The Christmas tree debate: Real or fake?
The Lions Club Christmas Tree stand in Rochester, Minn. is deserted. ... But U of M Forestry Extension Specialist Carl Vogt says if you are going to have a Christmas tree, a cut one actually has smaller carbon footprint than a artificial tree.
Minnesota Public Radio
A new "Speaking of Science" interview
The latest installment of "Speaking of Science" is now online. This series of interviews between CFANS dean Allen Levine and key faculty and staff showcases the research and outreach work happening throughout the college. The latest interviewee is Peter Reich, a professor in the Department of Forest Resources who was named a Regents Professor earlier this year.
Read the Q and A with Peter Reich
Listen to raw MP3 audio of the interview:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
Tourism’s future bright
The beauty of Otter Tail County and its natural environment attracts many tourists to this area, with many of those people returning here in succeeding years. Those were two of the findings noted by University of Minnesota graduate student Raintry Salk who conducted a year-long research study of tourism in northwest Minnesota.
Fergus Falls Journal
Widely Held Beliefs About Early Cherokee Settlement Patterns Likely Incorrect
By 1763, the world of Cherokee Indians in the Southeastern U.S. was in tatters. ...Gragson is co-author of the two new studies with Paul Bolstad, a professor in the department of forest resources at the University of Minnesota.
Fixit: Stem-girdling roots may cut off tree's nutrient flow
An arborist said one of our honey locust trees might have "girdling roots." ... Gary Johnson, professor of Urban Forestry at the University of Minnesota, has done considerable work on this subject.
Discovering Re-Growth After BWCA Forest Fires
There are few places on earth more tranquil and serene than Minnesota's Boundary Waters. ... To see first hand how nature recovers from fire, WCCO-TV toured the area with University of Minnesota Forestry Professor, Lee Frelich.
Floods take deep toll on tourism
Marie and Doug Botcher of the Meadows Inn in Rushford, Minn., were expecting a full house last week. ... "We can't deny that there will be a short-term negative impact on tourism," said Ingrid Schneider, director of the Tourism Center at the University of Minnesota.
Biomass development takes center stage
Biomass development took center stage at two recent workshops. ... Sustainability was part of the workshop's message, said Dean Current, program director of the University of Minnesota Center for Integrated and Natural Resources Management.
Greater Minnesota growing, too
With about half the state’s population living in the seven county Twin Cities metro area, it’s easy to believe the rest of the state is seeing no growth, or losing population. ... The study, done by the University of Minnesota, was looking at natural resources needs, specifically regional parks. Regional parks are at least 100 acres and provide things like camping, hiking and boating.
Mankato Free Press
Minnesota faces growing need for regional parks
As more Minnesotans head for the lakes and trees of Brainerd and Alexandria, they're bumping into a contradiction. ... The two-year effort by University of Minnesota researchers outlines that gap and offers a solution: Over the next two decades, the state should spend a quarter-billion dollars to buy and develop 27,000 acres for high-quality parks in eight fast-growing regions of the state.
How to save trees in these drought conditions
Minnesota’s trees are dying and need help. ... Extension professor Gary Johnson, University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources, adds bad planting practices to the list of stressors but says, “A lot of sins can be forgiven if water is managed. Newly planted trees need (watering) twice a week, 3 to 5 gallons at a time.”
Shakopee Valley News
BWCA fires bring forest rebirth
..."Although fire is a destructive force ... it is a natural part of the boreal forest," said Peter Reich, University of Minnesota regents professor in the Department of Forest Resources who has a team studying the fire effects. ...
...Certain types of plants thrive in the months after a fire. Other types thrive five or 10 years later, Reich said, adding that the forest "is a fire-adapted ecosystem. ... The species, all in order to survive, have to have some mechanism of staying alive."
The 30 most visited U.S. cities
You may notice some patterns in the Forbes Traveler list of 30 Most Visited U.S. Cities: sunny climates, Texas, and Disney play a prominent role. ... Dan Erkkila, former Chairman of the Board of the Travel and Tourism Research Association and current Extension Professor at the University of Minnesota Tourism Center, explains that "being a member of the top-tier U.S. destination elite generally involves a complex blend of tangible ingredients (like travel cost) and intangible ones, like destination image."
