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Committee offers recommendations on use of federal funds in Chippewa National Forest

LONGVILLE – Chippewa National Forest Supervisor Darla Lenz will decide by mid-July whether to accept the recommendations of a citizen committee about how to spend $780,000 the forest received under a 2008 federal act.

 That act is to maintain, restore or decommission roads or streams and watersheds within the forest.

Some projects require a local government match. Some were recommended for only partial funding.

Jim Ballenthin, County Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor, and County Commissioner Dick Downham represented Cass on the citizen committee.

The committee recommended Lenz approve eight projects in Cass totaling $283,400, Ballenthin informed the county board Tuesday. An additional $262,175 is proposed to be spent on projects overlapping Cass, Beltrami and Itasca Counties.

Ballenthin said the Pughole Road project to eliminate erosion has been a high priority project for a long time. It received the highest single project funding recommendation, he said. Cass will match $60,000 for that project.

Cass projects recommended include the following:

Onigum shoreline restoration - $4,900.

Six Mile Lake fish passage - $26,500.

Portage Lake fish passage - $52,000.

Pug Hole Road culverts and reshaping - $105,000.

Woodtick Creek channel restoration - $5,000.

Lady Slipper restoration - $50,000.

Garlic mustard removal - $10,000.

Parsnip control, mowing - $30,000.

Joint projects with neighboring counties include the following:

Forest Service high priority campsites - $60,325.

Forest Service boat access repair - $78,850

Forest Service road maintenance - $37,000 (this could increase to $54,000 if funds available)

Forest Service meadow burns - $20,000.

Forest Service/DNR woodcock alder burn - $20,000.

Forest Service roads (if available) - $50,000.

Forest Service riparian enhancement - $10,000.

Leech Lake Ojibwe blueberry burns - $36,000.