forests http://michiganradio.org en Michigan DNR plans to harvest healthy ash and beech trees before disease sets in http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-dnr-plans-harvest-healthy-ash-and-beech-trees-disease-sets <p>Forests throughout Michigan are undergoing big changes as millions of beech and ash trees are killed off by pests and disease.</p><p><a href="http://www.michigan.gov/images/dnr/BeechBark_332972_7.jpg">Beech Bark Disease</a> and the <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mda/mda_EAB_Quarantine_Map_195028_7.pdf">Emerald Ash Borer</a> first arrived in Michigan around twelve years ago.</p><p>Both problems continue to spread, but many forests still have healthy trees in them.</p><p>Foresters from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan Tech are taking a closer look at more than 30,000 acres of state forest land.</p><p>Andrew Storer, professor of forest and insect ecology at Michigan Tech, said the plan is to harvest healthy stands of ash and beech trees before they&rsquo;re affected.</p><p>&quot;If it&#39;s consistent with the management objective of the stand, then removing resources that you know are not going to persist until the next cutting cycle makes a lot of sense just in terms of getting the value out of those trees while they&rsquo;re still in the forest,&quot; said Storer.</p><p>Storer said harvesting these trees now can also help forest ecology.</p><p>&quot;It helps the forest by getting a head start, if you like, on what the future forest is going to be, and so by removing trees now and getting the value from that, we&rsquo;ll start to see what the regenerating forest is going to be, and through management be able to direct that regeneration toward species that are going to be successful in the forest in the future,&quot; said Storer.</p><p>In a <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/minewswire/0,4629,7-136-3452-284180--,00.html">press release</a>, the Michigan DNR said the goal is not to remove all beech or ash trees in these forests, but to thin them to a healthier level.</p><blockquote><p><font color="BLACK" face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif" size="-1">&quot;We are using criteria including proximity to the nearest infested site, infestation, size, density and quality of trees, and accessibility, in order to prioritize which areas need attention,&quot; said Bill O&#39;Neill, chief of the DNR&#39;s Forest Resources Division, who also serves as state forester. &quot;Considering other factors important to maintaining healthy forests, harvests are being scheduled to remove the beech and ash and regenerate the stand to a desired, productive species mix. The goal is not to remove all beech or ash, but to reduce them to a level that the mortality will not significantly impact the quality of the remaining trees or the productivity of the forest.&quot;</font></p><p></p></blockquote><p>Researchers started surveying state forest land for this project last June and plan to continue surveying through next summer.</p><p> Tue, 14 Aug 2012 21:27:51 +0000 Mark Brush 8675 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan DNR plans to harvest healthy ash and beech trees before disease sets in New DNR advisory council weighted toward timber interests http://michiganradio.org/post/new-dnr-advisory-council-weighted-toward-timber-interests <p>There&rsquo;s a shakeup in managing Michigan&rsquo;s forests.</p><p>A new advisory council is heavily weighted with voices from the timber industry, and there will be more emphasis on developing forest products to boost the state&rsquo;s economy.</p><p>Governor Rick Snyder says there&rsquo;s a lot of potential to use natural resources to bring in more revenue.</p><p>The head of the Department of Natural Resources has just appointed a new ten member forest advisory council. Eight of the ten members are connected to the timber industry.</p><p>The new council will focus on developing logging and lumber, pulp and paper, and biofuels. An existing forest management advisory group includes other interests such as wildlife, recreation and conservation as well as logging.</p><p>Marvin Roberson with the Sierra Club says those other voices largely will be gone from the new council.</p><p>&ldquo;I think this is going to mean a lack of management for natural conservation values and an increase in management for timber-only values,&rdquo; said Roberson.</p><p>The DNR also is reorganizing its forestry division so that come January it will no longer deal with oil, gas and minerals or recreation on state forestland.</p><p><em>-Bob Allen for The Environment Report</em> Thu, 08 Dec 2011 14:50:40 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 5299 at http://michiganradio.org Local girl scouts take aim at palm oil in cookies http://michiganradio.org/post/local-girl-scouts-take-aim-palm-oil-cookies <p>To make way for palm oil plantations in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, forests are slashed and burned.</p><p>By clear-cutting these forests, foreign governments and companies can ruin the habitat for animals like Sumatran tigers, Asian elephants, and orangutans.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110712/BUSINESS06/107120397/2-metro-Girl-Scouts-take-action-against-palm-oil-cookies?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">Detroit Free Press</a> has a story about two local girl scouts who are hoping to get palm oil out of their Girl Scout cookies.