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Department of Forest Resources


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December 2010

Every two years, the National Scenic Byways Conference is held in a selected city in one of the nation's states within which there is at least one nationally designated scenic byway… Byway visitor and resident research done this spring and summer along the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway has been completed and is serving as the basis of an exciting proposal that was submitted Dec. 17 to the conference planners by Ingrid Schneider and Rachel Liechty of the University of Minnesota's Tourism Center and Brigid Tuck of the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality.
Brainerd Dispatch
December 21, 2010

Almanac: Council's chairman Mike Kilgore returning to post at U

Star Tribune
December 13, 2010
No, Mike Kilgore won't be the next Department of Natural Resources commissioner.
And no, Kilgore won't remain on the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.

Home: Real Christmas tree has real place in her heart and in her home
St. Paul Pioneer Press
December 12, 2010
... Key element:  Find a tree lot with patient, helpful souls -- a shout-out to the folks with the Forestry Club at the University of Minnesota who sell trees on Larpenteur Avenue -- and make sure it's a place where they'll give your tree a fresh cut on the bottom and bag it in that plastic netting....

November 2010

A national organization on Wednesday named Minnesota as the "Best Trail State" in the country… A University of Minnesota Tourism Center economic impact study found that spending at Minnesota trails totaled more than $2 billion in 2008.
Minnesota Public Radio


Bauer_PecoraAwardPicScientist Recognized For Work On Natural Resources Remote Sensing
WASHINGTON -- NASA and the U.S. Department of the Interior presented the William T. Pecora Award to Marvin E. Bauer of the University of Minnesota for his pioneering work in remote sensing of natural resources. Bauer received the award today at the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing meeting in Orlando, Fla.
Pecora Award citation (.pdf)
NASA press release (.doc)

Vogt to be inducted into the American Maple Hall of Fame
Carl Vogt was selected by the Hall of Fame Committee to be inducted into the American Maple Hall of Fame at Croghan, NY, the home of the American Museum. The induction will be on May 21, 2011.

The University of Minnesota’s Urban Forestry Capstone Course: Connecting Students with Their Community
The capstone course for urban forestry majors at the University of Minnesota was designed to integrate the social, political, and biological perspectives of managing greenspaces in urban areas. To that end, Forest Resources 4501/5501 was developed as a writing-intensive, problem-solving course for graduating seniors and graduate students that, in part, linked them to their larger community and the issues that involve natural resources and the quality of residents' lives. In addition to those pragmatic goals, students from majors outside of the department are encouraged to take the course to fulfill major or minor requirements or natural resource management perspectives. A typical class is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students in urban planning, horticulture, landscape architecture, and of course, urban forestry.
AREA Quarterly E-newsletter, Fall 2010

Last October, longtime Marcy-Holmes resident Ardes Johnson got fed up with the number of trees "snapped" and "lopped" off in the neighborhood, so she wrote a letter to the University of Minnesota and other neighborhood districts, airing her complaints. "For selfish reasons, I want trees on my street," she said. "Walking through Dinkytown would be so much more pleasant with trees." The Marcy-Holmes Urban Forest Management Plan, led by University forest resources professor Gary Johnson, found trees also make people feel more comfortable and safe. A majority of trees that were vandalized were planted in very narrow boulevards that were planted so close to sidewalks and curbs that they "were right in your face," Gary Johnson said.

