Another 26 semitrailer truckloads of invasive buckthorn were hauled away from the Anoka Nature Preserve last week. Much of that shredded vegetation will be converted into bioenergy.

While the effort to clear buckthorn and other invasive plants from the 200-acre preserve has been, for the most part, highly effective, there will need to be a controlled burn of 71 acres, likely next year, said Chris Lord, project manager for the Anoka Conservation District.

"The treated buckthorn that was taken out was 90 percent effective," Lord said. "There are seeds on the forest floor. The only way to rid the preserve of them is through a controlled burn."

The $179,000 project was part of a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources pilot program aimed at restoring habitat and reaping a fuel source in the process []. The buckthorn mulch was taken to the District Energy plant in St. Paul to be used as fuel.

Paul Levy