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History of the Forest

North Shore forest history is about the decline in ecological health.

The history of the North Shore forest is a history about dramatic decline in ecological health. The North Shore was once dominated by a balanced healthy, old-growth conifer tree forest. By 1900, timber in many areas was harvested and sent to wood mills in the Duluth area, feeding the growing demand for lumber. Soon after, catastrophic wildfires, and an increase in deer populations, insects, and diseases led to the current withered aspen-birch forest type with more open and brushy conditions, and limited habitat and diminished forest health and water quality. Watch the video below to learn more.