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Twin Ports Climate Coalition: Northern Minnesota Forests Climate Conversation

June 20, 2017
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Duluth Office
Large Conference Room
525 Lake Avenue South
Suite 400
Duluth, MN 55802

Networking: 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Two Presentations and Conversation: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

Bring your own lunch.

Keeping the Woods in Minnesota's Northwoods: Adaptation Strategies in the Climate Change Era

Forests of the Great Lakes region will likely experience some of the most dramatic changes in response to climate change in the continental U.S. In northeastern Minnesota, forests are vulnerable to declines in signature canopy tree species at the southern edge of their ranges—such as paper birch, quaking aspen, white spruce and balsam fir. How can land managers help northern forests adapt? The Nature Conservancy is working with many partners to test the potential of two complementary strategies that can help the Northwoods transition to an uncertain future while maintaining "classic" Northwoods where possible. The ability of northern forests to continue providing important habitat, jobs, clean water, carbon storage and other services into the future requires reimagining forest management.

Speaker Bio:

Meredith Cornett is the Science Director for The Nature Conservancy in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. She oversees monitoring, research and conservation planning within the three-state chapter. Cornett holds a B.A. in Biology from Oberlin College, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Forestry from the University of Minnesota. Ms. Cornett has worked as a Peace Corps forester in Panama and as a forest ecologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. In addition to her position with The Nature Conservancy, Dr. Cornett is an adjunct member of the graduate faculty at the University of Minnesota's Forest Resources Department and the Conservation Biology Program in St. Paul.


Adapting to Emerald Ash Borer: Planting Replacement Species in the Understory to Keep Forested Wetlands Forested

Fond du Lac has over 1,300 acres of black ash depressional wetlands, all of which are threatened by the emerald ash borer. With no cure for emerald ash borer available the ecological and hydrological qualities of these sites are threatened. In an attempt to keep forested wetlands forested, five different native tree species, river birch, red maple, silver maple, balsam poplar, and white cedar, were planted in the fall of 2015 in six ash different sites. Plantskydd® was applied in spring and fall as a browse deterrent and weed mats were installed on every other seedling to assess if they'd give seedlings an advantage. Survival, health, stress cause, native plant community, and other forestry attributes, in addition to hydrological and wetland attributes have been assessed. The intention to find alternative tree species to plant in these sites to assume the functions of the black ash we will potentially lose in the near future.

Speaker Bios:

Christian Nelson is a forester and wildland firefighter for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. He establishes timber sales, coordinates forest inventory and terrestrial invasive species control, and assists with fire suppression and prescribed fires. He attended Saint Cloud State University for Wildlife Management and Stevens Point Wisconsin for Forest Management. He has worked in forestry throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin for the National Guard, and the Minnesota and Wisconsin DNR. In addition to the emerald ash borer ash underplanting study he also conducted a study on stem diameter and herbicide treatment with buckthorn, and assessing sugar maple trees grown in gravel nurseries to determine resilience to impacts of earthworms in northern hardwood stands.

Shannon Kesner is a wetland specialist for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Her work focuses on helping to manage the Band's extensive wetland resources through monitoring and assessment, aquatic invasive species control, and implementing projects that maintain or enhance the health of wetland communities. Previously she worked on the Wild Rice LaCore Project in conjunction with the University of Minnesota. Shannon earned a Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and an Associate's degree from Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.


NOTE: It's tourist season and all of the adjacent and nearby Canal Park / DECC parking lots are pay lots. Metered parking is available on the street.

Climate Conversations is hosted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal Program in support of the Twin Ports Climate Coalition, fostering communication and collaboration as we adapt to climate challenges in the Twin Ports region. Sponsors include Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Sea Grant, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 1854 Treaty Authority, City of Duluth, UMD Natural Resources Research Institute, Barr, and Superior Wisconsin


This page last modified on June 05, 2017     © 1996 – 2017 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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