Posts tagged ‘2009’

DNR Forest Stewardship Program policy changes

By Gary Michael, MN DNR – Division of Forestry

The Department of Natural Resource Division of Forestry’s Forest Stewardship Program (FSP) is undertaking a major shift in how it operates. For decades the FSP has been delivering free forest management plans to non-industrial private forest landowners.  A recent change in funding will require the FSP to be a more self sufficient program.  To achieve greater self sufficiency, the FSP is moving to a fee for service based program.

Stewardship eligible lands are any forestland with existing tree cover and other woody vegetation or lands suitable, and likely, for growing trees and other woody vegetation or land which has significant effect (e.g., streams within a wooded type, wetlands, fields to be planted for wildlife or timber, etc.) on the forested acres.

The minimum acreage necessary to receive a stewardship plan is twenty acres of tree or other woody vegetation after the plan has been implemented.  Exemptions may be applied for on either a county or individual basis.

A couple of examples to help clarify the twenty-acre minimum are as follows:

  • If a landowner owns 40 total acres with only 11 acres of woodland, and he or she is interested in planting 9 more acres of trees, they would be eligible to receive a Stewardship Plan and would be eligible for cost share assistance.
  • If a landowner owns 18 acres total, and all the acres are wooded, he or she would need an exemption to receive a Stewardship Plan, as they could not meet the minimum 20 wooded acre criteria.
  • If a landowner has 30 total acres with only 11 acres of woodland and the landowner does not have any interest in establishing additional acres of trees or other woody vegetation, he or she would not be eligible to receive a plan unless an exemption has been granted

The fee will be a minimum of $230 for a 20 acre plan and a maximum of $1,000 for all plans over 260 acres (up to 1,000 acres).  The plan writing fee will be rounded to the nearest whole dollar.  All stewardship plan requests over 1,000 acres should be turned over to a FSP partner (consultant forester) so that they can negotiate with the landowner a fee for service (cash plan).

Formula to calculate Stewardship Plan fees:

Formula to calculate the fee for a new or revising an outdated stewardship plan [(stewardship acres – 20 acres)*$3.21)+$230 = plan writing fee

A few examples:

43 acre stewardship plan:  [(43 acres – 20 acres)*$3.21] + $230 = $304

178 acre stewardship plan:  [(178 acres – 20 acres)*$3.21] + $230 = $737

271 acre stewardship plan:  This request is over 260 acres, so the cost is $1,000
Many times only a portion of the land is eligible for a stewardship plan.  The fee only reflects the acres included in the plan.  The forester will determine the plan acres.  All plans will need to be registered with the DNR Division of Forestry.


November 20, 2009 at 6:50 am 3 comments

November monthly email update

This month’s update from is now available.

This month’s features:

  • 09november-230pxResponse: Dauerwald, ecological forestry, and late-successional structure
  • North Central Forest Management Guides: Bottomland hardwoods
  • John Latimer’s Northern Minnesota phenology report
  • Meet a Minnesota Logger: Tom Kruschek
  • Protecting tree seedlings from deer
  • Featured link: Tree ID resources from
  • And, as always, discussion board, upcoming events, news, poem of the month, and a quiz.

Read this month’s update here.

November 10, 2009 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

October 2009 email update

The October 2009 update from is now available at

This month’s features include the following:

Video: EAB and your Woodland
John Latimer’s Northern Minnesota phenology report
Meet a Minnesota Logger AND an MFA member
North Central Forest Management Guides: Aspen
Minnesota moose population status: How you can help

Discussion board
Upcoming events
News stories
Poem of the month
Quiz of the month

To see this month’s update, visit

October 13, 2009 at 5:03 am Leave a comment

October 2009 Woody Biomass Forage Harvester Demo


New Holland forage harvester with SRC header. Click image for source.

Update October 19: This event has been rescheduled from October 21 to October 28, 2009.  The text below reflects the change.

The University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center (SROC) will be hosting a New Holland FR9000 Forage Harvester with an 130FB Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) Woody Crop Header on Wednesday, October 28, 2009, from 12:00pm to 3:00pm.  When utilizing the 130FB SRC Woody Crop Header, the New Holland FR9000 is capable of cutting and chipping woody biomass as if it was corn silage.

Questions and conversation regarding woody biomass for renewable energy and the New Holland FR9000 / 130FB Header will be conducted at 12:00pm and 2:00pm.  The Woody Biomass Forage Harvester Demonstration Field Day will be held in the willow trials at SROC’s Argicultural Ecology Research Farm.

Woody biomass is being proposed as a feedstock for a number of bio-industrial and renewable energy applications.  The State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry has been working with Cornell University and Case New Holland to develop a harvest system for short rotation coppice woody biomass crops.

The New Holland FR9000 with a 130FB Header attachment is a harvest system using a conventional forage harvester equipped with a specialty cutting attachment for woody crop harvest.  This self-propelled harvester can cut and chip standing short rotation woody biomass in the field in a single pass operation while providing wood chips of a uniform length and size.

