Questions, Anyone?

Clear cutting

Q. A reader asks, “What is the policy of the DNR on clear cutting on state land in the several counties of Northeast Michigan??

A. “Clear cutting is a harvest method used to regenerate many types of trees that grow here in Northern Michigan,” according to Cody Stevens, DNR Atlanta Unit Manager. He explains, “Several species of trees require full sunlight to grow and regenerate properly. These include (but are not limited to) Aspen, Red Pine, Jack Pine and Oak. Most Aspen and Oak harvests start to regenerate within a few months and the DNR plants approximately 5 million pine trees a year in the Northern Lower Peninsula. These young forest stands are critical to provide wildlife habitat, forest health and age class diversity across the landscape.??

“The DNR does an extensive amount of planning prior to any treatment being done to ensure that current and future Citizens of Michigan will have a healthy, diverse and sustainable forest. The DNR’s website ( has a lot of planning information available. Also, public meetings are held in local areas to discuss upcoming treatments.”??

More timber being harvested???

Q. The reader also asked if more timber is being harvested this year than last year?

  • A. DNR Unit Manager Cody Stevens says, “Generally no. Overall in the Atlanta Management Unit and statewide the amount of timber harvested in a year has been fairly consistent over the past 10 years. The DNR breaks their ownership down in to smaller parcels called compartments to create management plans for each area. These compartments are managed on a ten-year cycle to try to scatter forest management activities across the landscape so all the activity is not concentrated in one area. Most compartments range from 1-2,000 acres in size so several treatments may be planned for that area.
  • ?”Stevens also comments that these questions are good questions, and ones that they hear all the time. They are hard to answer to a broad group because a broad general statement doesn’t always answer a very specific concern in a local area. Different types of harvests are needed for different types of trees.??


  • ?Q. What is the origin of the word “serendipity”?
  • A. Garrison Keillor gave the following explanation in The Writers Almanac of Jan. 28, 2013. “It was on this day in 1754 that the word serendipity was first coined. It’s defined by Merriam-Webster as the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for. ??

“It was recently listed by a U.K. translation company as one of the English languages 10 most difficult words to translate. Other words to make their list include plenipotentiary, gobbledygook, poppycock, whimsy, spam, and kitsch.??

“Serendipity was first used by parliament member and writer Horace Walpole in a letter that he wrote to an English friend who was spending time in Italy. In the letter to his friend written on this day in 1754, Walpole wrote that he came up with the word after a fairy tale he once read, called The Three Princes of Serendip, explaining, as their Highnesses traveled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of. “The three princes of Serendip hail from modern-day Sri Lanka. Serendip is the Persian word for the island nation of the southern tip of India, Sri Lanka …

“Julius Comroe said, Serendipity is looking in a haystack for a needle and discovering a farmer’s daughter. Wiktionary lists serendipity’s antonyms as Murphy’s Law and perfect storm.”

Please send comments and questions to or to “Questions, Anyone?” The Alpena News, 130 Park Place, Alpena, MI 49707.