Submitted: The Two Sides Team August 10, 2012
UPM Blandin and Minnesota Power have agreed to an easement exchange that will re-establish 160 acres of forest land north of Taconite.
August 8, 2012
Grand Rapids, Minn. – PRNewswire
UPM Blandin and Minnesota Power (MP) have agreed to an easement
exchange that will re-establish 160 acres of forest land north of Taconite.
MP is vacating an existing utility easement for No. 94 transmission line on Blandin forest land. In exchange, Blandin has granted MP a 130-acre utility easement on UPM land north of Nashwauk to establish an electric transmission line that will shore up regional reliability for Iron Range communities and the area’s Essar Steel project.
project restores more than 70 acres of wetlands and 90 acres of upland
forest, and reconnects approximately 15,000 acres of forest land.
prior No. 94 transmission line created a 9.4 mile long corridor through
the center of a 15,000 acre tract of Blandin forest land that is now
covered by a conservation easement,” said Joe Maher, UPM Blandin General Manager. “The
new No. 94 line is 8.3 miles of right of way and confined to a few
smaller tracts of forest land and allows us to substantially reduce
land exchange is in accordance with the Upper Mississippi Forest
Project conservation easement agreement Blandin signed with the State of Minnesota in 2010 on 187,876 acres of UPM-owned forest land in Northern Minnesota.
Under the conservation easement, UPM retains ownership of the land and
will continue to use it as a working forest. The easement provides the
public with access for recreational purposes such as hunting, fishing,
hiking and snowmobiling in perpetuity.
“We are proud to partner with Blandin on this important conservation project,” said Brad Oachs,
Minnesota Power Chief Operating Officer. “This agreement is not only
beneficial to our customers on the Iron Range; it’s an example of
Minnesota Power’s commitment to environmental stewardship. This exchange improves the quality of life in this region and enhances the environment we all value and enjoy.”
utility easement is significant because it restores large blocks of
Blandin forest land and ensures that the land is protected from
development and will be a working forest managed under Blandin’s unique
Smart Forestry system, which is designed to enhance productivity and
support economic and environmental sustainability.
agreement between UPM Blandin and MP illustrates how the Upper
Mississippi Forest Project Conservation Easement promotes and protects
our existing forest land management program,” said Maher. “We
look for opportunities to reduce fragmentation, restore habitat,
increase ecological diversity and promote forest productivity. This agreement to re-route the No. 94 corridor allows us to achieve all of these.”
studies of the site have begun already in preparation for a spring 2013
planting of 81,000 white spruce and red and white pine seedlings.
Source: UPM Blandin