Kylee Berger

Private Lands Forester with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

(specialized in Forest Ecosystem Management & Conservation)

Graduation Year: 

What is your current position title and employer?

Private Lands Forester with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

When did you start your current position?

I started as a Private Lands Forester with the MN DNR in May 2016.  Prior to that I was working at an SWCD in Michigan doing Private land work as well.

Please describe your current position.

As a Private Lands Forester, I create unique forest stewardship plans for private landowners to meet various needs such as creating wildlife habitat, improving trails, sustaining water quality, and woodland health. Providing education and outreach into the area schools and communities has given me the opportunity to share my passion for trees and the impact they can have on the environment.  My position has introduced me to Wildland Fire which has allowed me to fight fire in Montana and even go into Canada.

What did you learn while at the U of MN that has been most helpful to you in your career?

The Silviculture courses were the most helpful, especially, the field session at the Cloquet Forestry Center. The course was hands on data collection and putting that data into a stewardship plan- which I write several of a year. It helped us to see the bigger picture!

What surprised you the most?

I was surprised by how very different every day is. One day I can be setting up private timber; the next day I am walking property with landowner; and then by the end of the week I could be fighting fire or planting trees! Each day is a new adventure.

What is your favorite memory from your time as a student?

My favorite memory would be the constant quizzing of Latin names for trees.

Describe one the most interesting, fun, or impactful projects you have been involved with at your job.

It is difficult to pick just one, and I am sure there will be many more to come, but I think every tree planting project I am part of each spring sits pretty high on my list. It is rewarding to assist landowners with what trees to plant based on their goals and land then to see that come to life with baby trees in an open field.

Kylee Berger ice fishing