The MFRC has spent considerable time addressing aspects of forest health, convening agency experts and administrators to determine where the MFRC can add value on this wide-ranging topic. The MFRC helps to ensure we are using public and private resources in a strategic manner by encouraging coordinated, science-based policy responses that promote collaboration among public agencies, forest landowners and other stakeholders. As we focus on forest health in the coming years, we will continue to address threats to forest health as well as promote management and policies that enhance forest health, quality and productivity.
For a good overview on threats to forest health, visit the Minnesota DNR's forest health website and their list of websites related to forest health information.
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was recently found in Hennepin, Houston, and Ramsey counties and nearby in western Wisconsin. Since 2002 the EAB has destroyed tens of millions of trees in the Midwest and Eastern United States, and even into Ontario, Canada. The beetle threatens both our native ash population—whose composition makes up about seven percent of our forest—as well as our urban tree populations.
In 2007 the MFRC, in conjunction with the DNR and the MDA, participated in development of a plan for early detection, appropriate response, and public education about invasive pests that threaten the tree cover of Minnesota. Since the discovery of EAB, we continue to work with other state agencies to address potential containment of EAB, determine appropriate uses of EAB infested wood, and advise forest managers on appropriate silivicultural prescriptions in the face of potential EAB spread.
The overall focus was to address the challenges facing resource managers responsible for the management of black ash forest types. Topics addressed at this symposium included environmental and cultural considerations regarding black ash, the latest research findings related to emerald ash borer and ash species, and management strategies of black ash systems prior to, during, and after EAB invasion.