“Fighting Fire with Fire” podcast episode featuring Mike Dockry

June 28, 2024

With an above-normal risk of wildfires predicted for the summer, Forest Resources Associate Professor Mike Dockry was asked to join the Plant People podcast. Dockry is registered member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and a leading authority on how Indigenous forestry practices can help curb such large, destructive fires. In the episode, he and host Jennifer Bernstein, New York Botanical Garden CEO and President, explore the state of our forests and the increased threat of wildfres as a result of climate change. They also dig into ways that traditional forestry methods, from controlled burns to carefully considered cutting, can provide the knowledge we need to address this problem – if only we acknowledge their value.

New paper: "Revealing the hidden carbon in forested wetland soils"

"Revealing the hidden carbon in forested wetland soils," a research paper published in Nature Communications in January 2024, highlights the magnitude and distribution of "cryptic carbon" in forested regions containing soil organic carbon (SOC)-rich wetlands of the Pacific Northwest. These forested SOC-rich wetlands are not included on current maps, and therefore have been neglected.  Forest Resources faculty member Chad Babcock is one of the paper's authors. 

Guide to forest understory revegetation to help manage buckthorn and other invasive plants

June 18, 2024

New Resource! A guide put together by Forest Resources researchers Mike Schuster, Peter Reich, Nick Partington, and Andrew Kaul and the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center (MITPPC) synthesizes current knowledge on forest understory revegetation. The document is designed to provide science-driven guidance on strategies that effectively suppress invasive plant re-establishment and promote native biodiversity, with a focus on buckthorn, a widespread and resilient invader of forest understories through much of North America.

"Facing a surge in wildfires, the U.S. government turned to Native wisdom and advanced archaeology"

June 17, 2024

In a new article for, reporter Irina Matuzava covers how, with the surge of uncontrolled wildfires across North America, fire management practices are finally changing in the U.S. – shifting from preventing any and all burns to embracing prescribed burns, which had long been practiced by Indigenous communities before the U.S. government banned them. Learn more about how this came to be – and the UMN researchers and community members that have been a part of it – by reading the full article. 

"Not All Earthworms Are Cool" - Lee Frelich weighs in

June 12, 2024

For an article published in Ambrook Research, Forest Resources Researcher Lee Frelich shares how invasive earthworms wreak havoc on ecosystems, particularly in Upper Midwest forests. It's a topic he's studied for close to two decades. 

Lee Frelich chats about cottonwood seeds and allergies on FOX 9

June 5, 2024

In a new FOX 9 report, Corin Hoggard looks into whether there's a connection between allergies and the blankets of cottonwood seeds that cover Minnesota this time of year. He speaks with Forest Resources Researcher Lee Frelich to learn that what we're seeing – a ton of cottonwood fluffs floating through the air – isn't actually what's causing all the sneezing. 

Forest Resources researchers partner with USACE on new ecosystems study

May 31, 2024

Through a new Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit, Forest Resources faculty members Rebecca Montgomery and Marcella Windmuller-Campione are partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study tree seedling survival rates in relation to soil, water, and inundation. This research aims to better understand how climate change impacts forests and how forest management practices can adapt to combat challenges caused by climate change.

Students observe prescribed burn at the CFC

May 21, 2024

Field Silviculture students in our Advanced Field Session got to observe the prescribed burn at Cloquet Forestry Center in May! It was an exceptional opportunity to learn more about the vital role fire plays in forest management as well as working with and learning from Fond Du Lac Band Of The Lake Superior Chippewa resource managers. 

Two UMN students selected as 2024 SAF Student Diversity Scholars!

May 9, 2024

Recent alumna Lauren Thompson (Forest and Natural Resource Management major, 2024) and undergraduate Emma Ihlenfeld (Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management and Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology majors, 2025) were selected to join the SAF Student Diversity Scholar program! This competitive program, which only accepts 20 students across the nation every year, "aims to empower students from underrepresented groups in forestry and natural resources to help them navigate, grow, and thrive in the profession," describes SAF. Members of this elite cohort are paired with mentors who align with their career goals; develop leadership and networking skills; cultivate community; and also earn SAF membership for the year. 

"This ancient tree is one of the oldest in Minnesota. The warming climate might kill it.""

May 7, 2024

In a new article, the Star Tribune dives into the meaning and history of the Boundary Water's Legacy Tree, a "northern white cedar said to be over a thousand years old," writes reporter Jake Steinberg. As one of the oldest trees in the state, it's "a bridge to Minnesota's past." In the article, Center for Forest Ecology Director Lee Frelich provides information about why legacy trees are so valuable and why our warming climate will likely shorten their life spans.