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					State of the Forest…
 A changing resource—a paradigm
 shift in resource management!

Alan R. Ek
Professor and Head
Department of Forest Resources
University of Minnesota.
612-624-3400; email aek@umn.edu
Abstract
   Changes in society and the condition of our forest
    resources suggest needs and opportunities for increasing
    the level of management.
   The focus of management will change from treatment of
    acres to outputs. This focus has evolved from issues of
    fiscal accountability, responsibility for providing a healthy
    and productive forest, and ecological and economic needs
    and opportunities.
   New approaches and tools in silviculture, forest planning,
    and communications can facilitate rapid innovation as the
    new paradigm focused on outputs is implemented.
   The new paradigm will change planning, communications
    and on-the-ground priorities.

                                                               2
Following the signs
   The changing forest
   Evolution of tools and practices
   Need and opportunities
   Paradigm shift and strategies
   Summary




                                       3
The changing forest




                      4
The changing forest
   1865-1930 Exploitation of the pinery
   1930-1990 The wall of new wood
   1990-2000 Industry expansion; environmental issues
         New capacity and the GEIS
         Harvest peaks at 4.1 million cords in 1994
   2000+ Regrouping in a globalizing economy
         Harvest levels stuck at 3.6 million cords
         Investment, productivity and forest health slowing
         Reassessment / Governor’s Task Force Reports
         New investment and harvest target: 5.5 million cords!




                                                                  5
The chicken or the egg?
   Which comes first?
       Investments in manufacturing and expanding markets
       Increasing the supply
   Solution (given a complex ownership)
       Investments to increase the supply
       Articulate timber availability for achieving the target.




                                                                   6
Area, action and Interests?
  MN Timberland – 15 million acres
 Harvest & Regen – 1.2% of timberland per yr

---------------------------
 Private - 46%
       Family forests - 41% (150,000+ ownerships)
       Private Industry - 5%
   State - 25%
   County - 15%
   Federal - 14%
                                                     7
The Changing Forest
Changing age class structure…what does it mean?

                    Timberland Acres
All types
Age class         1977        1990         2005
       1-30   3,403,700   3,673,000    3,589,908

     31-60    6,665,400   5,175,100    4,934,383
     61-90    2,663,900   4,390,900    4,856,807
    91-120     785,900    1,105,500    1,177,532
      120+     179,800     425,901      430,079

                                                   8
The Changing Forest

   Changing age class structure…what does it
    mean?
        The forest is aging
        Health issues are increasing
        For a 5.5 Million cord target…
            Increase acres in younger or replacement age classes
            Harvest older age classes faster
            Intensify management of younger stands to increase their
             yield (e.g., weed control, thinning, shorter rotation ages)




                                                                           9
The Changing Forest
Changing age class structure…what about aspen?

                       Timberland Acres
Aspen
Age class      1977             1990          2005
      1-30 1,672,900        1,756,400     1,989,020
     31-60 3,081,500        2,181,700     1,813,141
     61-90   527,000        1,196,800      999,596
    91-120    19,500          53,100        41,935
      120+     1400            5,600         6,037

                                                  10
The Changing Forest

   Changing age class structure…what does it
    mean for aspen?
        The forest is aging
        Health issues are increasing
        Older stands falling down or converting
        Partial harvests lead to less aspen acreage
        For a 5.5 Million cord target…
            Increase acres in younger or replacement age classes
            Harvest older age classes faster
            Shorten rotation ages


                                                                    11
The Changing Forest
What about softwood type age class distributions?

   Red pine: Increase acreage in younger or
    replacement age classes; intensify management.

   Balsam fir: Rapid decline in acreage due to Spruce
    budworm, partial harvest; revisit practices.

   White pine: Increase acreage in younger age
    classes; intensify followup.

   Black spruce: Aging, speed harvesting to increase
    acreage of young or replacement age classes

                                                        12
The Changing Forest
What about hardwood type age class distributions?

   Northern hardwoods: A complex type, expanding
    acreage; intensify management,foster conversion to
    other types.

   Paper birch: Increase acreage in younger or
    replacement age classes, increase harvest rate.

   Oak: Increase acreage in younger or replacement
    age classes, increase harvest rate.


                                                      13
Changing Practices
   Practices reported from 1996 survey
       Species/site matching
       Genetic improvement / improved seed
       Containerized seedlings
       Site preparation
       Weed control & release
       Commercial thinning
       Pruning
       Harvest methods…clearcut, shelterwood, selection, group
        selection, seed tree, combinations
       Salvage and slash disposal


                                                                  14
Changing Practices
   Treatment Opportunity class from 2005 FIA survey
                                        Regen w site prep 5%

                                        Stand conversion 15%

                                        Thinning seedlings &
                                        saplings 7%
                                        Thinning poletimber 4%

                                        Clearcut harvest 28%

                                        Partial cut harvest 4%

                                        No silvicultural
                                        treatment 37%

                                                             15
Changes in productivity…

   Growing stock*…               Year   Ft3 ac-1   Ft3 ac-1yr-1
       Volume per acre
                                  2004   1118           36
       Growth per acre
           annual mortality      1990   1021           31
           annual harvest
* approximate, from USDA          1977    836           32
    Forest Service FIA reports.
                                  1962    612           30

                                  1953    399           27

                                  1936    378           26

                                                                   16
Additional silvicultural tools for a
focus on outputs
   Improved species/site matching (ECS)
   Site preparation & weed control options
   Thinning early, light and often
   Fertilization
   Increased utilization
   Combinations of treatments
    …the greatest gains!

