The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Trails Division is seeking public comments on proposed changes to the management plans for two southern Minnesota state parks. These are parks where timber harvest projects are planned this year. The timber harvesting is scheduled to take place at Fort Ridgely State Park in Fairfax and Myre-Big Island State Park in Albert Lea. There will be an open house at each affected state park for anyone interested in learning more about the plan amendments and upcoming resource projects. The schedule for the open house at the park office is: • Fort Ridgely State Park, 72158 Co. Rd. 30, Fairfax, Monday, Feb. 25, 4:30-6 p.m. The Parks and Trails Division uses timber harvesting as a tool to meet its resource management goals and to facilitate interpretive and recreation activities. Timber harvests take place in state parks and state recreation areas primarily to restore or manage native plants. In some cases, a harvest is necessary to restore visitor access and safety by clearing trails and reducing the risk of forest fires from downed timber following a storm. A management plan sets the direction for the state park for the next 15-20 years and includes recommendations for managing natural and cultural resources and providing recreational and interpretative opportunities to park visitors. The plan amendments will clarify the use of timber harvesting as a resource management tool in these state parks. The plan amendments – which have been posted on the DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/mgmtplans/parks_trails/open.html-- are open for a 30-day public review, with public comments accepted through March 22. For more information or to comment on the plan amendments, contact Jade Templin at 651-259-5598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.