Three Days…No Flannel- Day 2

“There is a device that pulls CO2 out of the air, and turns it into a useful product… It’s called a TREE”- Al Gore

Day two- uffda! After finally settling into hotel and coming down from the excitement of the first day I managed to get some sleep to get back to the venue for round two.  Day two was primarily focused on Al Gore and dissecting the presentation for everyone to understand it in order for us to take it back with us and use in our personal presentations.  Now, I could tell you all about this presentation but I won’t.  I want to just talk about a couple of key stories and overview of a few things.

First of all, Al Gore is an incredible speaker- he is very passionate and has a way of empowering folks with the content by the tone of his voice.  One minute he would be there speaking to us as a normal presentation then all of a sudden a huge build up would lead to a passionate tangent, where again he would yo-yo it back in and make perfect sense.  Al Gore works on his presentations up to the last minute, right before he start presenting.  The information is fresh and relates to the audience he is speaking to.

Al Gore split his 500+ slide presentation up into 3 sections and at the end of a section each table would submit a question for the Q & A part.  I remember my table discussing what they wanted the question to be, listening to them talk I couldn’t help but interject.  They had wanted to know if there were any technologies or solutions to trap CO2 or just take CO2 out of the air, I smiled and said “A TREE”.  Now, remember these 5 gentlemen were brilliant but I think they over thought the question or wanted to know if there was a bigger solution! Through the day and half I knew these guys they already were caught up on my crazy love for forestry and trees so they were polite but still wanted to submit the question.  After the question was asked to Al Gore…he talked a little about a contraption that can take out CO2 but has to be buried in the ground away from all things and left there- we don’t have space or time for this and it can only hold small amounts compared to the amount of CO2 in the air.  After this long explanation this was said “There is a device that pulls CO2 out of the air, and turns it into a useful product… It’s called a TREE and many trees is a FOREST”!  I was SHOCKED…I looked at my table with a huge smile and they were all smiling and cheering me on and I jokingly took a bow! I looked back at Al Gore made eye contact and was just on cloud 9!! Sometimes I know what I am talking about!

A fun yo-yo moment was when Al Gore was talking about aerial photos to see all sides of the Earth.  Back in the day he tried to launch a satellite to get photos of the Earth from all sides, I think he mentioned a 24/7 photo set. Anyways, he told us all about this and how it did not get launched because no one thought they would want to see that many photos and such because it would be like “watching your grass grow, and no one likes that”.  But this is not true because the lawn care is a 40 billion dollar industry! “I guess people do like to watch their grass grow”! -Al Gore Needless to say, Al’s satellite is finally in route and will reach destination in June and start sending photos!

Day two– Still surviving without a flannel!

Stage-
Stage-
Outside on a break :)
Outside on a break 🙂 Check out the matching shoes that’s riiiight!!
Day Two with map of the locations of leaders!
Day Two with map of the locations of leaders!
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Three Days…No Flannel- Day 1

“Be Nice, Be Kind, Be Respectful BUT Challenge Denial”!! – Al Gore

Last week, I had a life changing experience.  A while back I was accepted into the Climate Reality Leadership Corps where I would embark on a 3 day training to become a Climate Reality Leader.  I did not know what to expect at this convention except for the fact I would be trained by Al Gore on becoming a leader in climate change.  I went in to this thinking I would learn a thing or two to help further me in my career; I never expected to become part of something bigger than myself.  I joined a family of 122 other counties (22 different counties at this event) and thousands of other people who see the facts of life and realize that this is REALITY.  In future posts I will talk more about the science, but today I would like to share my story; my experience.

I am not going to lie, I was extremely nervous for this event.  Mostly because I did not know what to expect, we fear what we do not know and I was a classic case of this.  I prepared as much as possible browsing my climate change books (an inconvenient truth and Al Gore The Future) and even dressed for success.  I figured this event was more than a flannel and jeans type event- so I went outside my comfort zone of a flannel. Worked perfectly, it gave me the confidence to lead myself and lead for my work. A common question I was asked at the event was if I applied for pleasure or for work.  I responded with Both, it was originally for pleasure but when I thought about it, it IS my work, it IS my passion.