Partners for this event include:
Case New Holland; University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center; Rural Advantage; University of Minnesota Extension; Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management; University of Minnesota College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences; and University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources.

Directions to SROC’s Agricultural Ecology Research Farm:
From State Hwy 14, follow signage for State Hwy 14 West.  Immediately look for Co. Rd. 27.  It will take you past the Waseca Airport.  Follow to Co. Rd. 57 and the road construction.  Travel east about 1.0 mile to Agricultural Ecology Research Farm.

Questions or concerns?  Contact:
Dr. Gregg Johnson – SROC –, 507-837-5617
Jill Sackett – UM Extension and Rural Advantage –, 507-238-5449

October 12, 2009 at 9:15 am 1 comment

Poem of the month: Woods


I wish to grow dumber,
to slip deep into woods that grow blinder
with each step I take,
until the fingers let go of their numbers
and the hands are finally ignorant as paws.
Unable to count the petals,
I will not know who loves me,
who loves me not.
Nothing to remember,
nothing to forgive,
I will stumble into the juice of the berry, the shag of bark,
I will be dense and happy as fur.

— Noelle Oxenhandler

Noelle Oxenhandler’s most recent book is The Eros of Parenthood. (Source)

October 12, 2009 at 8:45 am Leave a comment

September 2009 email is out

The September 2009 MyMinnesotaWoods email update went out this morning.  This issue’s full of good content, including the following stories:

  • New book available: Woodland Stewardship, 2nd Edition
  • New video: Thinning Minnesota conifer stands
  • Collecting Minnesota ash seed: 2009 update
  • Northern Minnesota phenology report: September 2009
  • Traditional approaches and the future of Minnesota’s forests: The Thirteen Moons project

And, as always, the poem of the month, recent news headlines, and upcoming events.

Read the September 2009 MyMinnesotaWoods email update here.

September 9, 2009 at 8:30 am Leave a comment

August 2009 email update is out

The August 2009 MyMinnesotaWoods email update is out.

Looking for a midsummer update on the Minnesota woods?  We’ve got it.  This month’s email has stories on this summer’s insect and disease outbreaks, the Woodland Advisor Program annual report, a logger profile, a link to a 10-minute video on thinnings and intermediate treatments in Aitkin County, and upcoming events, news, and the poem of the month.

Click here to view the August 2009 email.

You can subscribe to have monthly email update delivered to your inbox.  It’s free, and you’ll only get one email per month.

August 11, 2009 at 5:14 am Leave a comment

Northern Minnesota phenology report: June 2009

By John Latimer, KAXE radio, Grand Rapids

White-faced meadowhawk. Photo by Anita363

White-faced meadowhawk. Photo by Anita363

6/4/2007        I watch as a small unidentified dragonfly shelters behind some trees and shrubs, suddenly, an insect is swept from the cover and the dragonfly as quick as a shortstop on a line drive shifts and grabs.  This was a day for dragonflies. I was on the shores of Deer Lake in central Itasca County and spent part of the day wandering through a black spruce swamp. The dragonflies were omnipresent. I saw the white-faced meadowhawk, the four spotted skimmer, several black saddlebags and the unidentified specimen referred to above. Dragonflies are becoming as popular as the birds when it comes to observing them. They are easy to find, colorful, and field guides are becoming readily available.

6/16/2001       There are two great crested flycatchers in the garden with a phoebe and an oriole. This is the first time I have seen so many flycatchers in one place. Toss in the oriole and you have a pretty good day in the garden, unless you are a flying insect. The great crested flycatchers are more common than you might suspect. Listen for their loud “Wheeep! ” call. Once you learn that sound you’ll find it easy to spot one. They are not shy, and like many of the flycatchers they often sit on an exposed perch and sally out to hawk insects. The great crested flycatchers are gorgeous,  pale yellow on the belly, gray below the beak, with an olive green back and cinnamon red tail. It is well worth the trouble to learn their call and search them out.

Spreading dogbane. Flickr photo by edgeplot

Spreading dogbane. Flickr photo by edgeplot

6/24/1997       Spreading dogbane has begun to flower. The beautiful white bell shaped blossoms are streaked with pink. These are a favorite plant for many of the summer butterflies. On one spectacular day I found ten species of butterflies and one moth. Off the high ground down in the swamp the pitcher plants are blooming. They augment their energy requirements by capturing insects. Many of the plants in the nutrient poor swamps have made one or more adaptations to survive.

A warm sunny day can be a perfect time to observe butterfly behavior. The males of many species are quite territorial. The sulfur butterflies are a good species to watch defend their area. A male will spend a good deal of energy and time flying after other males that attempt to infringe upon his space. These skirmishes usually involve a spiraling flight that begins low near the ground and can climb to fifty feet or more.

Puddling is another behavior that can be seen without great effort. Sometimes just driving around after a rain storm will afford a chance to watch as males gather and share a drink at the edge of a puddle. Or if you have ever seen butterflies congregate on feces and wondered just what was going on, both of these activities are related. Typically these are male butterflies and they are attracted to these spots in search of trace minerals.

