2020 Events

This page serves as an archive for all of our events in 2020. In the All Events section, in chronological order, you can download a single PDF of the event page and its agenda or other handout. Below the All Events section we have archived the individual webinars from our monthly webinar series.

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Thinking Like a Pond: Beavers and Watershed Management in the Western Great Lakes

Date: Tuesday January 21, 2020 from noon-1pm
Speaker: Steve K. Windels, Voyageurs National Park and Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota

Beavers are well-known as ecosystem engineers, capable of altering landscapes on a scale rivaled only by humans and elephants. Beaver activities are generally considered to be positive, as their dams and ponds create water storage capacity, reduce downstream nutrient flows, and increase biodiversity across a wide range of taxa. However, they also create conflicts with human societies, including flooding and damage to roads, trees, and agricultural areas, or with real or perceived impacts to recreational fisheries. Much as Aldo Leopold's seminal essay "Thinking Like a Mountain" asked us to rethink carnivore management, understanding the relative contributions, both positive and negative, of beavers to various ecological, economic, and social systems is critical to watershed management, or management of beaver populations themselves.

Site Matters! Quantifying Regeneration After Silvicultural Treatments in Black Ash Stands

Date: Tuesday February 18, 2020 from noon-1pm
Speaker: Marcella Windmuller-Campione, UMN Department of Forest Resources

There has been some research in Minnesota on species that can potentially replace ash in a future with emerald ash borer. Little work has been done investigating if non-ash species can naturally regenerate following harvesting in black ash stands. Marcella Windmuller-Campione with the University of Minnesota-Department of Forest Resources will present the findings of a study examining regeneration following three silvicultural techniques (clearcut with reserves, diameter-limit harvests, and group selection) and the susceptibility of these forests to EAB in the future.

Status of Elk Restoration in Northeast Minnesota

Date: Tuesday March 17, 2020 from noon-1pm
Speaker: Mike Schrage, Fond du Lac Resource Management Division 

Historically, elk numbered in the thousands across most of Minnesota, but were rapidly extirpated beginning in the 1800s.  Today, only 3 small herds of elk exist on a fraction of their historic Minnesota range in the northwest corner of the State.  In 2015, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in partnership with the University of Minnesota and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation applied for funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund to complete a feasibility study exploring the levels of suitable habitat and public support for elk in 3 study areas in northeast Minnesota.   Funding was awarded in 2016 for this University led study and final reports were completed in August 2019. Study areas were centered on the Nemadji State Forest in northern Pine County, the Fond du Lac State Forest and Fond du Lac Reservation in Carlton and southern St. Louis County, and the Cloquet Valley State Forest in southern St. Louis County. Support among landowners and the general public for elk varied, but was high in all 3 areas.   Habitat analysis indicated all 3 study areas had suitable habitat and could support approximately 1 elk/mi2.   An update on the status of the project will be provided in the webinar.

Herbicide Use in Forestry

Date: Tuesday April 21, 2020 from noon-1pm central
Speaker: Dale Sutherland, Nutrien Solutions

This webinar will introduce you to the basics of herbicide use in forestry with the emphasis on conifer management. The discussion will include label interpretation and products labeled for forestry use, modes of action, site prep and release applications, and invasive species considerations.

Operationalizing Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change in Minnesota

Date: Tuesday May 19, 2020 from noon-1pm central
Speakers: Linda Nagel, Colorado State University and Brian Palik, USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station

Forest managers need climate-adaptive management strategies to address future climatic changes. However, there is a lack of on-the-ground research to indicate what adaptation tactics might be effective in preparing forest ecosystems to deal with climate change and other emerging stressors. The Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change (ASCC) project was designed to translate three common adaptation strategies (resistance, resilience, and transition; RRT) into on-the-ground operational-scale research through a network of replicated sites testing ecosystem-specific climate change treatments across this gradient of adaptive approaches. The first installation of this project is on the Cutfoot Experimental Forest, Chippewa National Forest in northern Minnesota, in a mature red pine dominated (natural origin) forest. A creative suite of silvicultural treatments were designed along the RRT spectrum, with some treatments including planting both native tree species and assisted migration of novel species. Initial results from this study along with on-going research and management questions will be presented.

Restoring Fire-Dependent Woodlands through the Sand Plains Partnership

Date: Tuesday June 16, 2020 from noon-1pm
Speaker: Andrea Brandon, The Nature Conservancy

Update: As a result of staffing changes to our presenter and several key members of the Sand Plains Partnership, we have decided to cancel this presentation. We hope to bring this topic back sometime soon.

