MINNESOTA – Chippewa National Forest hosted the National Silviculture workshop. Over 280 natural resource professionals from across the country attended the three-day workshop held May 21-23, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minnesota.
The theme for the 2019 workshop was Forest Management-Research Partnerships; presentations highlighted partnerships that enhance decision-making on national forest system lands. Goals included enhancing relationships between managers and researchers, identifying emerging management needs for new science investment and building on long-term research from experimental forests.
For three days resource professionals assembled to share information between field foresters and research scientists from the National Forests, Research and Development, universities, tribal governments and other state and local agencies. Panels from forest industry, tribal government and silviculturists highlighted partnerships and provided an opportunity to ask questions of the expert panels.
This cooperative theme continued into the second day of the workshop. The group traveled to eight tour stops. Despite the cold and rainy spring weather, participants were in high spirits as they toured Cut Foot Sioux Experimental Forest, one of three experimental forests within the Chippewa National Forest.
The group donned mud boots to hike into the black ash research project and huddled around the young elm seedlings at the American Elm restoration site. At each stop, researchers and field foresters shared expertise and experiences from their area of the United States.
One of the most poignant stops was the Raphael Zon Memorial in the Cut Foot Experimental Forest. Zon, a 43-year career Forest employee, was instrumental in establishing the research branch of the USDA Forest Service and designated the first experimental forests. His spirit was among the pines and this group on that day.
That evening, a ceremony was held recognizing the work and dedication of silviculturists and the future of research. Gary Swanson, Chippewa National Forest silviculturist, was awarded the 2019 National Silviculture Excellence Award.
The final day of the workshop included concurrent sessions highlighting forest management, prescribed fire management, soil productivity studies, genetics, and restoration. Participants shared experience and strategies and commented on how beneficial their field day and presentations had been.
It was an amazing gathering of specialists and researchers, working together and planning. The event was a coordinated effort by the Chippewa National Forest; Washington Office Forest Management, Rangelands Management, and Vegetation Ecology; Washington Office Sustainable Forest Management Research; and the Eastern Region and the Northern Research Station.