Earthworms steal the floor
If plants are disappearing all around you, check underneath your wellies—it could be down to invading earthworms. ... Andrew Holdsworth and University of Minnesota colleagues describe in Conservation Biology how declines in plant diversity in two national forests—Chippewa and Chequamegon—can be traced to the recent arrival of European Lumbricus earthworms.
Journal Watch - WA
Things to think about with the environment
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) publication came across my desk the other day and during a quick scan came across some interesting information and opinions. ... Some lakes will warm up, and that will change the species of fish that live in them. There’ll be fewer cold-water habitats that support trout, for instance, and more lakes with carp and other fish that live in warmer waters. (Lee Frelich, Director of the Center of Hardwood Ecology, University of Minnesota).
Perham Enterprise Bulletin
Boaters beware: Lakes are shrinking
From Lake Superior to the lake-strewn region of east-central Minnesota and northern Wisconsin, boaters enjoying the Independence Day holiday should pay more attention this year. ... While recent lake levels may seem low, they actually are near historical norms, said George Orning, a research fellow in the University of Minnesota's Department of Forest Resources.
REGENTS PROFESSOR PROFILE:
PETER REICH, professor of forest resources, is known for combining data sets from around the world and finding patterns no one else has seen. Among his findings: a universal continuum of plant lifestyles from fast (weeds) to slow (pine trees) and a way to compute a key variable in models of climate change. Read more about Reich in the first profile in a series on five new regents professors named this month.
Five more join ranks of regents professors
A historian who studies families, a plant biologist and a professor of psychology who has studied the effect of genetics on human behavior are among the five University of Minnesota professors named as regents professors.
PETER REICH, professor in the Department of Forest Resources. He has been described as an international leader in the ecological, environmental and plant sciences, and among the most frequently cited researchers in his field in the world. His studies of global environmental change have contributed to a better understanding of plant species diversity, and carbon dioxide and nitrogen pollution, among other things.
Governor Pawlenty Appoints Thirteen to Explore Minnesota Tourism Council
Governor Tim Pawlenty today announced the appointment of Butch Eggen, Wayne Kostroski, Deanna Pekar, Cynthya Porter, and Kathy Silverthorn, and the reappointment of Maureen Hooley Bausch, Bonnie L. Carlson, Merrill “Dutch” Cragun, Randy Gutzmann, Deborah Lloyd, Lisa Paxton, Dr. Ingrid E. Schneider, Ph.D., and Henry “Hank” R. Todd to the Explore Minnesota Tourism Council.
Peter Reich Named Regents Professor
Professor Peter Reich has received the University's highest recognition for faculty. He was named a Regents Professor today by President Robert Bruininks. Peter is an international leader in the sciences addressing forest resources, plant ecology and tree physiology. He is also an exceptional mentor and teacher, and is one of the most-cited ecologists in the world. Peter joined our faculty in 1991 and holds the F.B. Hubachek, Sr. Chair in Forest Ecology. In 2003 he was named a Distinguished McKnight University Professor.
Peter is the first member of the Forest Resources faculty named to this prestigious honor. Established in 1965 by the Board of Regents, the award serves as the highest recognition for faculty who have made unique contributions to the quality of the University of Minnesota through exceptional accomplishments in teaching, research and scholarship or creative work, and contributions to science and society.
Most private owners show little interest in timber harvests
A recent survey of private forest owners in Minnesota reveal some interesting facts. ... The survey conducted by Dr. Mike Kilgore of the University of Minnesota Forest Resources Department was sent to 1,000 woodland owners not enrolled in the SFIA.
International Falls Daily Journal
Fires illuminate need for change in northern tourism
After last year’s Cavity Lake fire, a state-sponsored sustainable development Tourism Resource Team studied how the fire affected the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness region and how local businesses could adapt. ... Many in the hospitality industry don’t realize the extent of the market demand, said Ingrid Schneider, director of the University of Minnesota Tourism Center.