One of the current hypotheses about this behavior is that the males, by concentrating these trace minerals; make themselves more desirable to the females. The females need these minerals as well and can get them from the male during copulation. This transfer, think of it as a dowry, allows the female to spend more time and energy developing the eggs that will be the next generation of the species.

One hot July day I spent an afternoon moving a pile of bricks that had been salvaged from some demolished building. I was re-acquainted with a world I had left behind as a child. There was an entire ecosystem living in there. Ants, salamanders, spiders, millipedes, beetles of unknown names, were all living in the crevices surrounding the bricks. It was a menagerie of the miniscule.

Some of these insects are remarkably well defended. Ants carry chemicals which alert one another to the presence of danger. The millipedes secrete hydrogen cyanide through pores located near the legs. This poison is strong enough to deter almost all of the predators they are likely to encounter. Among the beetles are the bombardiers whose scalding hot spray can be selectively shot in any direction. And the spiders, those wolves of the insect world, stand ready to attack anything that crawls or flies into their range. They use chemicals to subdue and liquefy their chosen prey. For all of the innocence of its appearance it is a dangerous world down there among the rocks, bricks, and leaves.

Bluebead lily. Flickr photo by manual crank.

Bluebead lily. Flickr photo by manual crank.

If you are one of those people who like to tramp the woods all year around then in July keep a look out for the blue bead lily or yellow clintonia. This lily is quite common across the eastern half of the United States and can be found as far south as Alabama. The bright blue berries are a most tempting sight but close observation will reveal few if any attempts at eating them. That is because they contain calcium oxalate crystals. Sharp microscopic needles, these crystals imbed themselves in the flesh of the mouth and throat and cause pain and swelling. Look for a cluster of two to five or six berries at the top of a single stalk above a pair of lily-like leaves. And then avoid the temptation to taste them.

As July comes to a close there will be several tasty fruits ripe and ready to tempt you. The blueberries will be ready, though much depends on the weather leading up to the end of July. A frost at the wrong time or the wrong amount of moisture can wipe out a crop. Pin cherries ripen in July. Some find these a bit tart, but if you can wait and the birds don’t eat them all, they become quite sweet. And if you are a wine maker you should be watching the chokecherries. They are a bit too astringent for my palate, but they make a wonderful wine.

John Latimer is well known throughout northern Minnesota for his phenology work. He appears weekly on KAXE radio in Grand Rapids, and audio and twitter archives are available here. We hope his work will be a frequent feature on MyMinnesotaWoods.  This article also appeared in the Duluth Senior Reporter.  It is printed with the author’s permission.

June 8, 2009 at 9:08 pm Leave a comment

Fueling the Future: Presentations from the Role of Woody Biomass for Energy Workshop

Presentations from the Spring 2009 workshops at 5 locations in Minnesota.

Continue Reading May 30, 2009 at 12:58 pm Leave a comment

MFA announces Spring 2009 Field Days program

Mark Your Calendar for MFA’s Annual Meeting and Spring Field Days 2009!

Reprinted by request from the MFA February / March 2009 newsletter

This Family Event is set for New York Mills, Minnesota on Friday evening, May 15, and Saturday, May 16. New York Mills is on Highway 10, 90 minutes northwest of St. Cloud.

Host Bob Sonnenberg and event chair Chuck Erickson discuss the 100-year-old oak cut from this site. (MFA photo)

Host Bob Sonnenberg and event chair Chuck Erickson discuss the 100-year-old oak cut from this site. (MFA photo)

Friday evening festivities will be held at Mills Creamery, a neat coffee house and café in downtown New York Mills, and will feature:

  • Our annual business meeting. Learn what MFA is doing and have a say in our future.
  • A social hour with host Bob Sonnenberg and friends tending bar.
  • A sumptuous dinner.
  • An entertaining program with Master of Confusion, Chuck Erickson, and local story teller,  Chris Schuelke.
  • Saturday is Family Day at Sonnenberg Farms, located just a mile north of New York Mills. The whole family gets admitted for just $10.00. That’s $10.00 per carload, not per person!

This day will be worth the drive from Winona, Duluth, or International Falls! Events running continuously during the day will include Project Learning Tree fun for kids, a session on growing shitake mushrooms by Jim Chamberlin and family, educational tours of the woods (either afoot or riding on special People Movers), woody plant ID with Mike Reichenbach, and buckthorn control with Ann Oldakowski. Food will be served all day by the local Lutheran Church ladies group, green Jello and all!

Now this is a wood splitter! See this and other equipment in action. (MFA photo)

Now this is a wood splitter! See this and other equipment in action. (MFA photo)

A special treat for the first 15 ladies who sign up will be a High Tea Celebration at the Whistle Stop Inn Bed and Breakfast. The cost is $17.00 per person. To reserve your spot right now, send an e-mail to and simply say, “Save me a spot at the High Tea!”

We hope to see you in New York Mills in May! Watch for registration forms on our web site ( and in the next issue of the newsletter. For questions, contact event chairman Chuck Erickson at or by phone at 218-495-3321.

February 9, 2009 at 2:28 pm 2 comments

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