Anyhoot, Day 1- WOW!  I walked in, full of confidence ready to make a difference.  Everything I had expected was surpassed with pure greatness.  I received my recycled binder and 100% biodegradable name tag and table and went and started to mingle.  A friend from a neighboring environmental organization also joined me so it was nice to have some familiarity there in IOWA! We started to mingle with who ever we passed talking with folks from all over the states and from different counties.  The most familiar thing to me was the coffee…oh the coffee!!! Finally, it was about to start and I found my table.  Sat down, but no one was there- eventually I went out to information to see if there had been a mistake, no mistake, rather no one from my table had checked in.  So I politely asked to join the table of gentleman next to mine. BEST DECISION made!! Instantly I had 5 new friends all from different countries.  I was the only one from the US, it was incredible.  Incredible that they took the time to travel here and that they were not only representing Climate Change but they were doing it from other parts of the country; Nigeria, Canada, Pakistan, Brazil and Holland.  If we want to address Climate Crisis at a serious level the globe needs to be on board! Through my three days I began to collaborate ideas and inspirations with these 5 men.

Now, I knew that Al Gore would be present for at least a speech sometime in the 3 days but as I looked at the agenda I realized he will be with us all 3 days! Leading up to leaving for the convention and explaining to folks about this and mentioning Al Gore I got the looks- and I always responded…”put politics aside, this man is an environmentalist of our time and his message and work is real”.  As the Climate Reality president and director introduced themselves I was overwhelmed…but I had no idea what the presence of Al Gore would make me feel.  When they introduced Al Gore and he walked out on stage, I was overwhelmed with complete joy and comfort.  I sprung to my feet, hands rapidly clapping together with respect for what he is doing what he stands for; tears filled my eyes with happiness that I am about to be trained by a very influential person of my time.  For the first day Al Gore went quickly through his 500+ slide show on Climate Change, going off on tangents and passionate stories.  It was funny how after the fact when talking with others how sometimes a tangent seemed so absurd while he was talking and then BAM like a yo-yo he brought it back to his hand and it made complete sense.

I left that first day, having met handfuls of new folks, feeling empowered by the words of Al Gore and wanting to wake up early and start all over again.  I remember calling back home and saying “I feel safe, I feel so empowered, I am in a room with others who think like me, and all having the same goal”. Truly an amazing feeling knowing that—

Climate Reality–Its the face of humanity–WAKE UP!   #CRinIOWA

Standing in front of Map where all the other leaders are located!
Standing in front of Map where all the other leaders are located!

Climate Reality

Canada, Holland, US, Pakistan and Nigeria  Brazil-Not Pictured
Canada, Holland, US, Pakistan and Nigeria
Brazil-Not Pictured

Oak Wilt Scare…to Wow

Oak Wilt Scare to Good Conversation

Vroom, Vroom… I was driving along down all the dirt roads and finally pulled up to my destination.  I got out of the car and the gentleman laughed and said so you’re a packer fan! I smiled and said you bet!  Then the landowners wife came out to greet me, both so ecstatic to meet me, so gosh darn excited to look at their dying trees.  My original reason for the visit was to look at a few oaks they suspected were dead from oak wilt.

First we looked at a white pine, infected with weevil-displaying signs of whats called a shepherds crook.  The shepherds crook refers to the previous terminal lateral leader on top the tree dies because a new one is growing and taking over.  The weevil larvae are laid just below terminal causing it to die and a new one takes over.  This is why we see white pines that are not growing straight up but a rather zig-zag formation.

Then we moved on to to some other trees they were worried were going to get diseased like the others on their property…I say other trees because they were calling them spruce trees-I got closer and I said these are not spruces but are balsam fir trees.  MINDS BLOWN!!  The joy that exuded from the couple put a smile on my face.  They asked how I could tell, I explained to them that the needles are softer than a spruce and are flat and cannot be rolled in their fingers as well as pointed out the smoother bark.  They were so excited and I responded with “I have never had anyone more excited to hear they had balsams on their property”! I come from a place where balsam fir trees get a bad wrap–on going joke is set the balsam on fire!  Not these two!  As they are jumping for joy about the balsams they asked me what was growing inside the tree!  They pointed out a lovely case of “witches broom” a fungus that grows often on balsam fir trees and blueberry bushes.  Its not just a Halloween prop!

