s Workshop continues to be an annual event held in the spring at Long Lake Conservation Center.
The Committee is involved in many other activities including:
- Having a booth at the county fair where we give out free seedlings
- Keeping a register of Big Trees found throughout the county
- Working with school districts to promote outdoor learning activities at the School Forests
For more information, please contact: Aitkin County SWCD