Posts tagged ‘events’

Woody biomass: Sept. 2009 bio-baler demonstrations

I received the following announcement from Dean Current, University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources, today.  It may be of interest to loggers, natural resource professionals, and some woodland owners considering woody biomass harvest options.  -ed.

Update: these demonstrations have passed. A nice KEYC TV news story with video of the harvester is here.  We’re working on a video from the demos and will post that link shortly.

FLD image

FLD image

Attached is a schedule of September 2009 Minnesota demonstrations of a bio-baler that has been developed for small diameter woody vegetation (Short rotation crops – willow, poplar, brushlands and young aspen thinnings.  The bio-baler will be in Minnesota from Sept. 17th to Sept. 24th starting in Waseca at the Southern Research and Outreach Center harvesting short rotation willows and finishing up near Hibbing doing a thinning in young aspen.  This could be an option for recovering biomass from some of the DNR’s wildlife habitat projects,short rotation woody crop plantings and other brushlands on a one-time or continuing basis.  It might even be used for controlling hazel underbrush.

As woody and herbaceous biomass becomes more and more viable for renewable energy, equipment companies have started engineering machines capable of harvesting the biomass quickly and efficiently. One such company is FLD Biomass Technologies of Canada who specialize in the design and manufacturing of machinery for agricultural and forestry production.  A number of organizations are proud to be funding a demonstration tour of FLD Biomass Technologies’ FLD Biobaler WB55 in various locations around the state of Minnesota from September 17 to September 25, 2009. Click here for detailed schedule and contact info for the Minnesota demonstrations.

The FLD Biobaler WB55 is an all-in-one tractor-pulled machine capable of cutting, compacting, and baling biomass up to four inches in diameter and 25 feet in height.  This maneuverable machine has a rotating blade or hammer cutting system that has a low power requirement and produces naturally drying bales that can be transported using standard equipment.  The Biobaler is suitable for many woody crops including: willow, poplar, aspen, alder, under story vegetation, invasive woody vegetation.

Dates and locations:  (CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAILS)
September 17: Waseca
– U of M SROC
September 18: Madelia
– Rural Advantage
September 19: Faribault
– The Nature Conservancy and MN DNR  
September 20: Afton
– Belwin Conservancy
September 21: Ogilvie
– Ann Lake WMA – MN DNR 
September 22: Hinckley –
St. Croix State Park. – MN DNR
September 23: Aurora
– Koste and MN DNR
September 24: Hibbing

A video of the FDL biobaler in action:

Click here for detailed schedule and contact info for the Minnesota demonstrations.

Sponsors of the FLD Biobaler WB55 Demonstration Tour include: Belwin Conservancy, The Blandin Foundation, CINRAM – University of Minnesota, Iron Range Resources, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Power, The Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society, The Minnesota Sharptailed Grouse Society, The Nature Conservancy, Rural Advantage, Southern MN Initiative Foundation, University of Laval – Canada, University of Minnesota Extension, University of Minnesota Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center – Waseca, The Wildlife Management Institute, and Woodcock Minnesota.

September 11, 2009 at 7:34 am 4 comments

WI COVERTS project signup deadline: June 15, 2009

Applications Due by June 15th

Building on its success, the Wisconsin Coverts Project will be expanding to two workshops in 2009. Both workshops will be held at the beautiful Kemp Natural Resources Station near Woodruff, WI. The first one will be from August 13 – 16 with a second one planned for August 27 – 30. These 3-day sessions have had rave reviews from past attendees that have become Covert Cooperators through past workshops. Now starting its 16th year, 374 cooperators have attended these workshops. Sharing with others what they have learned these Coverts Cooperators have influenced the management of over 434,000 acres of land in Wisconsin. This workshop is highly recommended for those landowners interested in better understanding their role as stewards of their property.

For additional information on the workshop contact Jamie Nack at 608-265-8264 or by email. Attendance is limited. More information is available on the Coverts Project website.

[Looking for workshops in Minnesota?  Check the Woodland Advisor class calendar. -ed.]

June 10, 2009 at 12:11 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

Free climate change webinar series for Spring 2009

This webinar series will run from January – May 2009 and feature monthly presentations geared to help land managers, consulting foresters, and private forest landowners stay informed on the latest science and tech transfer tools related to forest-based adaptation and mitigation of climate change. Each webinar is an hour long, including Q & A, although there will be an optional additional 15 minute Q & A period. Each webinar counts as one hour of continuing education credit for certified foresters.