Finally we made it back to the oak trees.  They walked up to the oaks, expecting devastation.  I looked up the tree and browsed the branches and told them its not dead; I see buds! I explained to them that its a red oak and if it was really oak wilt that “killed” their tree last year it would have died no doubt, but this tree and the ones around it were in fact budding.  They looked at each other and shared a smile.  They said it was the best news they could have gotten.  A few thousand dollar problem may have just been resolved by education.  They had read my recent article in the paper and took the right steps in talking about it first before spending the money to trench the tree and remove it.  Sometimes oaks die due to bugs killing the leaves and causing them to drop-seeming like oak wilt but the next year the tree often comes back.

We then hopped on their golf cart and started speeding through the woods.  Now I may have shocked them with the balsam fir, witches broom, and a living oak tree but rarely am I shocked.  He began showing me all the trees he had planted. Red pines, white pines, spruces…all with BUD CAPS!!!!! Bud Capping is something I have been trying to explain to folks here in Michigan to help prevent deer from eating off the terminal bud of young saplings, but No one, until now, has heard of it!  It is a University of Minnesota thing and that is exactly where he learned it from.  I was in complete awe looking around his property seeing white paper stapled on top of all his young trees! Finally we got to our final destination- A HUGE WHITE PINE!!!!! From afar it looked like any other white pine but up close- Oh goodness I was standing under the mother of white pines! The couple hugged the tree trying to see if they could reach each other-they could not!

Needless to say I wowed them and they wowed me!

Off the beaten path
Off the beaten path
Beyond...
Beyond…

Bats…Trees…Bats

I am so sick of all these mosquito’s!

This is a common line I hear from many landowners as well as my friends.  I often walk through landowners woodlots and they start complaining or mentioning areas they do not go to because the mosquitoes are unbearable.  My response is a laugh and then I say “well there is a tree, go buy a bat house”! Often I get a puzzled thought and then response of “really”?! Yes, bat houses are not a cure all but they do help reduce the amount of mosquitoes in an area, least a bit.  On average one bat can eat up to 7,000 maybe more mosquitoes in a night!!! ONE NIGHT!!! A tiny little bat consumes thousands of mosquitoes for din din in a night!!! That means get a few bats in there and your problem will be reduced.

Put it up and they will come- I say!

Bats are a hot topic right now in the Midwest and probably other areas, as well.  I have been doing research on the Northern Long-Eared bat, Myotis septentrionalis, because it has become an issue here and relates to forestry.  It could impact the amount of harvesting done during the summer months.  The Northern Long-Eared bat is being affected by the white nose syndrome.  It is a fungus that affects the nose, ears and wings of a bat during hibernation.  The fungus is cold loving fungus so it attacks them during the cold months; hibernation.  The fungus hurts their hydration “processes” and they burn more fat then they should therefore when they wake after a long cold winter they often are dehydrated and die. This fungus is killing thousands of bats.

I have been watching webinars and such on the topic of listing the bat on the endangered species list.  There is a lot of controversy because of summer harvesting.  Bats roost or sleep upside down in hollow trees and if unknown when a tree harvesting takes place the bats well sadly they die.  I believe, correct me if I am wrong, the last I heard was that the bats were listed as threatened.

Awareness needs to be addressed with the subject. We as an economy cannot stop harvesting in the summer months, it would cause crashes in production mills with summer wood and cause more to close. But the bats are also important therefore awareness is key here.  So when I tell landowners not to just put up a bat house for their benefits of reduction in mosquitoes and other insects but also so they have a safe place to roost where we are able to tell where they are.  Bats get a bad wrap, but really they are harmless and like everything else need to be see as a fluffy little creature so we CARE!

See that tree…put up a bat house….or two or three! Build it and they will come!!

Check out my Ears!
Check out my Ears! I am cute too! Save me!

Children + Earth Day

“We have such a brief opportunity to pass on to our children our love for this Earth, and to tell our stories. These are the moments when the world is made whole. In my children’s memories, the adventures we’ve had together in nature will always exist.”   -Richard Louv

That quote is from the author of the book “Last Child in the Woods”.  The book was given to be by another nature lover and educator. Although I have not finished the book, it is an inspirational.  It is a book to remind us that our children are the future and education and nature for them is vital.  I do not have children of my own yet, but in my position as a forester for the Conservation District…education is key!  This past Saturday, I was asked to host an educational table for 4-H children.  I will also in the next week be at two more educational “Earth Day” events for young children to teach them about trees, the importance of trees, and to love this Earth for everything it can give us.

