A Case of Influential Public Comment
12:00 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Wednesday: Natural Resources Board to Consider Van Vliet Changes

The state Natural Resources Board is set to decide Wednesday on a plan for the Van Vliet Hemlocks.  DNR officials are recommending the mostly old-growth parcel be managed with as little involvement as possible. 

DNR's management plan for a small portion of the Van Vliets drew substantial public comment.
DNR's management plan for a small portion of the Van Vliets drew substantial public comment.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The agency had originally planned to do some cutting on part of the site that didn’t fit the old-growth profile.  But after overwhelming public comment, the DNR changed its plan to passive management for the entire site. 

Chief DNR state forester Paul Delong says he doesn’t know whether the Natural Resources Board will approve the recommendation. 

“There’s a fair percentage of what we take before the board that they approve as recommended.  But they do not infrequently modify what we recommend, as they fulfill their responsibilities as a board.”

One supporter is Tom Olson…President of Friends of the Van Vliet Hemlocks.  He and a few other members are heading to Madison to voice support for the plan. 

“We’re very hopeful that it’s going to go through.  And we’re not organizing a large group of people to go to Madison.  We felt that we would best be served by making a brief statement in support.”

Friends of the Van Vliet has also submitted a letter in favor of the DNR’s new recommendation.