2015 Workshop: Forest Health – Practical management options for local issues


This series of workshops will address current forest health threats with a focus on practical, site-level management techniques to address and mitigate them. The workshops are designed for both natural resource managers and logging contractors.

Forest management and timber harvesting activities are increasingly being considered to sustain or increase forest ecosystem health. Managers and loggers understand the forest health threats that may affect the health and productivity of their forests, but practical approaches to manage and harvest timber are plentiful and vary depending on local conditions and trends in forest pests. This workshop will provide

  • an overview of local forest health threats for each location,
  • on-the ground experience from natural resource professionals that have dealt with forest health issues, and
  • practical management approaches to promote healthy forests.

An afternoon field tour will take us to nearby forests to discuss current forest health issues and management strategies.  Lunch and refreshments will be provided with registration.

The lead instructor is Dr. Matthew Russell of the University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources, but several others presented at each workshop. This workshop is offered by SFEC, the Minnesota Logger Education Program, and the University of Minnesota Extension. It was offered three times in 2015:

Date:  Thursday, September 10, 2015 from 8am-4pm
Location: Lake County Law Enforcement Center, Two Harbors, MN
Focus:  Spruce budworm and aspen decline
Agenda (PDF)

Date:  Tuesday, October 6, 2015 from 8am-4pm
Location: International Falls, MN
Focus: Eastern larch beetle and dwarf mistletoe
Agenda (PDF)

Date:  Wednesday, October 7, 2015 from 8am-4pm
Location: Grand Rapids, MN
Focus:  Spruce budworm
Agenda (PDF)

The following organizations are helping to organize and deliver these workshops:  SFEC, MLEP, UMN Department of Forest Resources, Minnesota DNR-Division of Forestry, UPM-Blandin Paper Company, Lake County Land Department, and Molpus.

Cover images (click for originals and credits): Eastern larch beetle spruce budworm spruce budwormeastern dwarf mistletoe, and aspen decline. All used with permission.

Notes from the workshops:

The Two Harbors workshop began with an overview of some f orest health issues in Minnesota. Matt Russell opened the workshop discussing definitions of forest health and the many different components of forest health, including invasive plants, insects, disease, weather, hydrology, fire, and others.

Mary Morgan from the city of Superior, Wisconsin talked about until nearly $4 million in value that ash trees contribute to the city and its residents and shared some resources  about how the city is planning for the transition from ash to other tree species since the arrival of EAB.

Kimberly Thielen Cremers then gave a good talk on gypsy moths in Minnesota, updating the group on its current status. She reminded us that while gypsy moth is well-established in the United States, particularly in the East, over 2/3 of the susceptible areas of the US do not have gypsy moth, which makes continued attention to reducing gypsy moths spread important. She also shared updated information from the MDA about gypsy moth status in Minnesota.

Charlie Blinn then discussed relationships between forest health and Minnesota’s Forest Management Guidelines . He let a small group activity or participants reviewed the new FMG quick reference and identify guidelines that can help to mitigate forest health threats, or improve forest health.

Contact Us

Eli Sagor, SFEC Program Manager
esagor@umn.edu | 218-409-6115