When planning what I was going to do, I picked the brains of folks around me and decided to go with a way children can connect everyday things they see with trees.  I also learned through the experience and sharing this project with those around me that even adults do not understand the basics of trees, I was not shocked! We see trees on a daily basis, but we do not know the basic functions of a tree.  I’ve blogged about the benefits of yard trees (clean air, reduction in stormwater runoff, energy savings) but today I am going to blog about what I told and will tell lots of children this month in honor of Earth Day!

Trees are a renewable resource that give us basic essentials; to those materialist products we enjoy.  They literally give us everything we use.  Do you know how difficult it is to find something not made from a tree??!  I am telling you right now, my friends, it is not an easy task!!  I wanted to make a fun quiz for the children, so I started filling a box with products made from a tree and products not made from a tree.  It was super easy finding those items made from a tree, I could have put my whole darn office in that box, but I did not!! Instead I researched and researched and researched for things not made from trees.  This is what I came up with…a magnet and a plastic bottle.  I am not even 100% sure if I am correct on these items!!! Here I thought Crayons were tree free–NOPE!!!  Gum extracted from trees helps make crayons! Mind BLOWN! 

When I asked an 11 year old boy to pick out an item from the box that he thought was not made from trees, his first choice was a sheet of paper that said “Ice Cream” on it.  This one was my curve ball!  Yes, ice cream contains cellulose from trees to give it texture.  He dug around some more, looked at the tooth paste, the band aid and finally grabbed the magnet! I yelled Yahtzee! With a little extra thought he was able to find the rare item not made from a tree.

It is important not only for adults to be educated on trees but to connect our children in unique ways to the earth, I primarily focus on trees, because it is my job but I try to tie it all in together in the end.  After going over the tree parts, deciduous vs. coniferous trees, and tree harvesting the children were able to connect themselves to trees and find what is and is not made from a tree.  We need to keep making these connections and getting children outside and educating them, they are the future stewards of this Earth and they need to learn now to love it and respect it.  I know, when folks ask me why I became a forester…I tell them about my childhood.  Growing up with a woods in my backyard I was never inside (yes I know times have changed) but I still was outside more then I was inside.  At a young age I created that bond with nature that carried into my career.

Get outside, bond and love the Earth!  Earth Day April 22nd.

Tree Cookies!!!
Tree Cookies!!!
White Pine Stand...
White Pine Stand…

Life Amid Chaos

I get giddy at the sight of a baby tree!

Baby Balsam amid chaos
Baby Balsam amid chaos

The other day I was out walking a friends property and of course taking pictures!  I sent this photo of the baby balsam to him and he responded with “Life Amid Chaos”.  It was the perfect words to describe this photo. Among the various leaves, twigs and duff layer lies the new beautiful life of a tree.

Natural regeneration is the beautiful circle of life.  A mature “parent” tree grows up and produces a woody cone (female cone) and then sends out bucket loads of seeds from these cones where then the male cone “pollen cone” releases pollen in hopes they meet on the ground and pollinate to make a new tree. Balsam fir, like many other tree species, seeds are dispersed through wind 300-500 feet or by wildlife and birds.  If all the conditions, dependent upon the species, are right in order for the seed to germinate a new life is made. Different tree species require different seed beds for germination.  Balsam Fir, for example, like some shade with a mineral and humus soil for germination- not sandy soils, which most of my counties I cover are all SAND SAND SAND–probably could take down all the trees and have a huge beach!  That is just crazy talk of course…

Life Amid Chaos      Natural Regeneration….

Baby Spruce Trees
Baby Spruce Trees
White Spruce Chaos
White Spruce Chaos
A Top the Spruce
A Top the Spruce

Path of Least Resistance

What if we did not always take the “easiest” path??

