Webinar: seasonal timing of fire and its influence on succession

A man with fire equipment sets fire to a forest floor.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 from noon to 1:00pm Fires play an outsized role in shaping plant communities, but the effects of fires on plant communities are often highly variable.  This presentation will focus on how the seasonal timing of fire influences fire behavior and in turn how fire effects and phenology interact to influence forest succession and post-fire regeneration.  Results […]

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Wood Duck – Waterfowl “Eye Candy”

The wood duck (Aix sponsa), or “woodie”, is our most exquisitely-colored waterfowl species in Minnesota. The lustrous chestnut and green, and elaborate patterns of the male, distinctive white tear-drop eye patch and white-speckled breast of the female, plus both sexes’ crested heads and long tails, make them “eye candy” to the observer. In flight, this dabbling duck can be recognized […]

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North American River Otter: Harbinger of Clean Water & Healthy Habitat

The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) is one of Minnesota’s most playful, clever creatures. This large, aquatic member of the weasel family inhabits most of North America north of Mexico, including our state’s lakes, ponds and streams. I was alerted to their spirited zest for life by once encountering them shooting through the rushing water of a culvert for […]

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Avoid a Holiday Invasion!

Orange is okay, but give a yell for yellow! Native vine American bittersweet has orange seed capsules surrounding red berries in terminal clusters. Noxious invasive Oriental bittersweet has yellow seed capsules on berries along the length of the stem. Images: American bittersweet (LEFT) by Brett Whaley is licensed under CC BY-NC; Oriental bittersweet (RIGHT) by Esteve Conway is licensed under CC BY.   […]

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Webinar: Transitioning Black Ash Wetlands to an EAB Infested Future

Tuesday, October 17 from noon to 1:00pm Emerald ash borer is just now beginning to extend into the near mono-specific black ash (Fraxinus nigra) wetlands of the western Great Lakes region. Loss of ash from these forests may have profound changes on ecosystem structure and function. I discuss a project located on the Chippewa National Forest that is designed to […]

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Fall is a Good Time Check for Noxious Weeds and Invasive Species

Midwest residents may be seeing vines in area woodlands and field edges this fall with red berries and orange or yellow seed capsules. American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) is native, and has orange seed capsules with the seed clusters near the tips of the branches. Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) is invasive, and has yellow seed capsules with the seed clusters forming […]

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Fall control for EAB

The risk status for emerald ash borer was changed yesterday to low activity. This is a great time of year to inspect your ash trees and prune or remove any branches, stumps, or trees. Forest landowners who have a stewardship plan for their ash stands may be preparing for a harvest to reduce the percentage of ash on their property. […]

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Ecological Impact of White-tailed Deer on Our Forests

White-tailed deer are one of Minnesota’s most socially, economically and ecologically important critters. Their importance stems from their beauty, popularity as a prized big game animal, nutritious venison, useful hides, impressive antlers, and ability to create fun family hunting memories and boost revenue for local businesses and outdoor industries. However, deer also collide with vehicles, can damage gardens, crops and […]

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