The syllabus so far is as follows:

January 14, 2009 | Wed | 2pm EST:
Interactions Between Carbon, Climate, and Forests

Presenter: Chris Swanston (Research Ecologist, Northern Research Station, USFS)
This presentation will set the stage for a broader discussion on climate change and forests by briefly examining interactions between climate change, carbon cycling, and forest sustainability. First, we’ll cover some key mechanisms and major trends in climate change, and then explore forecasts of future climate and associated uncertainty. Next, we’ll survey the global carbon cycle and the distribution of carbon in major forest ecosystems. We’ll then consider several general ecophysiological concepts and how projected changes in climate may interact with forest ecophysiology. Finally, we’ll discuss how all these considerations may combine to affect forest carbon storage and productivity in the Lake States and Northeast.

February 11, 2009 | Wed | 2pm EST:
Forest Management During Climate Change

Presenter: Maria Janowiak (Outreach Scientist, Northern Institute of Applied Carbon Science)
Climate change is expected to have significant effects on the condition and function of forested ecosystems; however, the exact nature of the stressors, their intensity, and the ensuing impacts on forests are quite uncertain. Forest managers will need to cope with this uncertainty, balancing the paucity of detailed information on future conditions against the demands of active and sustainable resource planning and management. In this context, sustainable forest management must recognize the need for ecosystems to adapt to changing climatic conditions in order to achieve desired objectives including, among other things, maintenance of habitat, production of wood, and mitigation of increased levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases. This presentation synthesizes available information on forest management options in the northeastern United States to provide a background for working with an uncertain climate future.

March 18, 2009 | Wed | 2pm EST:
CVal: A Carbon Valuation Tool for Foresters and Private Forest Landowners

Presenter: Sarah Hines (Presidential Management Fellow, USFS)
This presentation will introduce participants to a just-released Carbon Valuation Spreadsheet and accompanying General Technical Report (GTR) written by Ted Bilek, Peter Becker, and Tim McCabee (2008). The spreadsheet is a powerful and valuable tool available to the forestry community (target audience: consulting foresters, state foresters) to be able to interface with private landowners and help them make sound, transparent decisions as to whether participation in the voluntary carbon market is an attractive option based on a full accounting of variables.

April 15, 2009 | Wed | 2pm EST:

May 13, 2009 | Wed | 2pm EST:

Click here to download a poster version of these details.

How to connect:
The webinar and dial-in info for the Climate Change Continuing Education Webinar Series is as follows:
Meeting Number: 747085393
Phone number: 1.866.581.6894
Passcode: 8623725

January 9, 2009 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

Conference: Living in the Avon Hills, Jan. 24

I just learned about an excellent, family oriented conference at St John’s University in Collegeville.  The conference is all about sense of place, taking care of the land, and being outside as a family.  With a baby due Jan. 20 I probably won’t make it, but I hope you can!


On Saturday, January 24, shake off the winter chill at the 2009 “Living in the Avon Hills” conference at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. Award-winning author, naturalist, and wildlife photographer, Stan Tekiela will give the keynote address. The rest of the day is filled with speakers on topics of natural history, land-use, the arts and more. Bring the kids for sessions designed for them. At $15/adult and $5/child, this is an event you won’t want to miss. Register now!

For more info: Conference website

December 17, 2008 at 9:35 am 2 comments

MFA Five-event Weekend Jan. 9-10 in Cloquet

The Minnesota Forestry Association is offering a “Five-event Weekend” at the Cloquet Forestry Center on January 9 and 10, 2009. The weekend includes workshops on mapping with GPS and teaching kids about forestry, a lumberjack dinner, local MFA chapter meetings, and the annual committee conclave. The event will be a great opportunity to learn, have some fun, and give a bit of your time to a committee that interests you. Don’t miss it!

To Register – Use the Registration Form (PDF) or call MFA at (218) 326-6486
Questions? – John O’Reilly (320) 655-3901. Email:

December 5, 2008 at 6:40 am Leave a comment

Cambridge DNR Forestry 4th annual forest landowner fall tour

By Beth Jones, Mark Ellison, Alan Olson and Art Widerstrom, MN DNR-Forestry

October 16, 2008, was a beautiful fall day as approximately 45 landowners converged upon the Plymouth Creek Civic Center for the fall landowner tour.  The gardens at the civic center were something to be admired.  The fall blossoms and extensive landscaping was a welcome sight in the middle of the city.

Big woods in the fall. Photo by Mark Ellison, MN DNR.