As I was driving back to the office after a site visit I stopped a couple times to over look some beautiful sites.  One was a bog like site, then a lake, and then I stopped and looked at a small stream flowing.  Well actually I stopped at the small stream site because I am on a steering committee for a watershed and was checking out the culvert and erosion of the site.  But regardless it was an inspiring stop.  Sometimes I can not explain why certain things pop into my head at any given moment but as I was looking down the stream, I started to think about water and how it always takes the path of least resistance.  Which is part is why water ways do not flow a straight line.  Instead, it all starts with the water taking the easiest path.  Then I continued on driving “Waldo” (that’s what I named my vehicle) down the wet, muddy, gravel road.  Again, as my car is swaying back and forth following the tracks of the previous vehicle I was thinking again, even my car without having a mind is taking the path of least resistance.  My wheels are automatically following the already made tracks; meanwhile I look like a crazy driver all over this small gravel road trying to stay away from the huge pot holes and trees the run along side it.

Subconsciously, everything takes the path that was already paved for us, water, wildlife, my car, and we as humans can admit to taking the already paved paths.  But why do we? What would happen if we didn’t? If we challenged ourselves to at least once a day to take the path of most resistance or the more difficult path, would we accomplish more? If we challenged ourselves to this…at the end of the day would we feel more accomplished and satisfied, would it make us “more happy”?  I know we cannot challenge wildlife, water, or our cars to this task but we can challenge ourselves.  We can challenge ourselves to not be afraid of what we do not know- but rather face it head on and find that less beaten path to make ourselves more knowledgeable and hopefully more successful.

Now, I know this is a forestry blog–so here I will relate it back in a couple ways.  After I had this mind shaking thought, I was thinking about the daily things I do…and how when I am out on a site visit with a landowner we are usually following a trail through their forest, but often in order to see more and get more of an idea of what they have I take off into the forest, off the trail.  After I get a few feet in I look behind me and they are usually with me (haven’t met a scared landowner yet)! In order to get the full effect of the land and see more you have to dive in, get smacked in the face by branches and trip over sticks to really experience it!

Another way to relate this revelation back is…through my position I provide a lot of education to my communities, landowners, children and other professionals and sometimes the topics I choose are controversial.  Now, if I took the easy way out, would that be fair to myself, would I really be succeeding at what I am trying to fulfill?  If I did not bring up topics like climate change, the newly endangered Northern Long-Eared bat, or fighting against subjects like hinge cutting or letting invasive species grow because one persons view is different than mine- is that cutting myself short?  I say yes I am cutting myself short.  So, I continually keep taking the path of resistance and not putting my views onto someone else but rather get the education out there, so hopefully one day folks will have that knowledge to not be “scared of the unknown” but rather face it head on!  I continue to pave my own path in forestry and life.

I challenge you to not take the path today–but rather pave your own path. If it fails today-take it tomorrow and you may succeed in ways you never imagined!

Stream "inspiration"
Stream “inspiration”
Cruising through the white pines
Cruising through the white pines
Hello- White Pine!
Hello- White Pine!

Trash to Land Ethic

 “We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
― Aldo Leopold

 

If you ever get an e-mail from me, this quote is part of my signature.  I put it on there in hopes to get as many people to read it as possible.  My hope is it latches on somewhere in folks minds and the next time they are outside they will make “better” choices than the day before.

Yesterday, I went out for a site-visit with a landowner who had just acquired the 10 acres of property next to him and he wanted to manage it because the previous owners had not.  When I say they had not…I mean they really had not. Reflecting back to the quote we see the land as a commodity to us…the previous landowners saw just that.  Because they were the “owners” of this 10 acres of woodlot, they felt they could abuse/use it in anyway they wanted because it was “theirs”.  All over this 10 acres was old dying trees, it was overgrown and unproductive but this is not even the worst of it.  Scattered all around the 10 acres were piles of trash, tires and old bricks!  I even saw an old baby stroller!  The landowner who I was walking with made the comment “maybe they did not realize the trash was picked up weekly”!  Instead of recycling or throwing away all this trash they hid it in their back yard woodlot. What they could not see did not affect them. The good news is the new landowner is chiseling away at this trash and cleaning it out and harvesting it to bring it back to a natural forest again.

This all brings me back to the Aldo Leopold quote on seeing land as community versus a commodity.  Land is more than a “object” that we own, land can give us so many resources and gifts if we treat it as something that is living with us; part of us, not that we just own it. We need to grow and think about what Aldo Leopold said YEARS ago about Land Ethic. Ethics are our standards/morals we hold for ourselves and how we apply those standards when making choices. When you throw the word Land in front; Land Ethics are the standards we hold leading to the reasons why we do certain things to/on our land.  If we do not have good land ethic the land will continue to perish.

