Deer fencing, tree planting program for landowners on the North Shore

This spring, the North Shore Forest Collaborative (NSFC) is again hosting a program to provide low cost fencing materials to private landowners who plant white pine and cedar seedlings on their lands along the North Shore of Lake Superior. The fencing keeps deer from eating the newly planted trees. This is the third year of this program.

In the first two years, 134 program participants planted and fenced over 3,500 white pine and white cedar trees on their properties along the shore. These same individuals planted an additional 14,000 young trees, including white spruce, which do not require fencing.

This program helps promote the mission of the collaborative, which is: To revitalize and maintain a healthy and functioning ecosystem along the North Shore of Lake Superior with emphasis on restoring and maintaining native trees and associated forest communities.

Private landowners wanting to plant conifer trees on their land within the NSFC area may apply to receive reduced-cost materials for deer exclosures. Qualified landowners may purchase materials at one-third normal retail cost.

The cost to landowners for a fencing package will be $25, which is one-third the cost of purchase of these materials via retail outlets. The fencing is being provided specifically to protect young white pine and white cedar trees, as these are the tree species targeted for reforestation on the north shore. Help is also available to assist landowners who are physically unable to plant trees and erect exclosures on their property. The fencing program is funded by a grant from the Weekes Family Foundation.

An application form is available at the NSFC website at and applications will be accepted from February 23 through March 16, 2018. Applicants will be contacted by email shortly after the close of the application period and provided further information if selected for the program, including how to pay and where to pick up the materials. Those not selected will be notified by email.

Background Information

The North Shore Forest Collaborative is a coordinated effort between local, state and federal land management agencies as well as public and private organizations and individuals who desire to work together to assure a healthy forest environment along Lake Superior’s North Shore. Participation is voluntary and members can include any organization that has management, assessment, or regulatory function within the area, or any entity or individual that owns land within or near the collaborative area.

The NSFC area is the Highway 61 corridor beginning at Knife River and continuing to the Canadian border. The area extends from the shore of Lake Superior to approximately three miles inland in Lake and Cook counties. A map of the NSFC area is on the website.

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