Tour organizers and DNR foresters, Art Widerstrom and Alan Olson, welcomed the group and we excitedly boarded a tour bus to visit several sites within Hennepin County.  The first stop was at Doug Dayton’s property.  His diverse property supports both a 90-acre prairie and a 20-acre stand of big woods.  The prairie was planted and is being managed by Prairie Restorations using prescribed fire.

Stephanie Jenniges, Land Management Coordinator, from Prairie Restorations spoke about prairie management, some of the plants, several invasive species and the need for this site to be burned periodically to maintain a healthy prairie.

Alan Olson took the group on a hike through the woods to see a prime example of a big woods forest.  The massive oaks, basswoods and maples form a dense canopy, which limits the amount of brush and undergrowth making the walk through the woods a very enjoyable one.  Walking up the hill on this warm fall day, hearing the leaves rustle and crunch beneath our feet, made it seem like we were deep in the north woods.

Alan Olson, MN DNR

Alan Olson, MN DNR. Photo by Mark Ellison, MN DNR.

The next stop was in the city of Minnetonka at Purgatory Park.  Our tour guide for the park was Janet Van Sloun Larson, Natural Resource Specialist for the City of Minnetonka.  This area includes a wetland that the settlers could not utilize for agriculture, thus it later was developed into a park.  The park is very popular for walking dogs and offers citizens an escape to a natural area within the city.  It was interesting to listen to Janet discuss how they are re-claiming the area by eradicating buckthorn.  Several techniques for eradicating buckthorn were discussed and we got to see first-hand the results of several extensive buckthorn removal sites which were managed with the help of volunteers.

Stephanie from Prairie Restorations discussed the utilization of prescribed fire techniques for managing prairie and also discussed how fire can be used to re-establish a historical prairie, such as the one that was discovered in this park.  The group got to see where this prairie was discovered and heard how park staff, with the help of Prairie Restorations, used prescribed fire to re-establish the original prairie that was present when the first settlers arrived.

Common buckthorn leaves

Common buckthorn leaves. Photo by Eli Sagor.

Our tour continued into the Scenic Heights Elementary School Forest, where a local teacher, Dawn Christesen, School Forest Coordinator, has utilized the forest for education of students and other volunteers.  They have done a massive buckthorn removal project and have continued to work with Alan Olson to manage the forest and rid it of invasive species. They have planted seedlings within the school forest utilizing Arbor Day seedlings from the State Nursery.  There is also a small wetland that is used by the science department to teach lessons on water biology.

Using volunteer help, a shelter was built on the property where classes meet to discuss lessons learned at the outdoor learning center. The local Boy Scouts have been assisting with the buckthorn removal program as one of their Eagle Scout projects.  This forest is really integrated into the community.

Oak foliage during fall color. Photo by Mark Ellison MDNR.

Oak foliage during fall color. Photo by Mark Ellison MN DNR.

Next, we proceeded to visit a direct seeding project conducted by the City of Plymouth.  City forester Paul Buck spoke with those on the bus regarding the direct seeding procedure and the results of this practice.  Seeds were collected locally and the site was ripped and tilled.  Fifteen five-gallon buckets of seed were spread by hand and the site was covered with wood chips. The planting has had good survival with very acceptable stocking levels.  The planting primarily consisted of black walnut, butternut, bitternut hickory, red and white oak.  Cottonwood, poplar, willow and buckthorn that seeded-in have been removed to maintain the original planting.

Our group returned to the Plymouth Creek Civic Center to enjoy a wonderful meal and hear some presentations. Gary Michael, DNR Private Forest Management Coordinator, spoke about the new 2C managed forest land tax program.  He covered the requirements to be eligible for the program and made comparisons with the SFIA and green acres tax programs.

Tamara Martin, Ecologist from Top-Notch Urban Ecosystems, gave an informative presentation on invasive species.  She brought several samples of invasive plants, discussed how each degrades the environment and recommended eradication techniques that have shown the best results.

Emerald ash borer. Source: (click image for larger original)

Neville Wilson, DNR Central Region Plant Health Specialist, covered the emerald ash borer.  He discussed what to watch for in your forest to identify symptoms of emerald ash borer and he also showed samples of the insect and discussed strategies for slowing its rate of spread into our forests.

Alan Olson and Art Widerstrom wrapped up the evening with a big thank you to all who participated.

[A big thank you to Beth, Mark, Alan, and Art for sharing this story!  If you’d like to share other events through this site, send your story to potyondy [at] umn [dot] edu anytime. -ed.]

November 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm Leave a comment

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