The Urban Forest Management Plan included several recommendations for solving the problem, including working out an agreement with residential owners to plant trees on private property to allow them to sit farther away from sidewalks and curbs, a practice called green placement.
Minnesota Daily


October 2010

The U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry have provided funding to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for their battle against the emerald ash borer (EAB)... One grant is going to the DNR’s Urban Forestry program and the other is going through the DNR to the University of Minnesota’s Forest Resources Department to extend an ongoing effort...“This grant not only allows our outreach team to continue our community engagement and preparedness projects, it allows us to maintain the momentum, work more efficiently around the state, and hopefully expand the regional resource centers and directories to the point where eventually the entire state will have been inventoried and assessed,” said University of Minnesota Urban Forestry professor Gary Johnson said.
The Bemidji Pioneer

A University of Minnesota scientist says Minnesota is already suffering from the impacts of climate change…Lee Frelich, the director of the U of M's Center for Hardwood Ecology, has published academic papers on how warming is affecting Minnesota's north woods.
Minnesota Public Radio

September 2010

I have been going “up north” my entire life... According to a study by University of Minnesota researchers, the trees are marching north... Lee Frelich, study author, calls it a “triple double whammy” of storms, fires and invasive insects (oh my!), caused by warming, that will effectively deforest our woods.
The Star Tribune

Walk along most any lake or wetland in southern Minnesota and chances are you’ll see lots of cattails… ‘‘It’s just a matter of them finding every last little wetland spread over the landscape,’’ said Lee Frelich, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Hardwood Ecology.
Crookston Times

August 2010

Walk along most any lake or wetland in southern Minnesota and chances are you'll see lots of cattails… "It's just a matter of them finding every last little wetland spread over the landscape," said Lee Frelich, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Hardwood Ecology.
St. Paul Pioneer Press

With Minnesota's small-game hunting season opening in three weeks, there is no doubt many hunters are opening their land maps and putting an 'X' on their favorite spots… Alan Ek is a professor and head of the department of forest resources at the University of Minnesota."They've been fairly aggressive, compared to most counties, in making their lands work for them," Ek said. "They have a fairly active timber-harvesting program that does a couple of things. It improves wildlife habitat and creates revenue. Cass County is making a lot of benefits out of its public lands and I think it pays off for them."
St. Paul Pioneer Press

What if one leaf could help us uncover the mysteries of forest ecosystems around the world? What if that same leaf could predict those ecosystems’ future in a warmer planet with less biodiversity?.. Thanks to decades of fieldwork by Mahtomedi resident Peter Reich of the University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources, the links between leaf design and ecosystem design are being revealed.
Vadnais Heights Press

Just when we thought our trees were safe, another threat is looming…Ecklund is organizing a committee of six to 12 volunteers, who will be trained by Gary Johnson, University of Minnesota Extension assistant specialist in urban and community forestry, later this month.
Crookston Times

July 2010

We inquired further and learned that they're Asiatic elms. We learned quite a bit about them from Gary Johnson. He's a professor of urban forestry at the University of Minnesota.
Star Tribune

The Asahi Loft of Harmony, one of the newest lodging choices for visitors in southeast Minnesota, blends a Japanese influence with Amish craftsmanship and some energy-saving conveniences. Travel Green Minnesota is a collaboration involving Explore Minnesota Tourism (the state's office of tourism), the University of Minnesota Tourism Center, other state agencies, businesses and nongovernmental organizations.
Rochester Post-Bulletin

June 2010

Peter Reich received his award in Madrid yesterday, watch the video. Peter is introduced starting at 59:00 minutes and Peter gets his award starting around 62:00 in the video.

At the intersection of green tourism, Baby Boomer health consciousness, "complete streets" and national kudos, sits the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival... "Biking is increasing in interest, both functionally and recreationally,'' said Ingrid Schneider, the director of the Tourism Center, and a professor of forest resources at the University of Minnesota.