Chopped trees leave residents stumped
If a tree is cut down in the middle of a community, the noise may be more like an uproar. ... Gary Johnson, extension professor of urban and community forestry for the University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources, said such disputes involving trees are more common today than 20 years ago.
Ham Lake Fire
The biggest forest fire to hit the Boundary Waters since 1910 will rejuvenate a treasured forest from top to bottom and could spur a boomlet in the tourist trade. ... "It's spectacular how nature heals a fire like this,'' said Lee Frelich, director of the Center for Hardwood Ecology at the University of Minnesota.
A dozen large fires
The fire burning through the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota is one of the largest in that region in more than a century. ... The information was compiled by forest ecologist Miron Heinselman in his book, "The Boundary Waters Wilderness Ecosystem" and by Lee Frelich, director of the Center for Hardwood Ecology at the University of Minnesota.
Gunflint: A blaze with benefits
It's the biggest fire to hit the Superior National Forest in about a century. ... "That's the future forest," said Lee Frelich, director of the Center for Hardwood Ecology at the University of Minnesota.
Oddly, fire is good for the forest
Seeing the pictures of a wild fire like that burning along the Gunflint Trail this week, it might seem like we are watching the death of a forest. ... The University of Minnesota's Director of the Center for Hardwood Ecology Lee Frelich was camping in the BWCA when the fire began. He was actually trapped by the blaze for two days last weekend.
They are Ph.D.s and college dropouts. ... Eckman is an adjunct professor (and on the staff of the Office of Water Resources) at the University of Minnesota. In discussing the Kasota Ponds project she said, "Volunteers make this project work. ... [St. Anthony Park Community Council] has an outstanding environmental committee."
Fire on the Gunflint Trail
As fires blaze across the US and in northeastern Minnesota, the Ham Lake fire continues to burn along the far reaches of Minnesota's Gunflint Trail--putting resort owners and their guests, and cabin owners at risk. University of Minnesota forest ecology and fire management expert Lee Frelich tells of his experience seeing the fire get started.
Minnesota Public Radio
U of M researcher trapped by Gunflint fire
While the Ham Lake fire may have started just outside of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, there were three campers in the BWCA who got trapped by the wind and flames. Lee Frelich was camping and canoeing on Seagull Lake with two friends when the fire started. Frelich happens to be the the director for the Center for Hardwood Ecology at the University of Minnesota, and has been planning to research the effects of fires in the Boundary Waters.
Minnesota Public Radio
University of Minnesota forest researcher Lee Frelich spent two days in a plume of smoke, trapped on the north side of Seagull Lake, watching the Ham Lake fire burn towards him over the weekend.
Pawlenty endorses report on changing management of natural resources
Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Tuesday enthusiastically endorsed a commission report calling for overhauling the way the state's natural resources are managed and the way that management is funded. ... University of Minnesota professor Mike Kilgore, chairman of the legacy council, called the recommendations bold but achievable.
Almanac: Conservation panel has bold ideas
The ideas are bold. The call for action urgent. ... "The intent is to try to take the politics out of conservation in Minnesota to make it science-based," said Mike Kilgore, a University of Minnesota associate professor who chaired the group.
Minnesota / Citizen oversight sought for DNR
Pawlenty's panel proposes greater governance of conservation strategy, funding
Minnesota's current conservation efforts are failing and need new direction from a citizen commission that would oversee the Department of Natural Resources, according to a panel appointed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. ..."We had a real sense that time is running out,'' said council chairman Mike Kilgore, a University of Minnesota forestry professor.
A warning on conservation policy
A 15-member citizens group charged with reforming Minnesota's conservation efforts wants to remove politics from resource management. It wants an independent agency to create a plan. ..."The intent is to try to take the politics out of conservation in Minnesota to make it science-based," said Mike Kilgore, a University of Minnesota associate professor who chaired the group of 11 citizens and four legislators called the Conservation Legacy Council. "It's really a new model for conservation."
Maria Ruud: Act now to protect our environment, children
Several weeks ago, an historic event took place in the House Chamber. ... Or ask ecologist Lee Frelich from the University of Minnesota, who spoke to the Legislature about how our forests are changing because of global warming -- and what that means for our timber industry.