The Sand Plains Partnership is a new collaborative partnership focused on improving forest health, ecological complexity, cultural value, and wildlife habitat by restoring fire-dependent woodlands within the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation and Chippewa National Forest lands. Originating out of the Leech Lake Band’s interest to see forests and woodlands managed for the protection of Tribal Trust Resources, the Sand Plain Partnership emerged as an opportunity to meet Leech Lake Band desired vegetation conditions, while engaging a diverse set of stakeholders on crafting a shared vision of a restoration landscape.

An Update on Northern Long-eared Bat and Canada Lynx Management and Monitoring on the Superior National Forest

Date: Tuesday July 21, 2020 from noon-1pm central
Speakers: Ron Moen, University of Minnesota Duluth and Dan Ryan, Superior National Forest

First, Ron Moen presents results from a 2015-2017 study on northern long-eared bat, a species with a declining population in Minnesota because of White-nose syndrome. Findings of this study are consistent with those reported elsewhere, but have Minnesota-specific outcomes that will be useful for management.

The second half of the webinar consists of a review of Canada lynx habitat management and monitoring on the Superior National Forest from Dan Ryan. This monitoring work involves using DNA to document reproduction, persistence and hybridization between lynx and bobcats. Population trends are monitored using an occupancy track survey and mark-recapture combined with the DNA analysis.

The Future of the Forest Products Industry

Date: Tuesday August 18, 2020 from noon-1pm central
Speaker: Katie Fernholz, Dovetail Partners Inc

The forest products industry has faced a number of setbacks recently, including numerous mill closures and an aging logging workforce. At the same time, a number of new opportunities have emerged that use wood in innovative ways, including constructing buildings with mass timber and using wood for biomass and bioenergy. Katie Fernholz with Dovetail Partners will provide an overview of these opportunities and provide an outlook for the forest products industry.

Webinar Resources:

Emerald Ash Borer: Current Status, Trends, and New Resources for Landowners and Managers

Date: Tuesday September 15, 2020 from noon-1pm central 

Speakers: Jon Osthus, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and Matt Russell, UMN Department of Forest Resources

Emerald ash borer continues to advance across Minnesota and presents challenges to maintaining healthy forests. This three-part webinar will begin with a presentation by Jon Osthus with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) discussing the current status, distribution, and quarantine updates related to EAB. Then, the MDA will present results from EAB biocontrol efforts across the state. Lastly, Matt Russell with the University of Minnesota will provide an update on Extension efforts and new resources for private landowners seeking to manage ash woodlands.

Webinar Resources:

Practical Applications of an Indigenous Model of Sustainability

Date: Tuesday October 20, 2020 from noon-1pm central

Speaker: Michael Dockry, UMN Department of Forest Resources

Everyday foresters have to make management decisions that are complicated by ecological uncertainty. Additionally, it has always been difficult to integrate social values into forest management. This webinar will provide participants with an overview of an Indigenous model of sustainability that can help integrate complexity, uncertainty, and values into forestry decision making. The model is based on the Menominee Tribe’s experiences managing the oldest sustainable forest in the United States. This talk will provide a detailed description of the College of Menominee Nation’s sustainability model, give examples of how it can be used in a forestry context, and provide participants the opportunity to apply it to their own situations. Before Mike's presentation, we invite you to review this paper and listen to him discuss indigenous models of sustainability on Episode 7 of the Camp 8 podcast.

Forest Health Updates from Across Minnesota

Date: Tuesday November 17, 2020 from noon-1pm central
Speakers: MN DNR Forest Health Specialists

Each year, the Minnesota DNR Forest Health team conducts both aerial assessments and on-the-ground monitoring to assess the health of the state’s forests. Join us for this webinar as MN DNR Forest Health Specialists provide an update on the status and trends in forest health from all corners of the state.

Forest Carbon and Its Role in Greenhouse Gas Removals and Emissions

Date: Tuesday December 15, 2020 from noon-1pm central
Speaker: Grant Domke, USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station 

Forests are the largest terrestrial carbon sink on earth and provide a number of goods and services to society. Accurate estimates of forest carbon stocks and stock changes are needed to report greenhouse gas emissions and removals as part of the United States' commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This presentation will discuss how Forest Inventory and Analysis data and auxiliary information such as remotely sensed data are being used to estimate forest carbon for greenhouse gas reporting.