</p><p>From the Freep:</p><blockquote><p>The Girl Scouts don&#39;t have a badge for &quot;Demanding the Organization Stop Using Palm Oil in its Iconic Cookies and Causing a National Brouhaha.&quot;</p><p>If the organization did, Rhiannon Tomtishen, 15, of Ann Arbor and Madison Vorva, 16, of Plymouth would have them sewn on their vest or sash.</p><p>A 2007 project about orangutans for a Girl Scout Bronze Award has snowballed into a nationwide campaign to remove palm oil from Thin Mints and the rest of the cookie lineup. When the girls learned that Indonesian and Malaysian plantations destroy the rain forests these great apes call home to grow the ingredient, they did what the Girl Scouts<span style="text-decoration: underline;"> </span>taught them to do -- take action.</p></blockquote><p>The Free Press reports that teens met with national leaders in the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. to raise their concerns and they hope to have a follow call with the leaders next month. Tue, 12 Jul 2011 16:54:16 +0000 Mark Brush 3264 at http://michiganradio.org Local girl scouts take aim at palm oil in cookies Michigan lawmakers propose alternative to campground closures http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-lawmakers-propose-alternative-campground-closures <p>Twelve Republican legislators from northern Michigan are <a href="http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/04/11/general-mi-state-forest-campgrounds_8403295.html">proposing a plan</a> that would keep some forest campgrounds in the state open.</p><p>The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/state-will-close-some-campgrounds-starting-may">last week</a> that the state will be closing <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/Order_to_Close_State_Forest_Campgrounds_348606_7.pdf">twenty-three state forest campgrounds</a> beginning in May.</p><p>The DNR says they&rsquo;re <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153--253941--,00.html">closing the campgrounds</a> because they&rsquo;re not heavily used and the state doesn&rsquo;t have the money to maintain them.</p><p>The GOP lawmakers detailed plans on Monday that would give local governments the option to take over the campgrounds that would otherwise be closed. Tue, 12 Apr 2011 11:23:48 +0000 Zoe Clark 2035 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan lawmakers propose alternative to campground closures Group rushes to clone trees http://michiganradio.org/post/group-rushes-clone-trees <p>A nonprofit organization is rushing to clone some of the world&#39;s biggest and oldest trees in an audacious plan to restore forests that could help cleanse the environment and fight climate change.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The <a href="http://www.ancienttreearchive.org">Archangel Ancient Tree Archive</a> is based in Copemish, MI. The group has tracked down and made genetic copies of &quot;champion&quot; members of more than 60 species. Among them are redwoods and giant sequoias from California&#39;s northern coast and oaks up to 1,000 years old from Ireland.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Co-founder David Milarch says the group is focusing on 200 species that perform ecologically valuable jobs such as absorbing toxic chemicals and storing carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. Archangel hopes to sell millions of its trees for replanting in cities and rural areas.</p> Sun, 13 Mar 2011 18:47:57 +0000 Kyle Norris 1628 at http://michiganradio.org Group rushes to clone trees Michigan forests hit hard last year http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-forests-hit-hard-last-year <p>New analysis by the <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/">Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment</a> says <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-30301_30505_30830-36254--,00.html">state forests</a> were hit hard last year by the <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10370_12145_12204-69875--,00.html">emerald ash borer</a> and a variety of other ailments and invasive pests.</p><p>According to the Associated Press, <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153--250824--,00.html">in a report released yesterday</a>, the DNRE said:</p><blockquote><p>...people continue to make the invasive species problem worse by moving firewood infested with exotic organisms. The unwelcome critters also work their way into nursery stock and wooden pallets that are hauled around the state.</p><p>Lynne Boyd is chief of the Forest Management Division and says insects and foreign species are a big danger to Michigan's 19.3 million acres of woodlands. Industries connected to Michigan forests such as timber and recreation provide 136,000 jobs and pump $14 billion into the state's economy each year.</p></blockquote><p>The Traverse City Record Eagle <a href="http://record-eagle.com/statenews/x984920418/Pests-disease-hit-Mich-forests">reports</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The Michigan Department of Agriculture has set up a quarantine to limit the ash borer's spread — including a firewood checkpoint at the Mackinac Bridge linking the Upper Peninsula and Lower Peninsula. People caught hauling firewood into the U.P. can be fined or even jailed. Even so, the ash borer has been found in several U.P. locations after killing more than 30 million ash trees in southeastern Michigan. Fri, 04 Feb 2011 12:16:46 +0000 Zoe Clark 1165 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan forests hit hard last year