Concern Over White Pines
5:43 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Torpy Park Controversy Prompts Town Meeting

A special town hall meeting is taking place Tuesday evening in Minocqua, regarding the fate of a group of trees in Torpy Park. 

The Minocqua Lions Club wants to build a new shelter in Torpy Park, and in the process remove about a dozen white pines estimated to be over a hundred years old. 

Many locals are up in arms about the plan, and have been contacting town officials and spreading the word through social media.  They say they like the atmosphere the trees provide, and say the trees are a vestige of old growth forest in the Northwoods. 

Steve Peterson, superintendent of the Northern Highland American Legion state forest, says he has no opinion as to whether the trees should go or stay. But he says there is often confusion about what old growth really means.    

“These may be old trees but that is not old growth. Old growth is a structure of a forest, where there’s a variety of tree ages, there’s big logs on the floor of the forest, there’s brush, a continuous canopy.  There are a lot of other elements to old growth other than just having old trees.” 

Petersen thinks the trees in question would likely not survive beyond another decade or two because of park conditions.

Those in favor of keeping the trees say they should still be spared. 

We’ll have more on this story after Tuesday night's meeting.