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Timber sales in Burnett County are very important. This year is no different, except that the meeting is not taking place as usual, but the bids will be opened.

Burnett County has canceled all committee meetings so far this month and that includes the monthly Natural Resources committee meeting.

This meeting is one of the more popular meetings throughout the year, as it is when Timber bids are opened. Logging contractors and timber sale bidders pack into the committee room and listen with anticipation as the Forest and Parks Department open and read off the various bids for tracts of county forest.

Instead of having a public meeting, Forest Administrator Jake Nichols sent a letter to interested parties explaining the bids will be opened by the Forest and Parks Department on April 9 at 9:30 a.m. Then the bids will be recorded, and the completed bid sheet will be reviewed by the County Administrator, Nate Ehalt, and County Board Chair, Don Taylor, and the winning bidders will then be approved.

“Burnett County understands the importance of keeping this timber available during this time for our contractors and mills needing the fiber,” Nichols said.

“The Burnett County Board has passed a resolution to allow Administration the ability to make emergency decisions in consultation with the County Board Chair,” Nichols said. “After talking with the County Administrator, it has been decided to allow the timber bid opening to continue, but the following process will be followed.”

These sales bring in a large amount of money to the county.

Last April, sales exceeded $690,000 and they only sold 11 of the 14 land tracts.

Earlier this year, the April sale prospectus outlined the 14 land tracts up for sale. The estimated volume includes 6,627 tons of Jack Pine, 11,392 tons of Aspen, 10,691 tons of Red Pine and 1,482 tons of mixed hardwood. There are also 80 MBF, or 1,000 board feet, of Red Oak and 20 MBF of Mixed Hardwoods.

The minimum bid total for all 14 tracts is just over 490,000.