Yes Sierrans, letters, comments, and petitions sent to agencies can make a difference! The Forests and Wildlife Stewards recently got feedback that actually demonstrated their positive influence.
The DNR wrote to the Stewards regarding the team’s comments on their draft “Section Forest Resource Management Plans” (SFRMP) for the five ecological sections of Minnesota. The DNR Forest Planning Team added language to their September draft SFRMP concerning climate change, especially in regard to which tree species will be best to plant. They will also use the best-available information in management decisions to help forests adapt to climate change.
In response to Stewards’ comments, the DNR also reviewed the most up-to-date tree species projections for each ecological section, as derived from the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science. The SFRMP will therefore contain revised references to the tree species projected to increase or decrease in Minnesota habitats, allowing adjustments as needed in each of the plans.
The team made other comments that were not incorporated into the DNR’s plans. However, these significant changes are a breath of fresh air and show the DNR is willing to adopt Sierra Club recommendations. The Stewards will continue to comment - with fortitude - on state and federal agency plans as they work toward protections for public lands and wildlife.