Forestry Club named one of U's top organizations
The Forestry Club and its advisor, Carl Vogt, recently received the Outstanding Organization of the Year Award at the University's Tony Diggs Excellence Awards. This event recognizes student groups for their contributions to the campus and community throughout the past academic year. The competition included 48 other nominees (student organizations) from across the University. The plaque presented to the club is on display in Room 115 Green Hall.
Loring Greenway to undergo renovations
The Loring Greenway will close for renovation this summer, with construction beginning April 16 and ending in October. ... Several spruce trees with fungal canker will be removed. As explained by Loring Park resident Lee Frelich, a University of Minnesota forestry expert who was consulted for the project, the disease is noticeable in dead lower branches at the base of greenway trees, and it spreads upward.
A cleaner, greener Palm Sunday
Each year on Palm Sunday, Christians jubilantly re-enact Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, waving a combined 300 million palm fronds in the United States. ... The niche-market palm comes from a method of harvesting and marketing developed at the University of Minnesota. ... "We grew 450 percent from last year to this year," program coordinator RaeLynn Jones Loss said.
Alameda Times-Star - California
U.S. Churches Go ‘Green’ for Palm Sunday
Clutching a tiny knife in his big calloused hands, Laizon Corzo wound his way through the thick foliage in one of southern Mexico’s forested areas in search of living treasures. ... Dean A. Current, a professor of natural resources management at the University of Minnesota, was called in to study the economics of the palm industry. He discovered that about 10 percent of the palms sent to the United States were bought by churches.
New York Times
Halt salt damage: Trees and shrubs are at risk
Our record late winter snowfalls brought tons of de-icing salt to streets, highways and sidewalks. ... Gary Johnson is an educator with University of Minnesota Extension.
The Dark Side of a Good Friend to the Soil
I've always thought of worms as my friends, until I started talking to ecologists who have been studying their voracious appetite for leaves. .. They sent a few of their worms to Cindy Hale, a scientist at the University of Minnesota, who identified them as Amynthas hawayanus and Lumbricus terrestris, two species that are invading the Northeast.
New York Times
War of the Worms
Deep in the woods of Minnesota, an army of environmental do-gooders has gone bad. Very bad. "We all grew up learning that worms were universally good say Andrew Holdsworth and Lee Frelich, University of Minnesota, who studied the impact of worms in forested areas.
Warmer Temperatures Shifting Northward
Minnesota's Northwoods are unique, a boreal forest of spruce, fern and pines that live in extreme cold, but our climate is shifting north and we are seeing a profound transformation right before our eyes. ... Lee Frelich, with the University of Minnesota, is a world-renowned expert on trees. He sees signs of big change right now.
Emerald ash borer could hurt forests
A half-inch bug is sending chills through Minnesota foresters and entomologists as it threatens to move into state forests. ... "I don't know if we've ever seen another disease or insect that has done what this can do in Minnesota forests," said Lee Frelich, forest ecologist and director of the Center for Hardwood Ecology at the University of Minnesota.
Chris Niskanen: Conservation council determined to create a new, workable model
Since November, at Gov. Tim Pawlenty's behest, 16 Minnesotans have been meeting to determine a path for conservation in Minnesota. ... "I don't know if anyone has ever taken such a broad look at conservation,'' said Mike Kilgore, 47, a University of Minnesota professor who is chairing the council.
Emerald ash borer could cause chaos in Minnesota forests
A half-inch bug is sending chills through Minnesota foresters and entomologists as it threatens to move into state forests. ... "I don't know if we've ever seen another disease or insect that has done what this can do in Minnesota forests,'' said Lee Frelich, forest ecologist and director of the Center for Hardwood Ecology at the University of Minnesota."
Winona Daily News
Imported Chinese bug could destroy Minnesota forests
A half-inch bug is sending chills through Minnesota foresters and entomologists as it threatens to move into state forests. ... "I don't know if we've ever seen another disease or insect that has done what this can do in Minnesota forests," said Lee Frelich, forest ecologist and director of the Center for Hardwood Ecolog at the University of Minnesota.