Environmental Studies Senior Seminar 399
St. Olaf College – Spring Semester 2006
Conservation and Sustainable Use of Minnesota Forests
Forest ecosystems provide natural habitat for nearly two-thirds of the world’s plant and animal species and natural resources critical for human life, as we know it. In Minnesota forests are an integral part of life used for hiking, bird watching, hunting, protection of watersheds, regulation of global climate, as well as timber and paper products. Although about half of the original forest has been cut down over the last 150 years, the state still has about 16 million acres (six and a half million hectares) of forest. Based on employment numbers the timber industry was the fourth largest manufacturing industry in MN in 2002. Corporate landowners own large areas of forested land. With the recent rush to buy land in northern Minnesota many of these large areas are being subdivided and sold, putting wildlife habitat, jobs and public access at risk.
This seminar focused on understanding Minnesota forests, how they have changed in the past and how they are likely to change in the future. We examined the ecology of forests and their cultural and economic importance.
From left to right, back row: Keisha Sedlacek, Ted Koshiol, Andrew Jacobson, Berit Bolstad, Deanna Steege, Lauren Anderson, Emily Osthus, Dan Borek, Ross Nielsen, Carly Knoell.
Middle row: Becca Hammargren, Jaime Craig. Front row: Lindsay Boetcher, Jon Geurts, Kyla Taylor, Diana Ostrowski, Becca Hunt, Beth Assell.
Instructor: Professor Kathy Shea, Department of Biology (not pictured).
All original work on St. Olaf servers is © 2006 St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota