Ottawa National Forest is pursuing a land adjustment in Ontonagon County
Written by Jesse Baroka on March 8, 2019
IRONWOOD – The U.S. Forest Service’s Ottawa National Forest is pursuing a land adjustment in Ontonagon County, which will convert a little more than 219 acres of land from private into public use. Lisa Klaus, public relations officer for the forest service, said the land on the west side of the Victoria Lake reservoir meets the park’s goals. Using a Tripartite Exchange — or otherwise known as a Land for Timber Exchange — Klaus said the landowner, the National Forest Timber Sale Program, and the contractor harvesting the timber enter into an agreement to make the acquisition possible. Ottawa National Forest Supervisor Linda Jackson recently informed the Gogebic County Board of Commissioners about where the land adjustment projects are as the Ottawa National Forest extends into Gogebic County. Her notice indicated the 219.39 acres in Rockland Township owned Joseph and Mary Hovel is located within the proclamation boundary of the forest and revenue received on timber sales from Ontonagon, Gogebic and Iron counties in Michigan may be used in the tripartite exchange. The impact to counties will be approximately $7,000 a year, which may be offset by the recently reauthorized Secure Rural Schools program. The land will also increase timber harvests which will increase revenue to the counties. The land adjustment is being considered for the 2020 fiscal year. Notices were mailed to all three counties and the local tribe, and future public meetings are planned to keep community members informed about the forest’s plans.