The University of Minnesota tourism center provides tourist locations, such as hotels, suggestions for how they can make their operations more sustainable and “green.”
Going Eco Green

May 2010

There's a lot of interest in creating fuels that produce less carbon dioxide, such as ethanol. But in northern Minnesota, people are starting to use another one -- wood waste from logging. .... There aren't many places that are located close to a wood supply, and have a use for the excess steam produced in a combined heat-and-power plant, said Dennis Becker, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota's Department of Forest Resources.
Minnesota Public Radio

University of Minnesota professor and head of the Department of Forest Resources Alan Ek answered listeners' questions about trees.
WCCO radio

In Washington, the USDA wrapped up its anniversary meeting…The invite-only meeting, which attracted more than 100 attendees, was structured around two panels, one focused primarily on policy and led by USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber and featuring biofuels consortium head Jose Olivares (Los Alamos) among other speakers; and one focused on energy for rural economic development and led by USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager, and including Neil Hamilton of Drake University and Dennis Becker of the University of Minnesota.
Biofuels Digest

Driveways all over town won’t have that rich black look to them anymore, but dangerous pollutants will be kept out of city ponds and lakes…University of Minnesota Forest Resource professor and White Bear resident Paul Bolstad said research shows less PAH draining off asphalt emulsion-treated driveways than coal tar-treated driveways. “It’s pretty straight forward that this is the main problem,” he said. “If you reduce the impacts now, they will be there for a long time. It will eventually cost less to treat (the sediment).”
White Bear Press

April 2010

Annual Foresters' Day Celebration
Friday, April 30th
Green Hall

But it's not an either-or situation according to Dennis Becker, in the forestry department at the University of Minnesota. He's studied the biomass market across the upper Great Lakes states, including Michigan. Becker agrees biomass pays the lowest price and creates the least value for the industry, but, he says, typically it's available only when there's enough demand for the highest value forest products.
Interlochen Public Radio

Rebecca Montgomery, Department of Forest Resources, received a Distinguished Teaching Award (non-tenured) from the University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences.

A new attitudes assessment survey sponsored by the University of Minnesota Tourism Center reveals that a majority of the state’s residents feel tourism is “very important” to the economy…“These results help demonstrate an awareness that travel and tourism is an important part of our state,” said Ingrid Schneider, Director of the U of M Tourism Center. “Traveler dollars flow through economies at all levels. Further, the tourism attractions and opportunities add to Minnesotans’ quality of life.”
Echo Press

March 2010

When congregants at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church take home their palm fronds today—Palm Sunday—they can know that they have joined a movement that is helping slow deforestation and build communities nearly a continent away…Between 35 million and 45 million palm fronds—harvested mostly in Guatemala and Mexico—will be distributed to Christians throughout the United States today, said Dean Current, program director at the Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management at the University of Minnesota.
Asbury Park Press

Alan Ek and Mike Kilgore, both of the University of Minnesota's department of forest resources, are interviewed about the history of the state's forests.
"Seeing the Forests and the Trees," TPT

February 2010

On New Year's Day 35 years ago, Larry Weber was out walking when a flock of goldfinches flew over…Rebecca Montgomery, a University of Minnesota forest ecology professor and keynote speaker at the Northwoods gathering, describes the amateur phenologist as "an incredibly rich resource" that is helping shape climate research.
The Star Tribune

Buried in Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s recommended budget cuts to make up a $1.2 billion budget deficit is a $938,000 reduction of Explore Minnesota Tourism’s 2010 outlay...Ingrid Schneider, director of the University of Minnesota’s Tourism Center, said, “In a state where more than 90 percent of residents believe tourism is important or very important to the economy, reducing the ability to maintain or increase tourism’s economic impact are puzzling.”
Finance and Commerce

University of Minnesota ecologist Peter Reich, a versatile researcher who has made fundamental discoveries in plant biology and the effects of climate change, recently won an international award in ecology and conservation biology. For more information, read "Reich recognized."

