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      DNR cuts down thousands of trees near Vasa Trail

      The Department of Natural Resources is cutting down hundreds of acres of trees in Grand Traverse County.

      Six-hundred acres of trees have already been cut around the Vasa Trail in Acme, and 200 more acres are still scheduled to come down.

      The harvesting project has been going on since 2007, but many residents are only now finding out about it.â??Had they not tagged my trees I would know nothing, I really wouldn't know anything about it,â?? said Williamsburg resident Debra Johnson. â??I've been here for 40 years, it means a lot to me, it means a lot to my neighbors, so we just want to know what's going to take place.â??

      According to DNR, what's going is a well thought out plan to improve the forest around the Vasa Trail.

      â??Our management plan for that area is to move the forest into a more of a longer live species,â?? said Traverse City DNR unit manager David Lemmien. â??The red and white pine and oak, something that would be less impactful for the recreation.â??

      Now that they're getting closer to neighborhoods, they understand the concern from residents.

      â??The forest will respond and new trees will regenerate and grow in those spaces that are curated,â?? said Lemmien.

      Many residents aren't sold on the plan.

      â??It affects the sound effects, the climate, â?| wild life,â?? said Johnson. â??It'll affect morel mushroom hunting, it pretty much effects everything, so I just want to know exactly what's going to take place and what we need to prepare for.â??

      The DNR held a public meeting before they began harvesting in 2007, but residents say they were unaware of it. They are holding a second public meeting to hear concerns Tuesday, July 22nd at the Traverse City field office.