                                              17
Can we achieve the target? What
will it take?
1.   Shorter rotations.
2.   Increased utilization
3.   Managed stand yield tables.
4.   Intensification of silviculture / combinations of
     practices
5.   Forest scheduling models (FSMs) for determining
     optimal harvest schedules and plans [If 1-4 and
     increased harvest don’t show up in the plans, there
     has been no real progress!]
6.   Communication of the opportunities to landowners,
     forest managers, and decision makers / investors.

                                                       18
Can we achieve the target?
   Recent and potential allowable harvest calculations…


        12

        10                                Harvest 1999
                                          Harvest 2001
         8
                                          Harvest of growing stock
         6                                Net growth 1977-89
                                          Net growth 1989
         4                                GEIS AAC
                                          Growth + mortality 1989
         2
                                          FIA site potential
         0


                                                                     19
Practices… 1996 survey details

   Regen - 37,760 ac
       Planting, seeding
   Site prep - 27,900 ac
       Chemical, Px burning, mechanical
   TSI - 30,214 ac
       Chemical release
       Mechanical release
       Precommercial thinning
       Residual felling
       Pruning
       Underburning


                                           20
Practices…from 1996 survey
   Application area
       150,000-200,000 acres annually (area subject to
        harvesting and/or other treatment)
           Clear-cutting 85% [with and without residuals]
           Thinning 11%
           Patch, strip, seed tree, shelterwood, other 4%
       20-30 acres per sale or block
       20 cords per acre harvested
       83% natural regen
       17% artificial regen


                                  Photo by Brian Lockhart, USDA FS, Bugwood.org.
                                                                                   21
Can we achieve the target? What
are the givens? (social license)
   Monitoring silvicultural & harvesting practices.
   Monitoring mgmt guidelines implementation.
   Assessment of guidelines effectiveness.
   Continued / enhanced forest inventory
    (CSA & FIA).
   Monitoring and synthesis of related outputs.



                                                   22
The need and opportunities

   Global competition in forest products industry
   The evolving bioenergy industry
   Forest health management
   Local to global environmental change
     (I&D, exotic species, windstorms, fire…)
   Diversifying forest ownership interests
   Multiple roles/uses of forests



                                                 23
Roles of forests…intensifying!

   Multiple roles/uses of forests is a reality and a
    necessity!
       Timber, water, wildlife, recreation, aesthetics,
        biofuels, carbon sequestration…
       Multiple ownerships and diverse authorities
        across landscapes
   Can we get everyone on the same page?



                                                           24
Paradigm shift and strategies

   One-the-ground management…
       Focus on outputs rather than acres treated.
       Focus first on the low hanging fruit, e.g.,
           Stands that are low risk, high returns.
           Treatments and combinations of treatments that have
            low risk, potentially high returns.
       Focus on tracking and follow up to ensure
        effective treatments and desired results.
       Create demonstration sites for research,
        communications and training.

                                                                  25
Paradigm shift and strategies

   Planning…
       Implement Forest Scheduling Models (FSMs) for
        large and complex forest ownerships.
       Leave preconceptions at the door (Group Grope not
        allowed).
           Bring general ideas for constraints to the planning process;
            allow the FSM to help decide on the specific constraints.
           Consider 20-50 year planning horizons.
       Track and compare plans and results.
       Use planning results to make the case for
        investment.

                                                                    26
Paradigm shift research strategies

        Research
    1.    Utilize Monitoring and Forest Scheduling Models
          (FSMs) to assist / guide research direction.
    2.    Utilize expert synthesis and 90% solutions (e.g.,
          managed stand yield tables).
    3.    Use demonstration sites to further improve research
          results.
    4.    Use shortcomings from 1-3 to make the case for
          larger research investments.


                                                         27
Summary

   The forest is changing.
   Continuation of current outputs will require
    increased management!
   Increasing the supply will require an even
    greater increase in level of management!!
   Given the needs and opportunities, the
    paradigm for management will need to shift
    from a focus on acres treated to a focus on
    outputs!!!
                                                   28
A big step…any questions?




                            29
References
   Governor’s Task Force on the Competitive of Minnesota’s Primary Forest
    Products Industry. 2007. Final Report to the Governor. St. Paul, MN.
   Interagency Information Cooperative.
    http://iic.gis.umn.edu
   Jaakko Pöyry Consulting, Inc. 1992. Maintaining productivity and the forest
    resource base. A technical paper for a generic environmental impact
    statement on timber harvesting and forest management in Minnesota.
    Prepared for the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board
   Miles, P. D., G. R. Brand, and M. E. Mielke. 2006. Minnesota’s Forest
    Resources 2004. USDA Forest Service North Central Research Station,
    Resource Bulletin NC-262. St. Paul, MN.
   Puettmann, K. J. and A. R. Ek. 1999. Status and trends of silvicultural
    practices in Minnesota. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry 16(4): 203-
    210.
   USDA Forest Service. FIA Mapmaker.
    http://www.ncrs2.fs.fed.us/4801/FIADB/index.htm




                                                                             30

				
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