by Barry Drue
Much has been said and letters to the editor have been typed about the logging project that began last winter on the county-owned 260-acre park at the tip of Pt. Abbaye. The 15-20 acres on the walk to the point were logged this spring and that, more than anything, has drawn attention. So far a total of about 80 acres of the county land has been single-tree marked and selectively logged. The tip and a parcel on the southern end near McBeth Road have been logged. To avoid rutting and ground damage the project has been put on hold. If the winter cooperates with enough cold to freeze the ground the interior of the parcel will be logged after the snow flies. The county park parcel includes about a mile and a half of Lake Superior shoreline. A minimum of a 50-foot buffer will be left there so that totals about 15 acres that won’t be logged. Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, two foresters from JM Longyear, the company that is contracting with Baraga County on the job, walked through a detailed look at the planning and forestry decisions that are going into the project. Tim Schnieder, Longyear’s Forest Operations Manager headquartered in Marquette, and Procurement Forester Kirk Kass, who works out of his home office in Skanee, took the editor around the site. Kass has been the dayin, day-out forester on the ground for the Pt. Abbaye job. He’s a 23-year forester and has been with Longyear for six years. Kass works on private sites generally in Baraga County, and also on jobs in Iron, Houghton and Marquette counties. Kass and Schneider are well aware that Pt. Abbaye is a park, and therefore, not all standard forestry practices to maximize production and future growth are necessarily appropriate. They also realize there is much over-mature, defective and dying timber on the site. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.