Forest Service launches Blue Cascade Spruce Budworm Response Project

By Kalli Hawkins
WTIP North Shore Community Radio
April 24, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MINNESOTA — The U.S. Forest Service is gearing up to launch a spruce budworm response project in Cook County this summer as the prevalence of the spruce budworm expands across northeastern Minnesota. Spruce budworm, a native insect that feeds on the needles of spruce and balsam fir, fluctuates in 30-40-year cycles. The last influx of spruce budworm occurred in the 1980s in Cook County. As a preventative mitigation effort, this summer, the Forest Service intends to implement a Blue Cascade Spruce Budworm Response and Restoration Project stretching from the Caribou Trail to County Road 14, east of Grand Marais. The entire project will encompass over 2000 acres and focus on vegetation management, reducing hazardous fuels, and minimizing the density of spruce plantations to allow for more ecologically appropriate mixed-forest types.

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