Tracking global climate change: University researchers develop methods to track changes in forests worldwide
Contacts: Becky Beyers, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences,, (612) 626-5754
Jenna Williams, Department of Forest Resources,, (612) 624-3107

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (02/11/2010) - University of Minnesota researchers are partnering with the Planetary Skin Institute on an ambitious new project. Bringing together data sources from all across the globe (and from space), the Planetary Skin ( aims to create a global “nervous system” to better inform decisions for preventing and adapting to climate change. The University became one of the first academic partners to join in this goal.
The work being done is a collaboration across campuses. The research team is made up of Vipin Kumar of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Joseph Knight of the Department of Forest Resources, Sudipto Banerjee of the Department of Biostatistics, and Michael Steinbach of the Department of Computer Science.
Together the researchers have been developing new data-mining tools to track changes in the Earth’s forest ecosystems to estimate what impact these changes may have on the carbon cycle. The project focuses on forests since deforestation is a significant contributor to climate change. Carbon is not only released when trees are cut or burned, but the carbon storage capacity of the forest is also lost.
Assistant Professor Joe Knight has worked on land cover projects before but says this collaboration allows it to be taken to a new scale. “The data-mining algorithms can crunch 23 satellite observations per year at each location on the globe. For typical applications, that data set would be unmanageable,” says Knight. “They are providing the horse power, and we’re providing the forest domain expertise.”
Knight’s expertise is in remote sensing where he is able to extract real world information from satellite imaging through his knowledge of image processing, what land cover change looks like when it happens, and different ways to characterize it. The algorithms use this information to track when a change occurs in a forested area.
“Given that deforestation is occurring over large areas and at an increasing rate, it is important to know where it is happening, when, and to try and get an idea of what occurs after a deforestation event,” says Knight. “A forest that is harvested and subsequently replanted has a vastly different impact on the carbon cycle than a forest that is burned and replaced with agriculture.”
Tracking these changes worldwide is still a challenge, so the project focuses on sensitive areas of the world where deforestation is most significant. Knight says, “We have preliminary techniques that, after validation, look like they are working, but there are lots of areas where we can expand and improve our efforts.”

U prof. awarded for leaf research
Raghav Mehta
Minnesota Daily 02/09/2010
Peter Reich was recognized for his discovery of the rules of leaf design.
Read more >>>>

Insects sapping life from forests
Stan Freeman,
February 09, 2010
Anthony W. D'Amato, who now teaches in the forest resources department at the University of Minnesota, was involved in searching for old growth stands in the Bay State while a doctoral student at University of Massachusetts from 2002 to 2007.
Read more >>>>

January 2010

University of Minnesota professor wins international award in ecology and conservation biology

Contacts: Becky Beyers, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences,, (612) 626-5754
Patty Mattern, University News Service,, (612) 625-8201

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (01/28/2010) —University of Minnesota professor Peter Reich has been named this year's winner of the prestigious BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge award in ecology and conservation biology.

Reich was honored for his work in global metabolic plant ecology, most notably his discovery of universal rules of leaf design and related scaling of plant physiology from seedling to tree, from cell to ecosystem, and from the stand to the globe.

"This contribution radically improves our understanding of and ability to predict terrestrial ecosystem responses to global environmental change," his nomination says. "This includes responses of forests and grasslands to biodiversity loss, CO2, and climate change."

Reich's nomination also cites his work as leader of a unique long-term field experiment that examines interactions of three well-documented global changes: plant species diversity, elevated atmospheric CO2 and nitrogen pollution.

"To receive this award is an enormous honor," Reich said. "This award would not have been possible without the contributions of the many students, postdoctoral researchers and colleagues with whom I have collaborated over time. BBVA is impressively forward-thinking in recognizing and publicizing the importance of ecological science and conservation to the future health of our planet."

Reich is a Regents professor in the university's forest resources department and participates in many interdisciplinary research and teaching efforts. Along with a cash prize, the award includes a diploma and a commemorative artwork. All of this year's awards will be formally presented at a ceremony in Madrid next summer.

The awards honor world-class research and artistic creation in eight categories closely aligned with 21st-century scientific, technical, economic and social challenges. The categories include basic sciences (physics, chemistry, mathematics); biomedicine; ecology and conservation biology; information and communication technologies; economics, finance and management; contemporary music; climate change; and development cooperation.

The BBVA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of BBVA Group, a large Spanish banking and finance company.

Also see: EurekAlert