We need to work WITH nature not against it. Treat it like family/community not an means to an end.

Aldo Leopold aldoleopold.org
Aldo Leopold- pure contentment
aldoleopold.org
Young forest
Young Forest Regeneration

Heads up…Oak Wilt

Our Forests are in a constant battle

I may be new to Michigan, but I have been keeping up and researching all the diseases and invasive species that are affecting our forests today…its kinda my job.

Michigan, like other states, has been dealing with the detrimental loss of their ash trees.  Now I hope this has opened the eyes to forest landowners and everyone in the state that we need to stay up to date and aware of the problems our trees are battling each day. We can not stand by and think that if it is not in our back yards today does not mean it wont be tomorrow.

So, this oak wilt I mentioned in the title…its ugly and scary.  It moves fast and because it has two modes of going from tree to tree its even scarier! ahh!! But we can not run…Stand tall Michigan oak owners, I am here to tell you about it and help stop the spread!

Oak wilt is a fungal disease that can spread through the root systems as well as through a beetle.  First off, the beetle it finds injuries or freshly pruned branches and gets in the oak tree and feeds on the sap. The spores of the fungus then stick onto the beetle and can be transferred to the next tree the beetle goes to.  The second way it spreads is through the root systems.  Oaks are connected by grafts on the root systems and the fungus can spread through the grafts.  Causing pockets of oaks to be infected quickly and die.  The red oak group dies quickly and when caught is too late and there is no injection that can be given to prevent or stop it.  Once a red oak is infected it only takes 2 weeks for it to die completely.  The management for this is to remove the oak, roots and all, and also remove all the surrounding oaks because they are most likely infected already.  The white oak group is also at risk but there its a slower death and can be injected to prevent the wilt.  The fungus gets into the water vessels of the tree and causes the leaves to wilt and turn brown.  To identify it starts at the outer edges of the leaf and moves in.

What to do:

Be Aware, do not injure your oaks, do not move firewood AND STOP pruning your oaks now until July or even better until fall time!!  April 15th is not only tax day it is also the cut of to stop pruning!! Spring is a major time for folks to move firewood…please stop! Buy firewood locally. 

http://michigansaf.org/ForestInfo/Health/E3169-OakWilt.pdf

USDA photo
USDA photo: Oak wilt pattern on leaves
Porcupine hanging out! They may be a nuisance, but save the oaks for them too! :)
Porcupine hanging out! They may be a nuisance, but save the oaks for them too! 🙂

What do you do? I am a Forester…

I am a forester.

When I visit home and run into old friends or when I meet new people at events and they ask what I do, I respond with I am a forester.  What follows my response is often one of the many misconceptions folks have about foresters.

1. The number one misconception is “oh so you’re a park ranger”! No, I am not a park ranger.  A park ranger is a job where a person(s) is in charge of maintaining and protecting a national, state, county, city park.  A forester is someone who actively manages forests both private and state. Yes, we both typically work outside–but doesn’t mean we are the same profession!  I am a District Forester for Conservation Districts, I help private landowners with land management.  This can range from wildlife, tree plantings, disease and infestation control, harvesting and management plans.

2. Secondly, the misconception of clearcutting a forest. Clearcut harvests are a common practice in forestry, but hello as foresters we love and want to sustain our lands for optimum growth! We are not trying to “screw” anyone over by clear cutting- in most cases the forest needs to be clearcut due to disease, poor quality of forest (best to start fresh), or the species present requires a clearcut for optimum growth.  For example- Aspen Trees- now they need to be clearcut once they hit harvesting age in order to open up the ground.  Aspen trees stump sprout and when clearcut come back like WEEDS and its great! They need that full sun and full water potential which is why “foresters” recommend clearcut, and aspen grows back so fast you will only have the eye sore for a short time.

3. Third, No I do not “chop down trees”. There is a difference between a logger and a forester, our jobs are very different but both work towards a common goal of forest management.  A logger actually does the cutting or harvesting of a forest where the forester can be the one to administer the sale and mark the trees but they are not the ones cutting trees.  A forester is all about the best management a logger takes the wood off the ground and gets it to the mill (buyer).

4. We wear the orange vest only during hunting season. Oh no no NO, the vest is a foresters #1 tool in my opinion, its an everyday fashion STATEMENT! (I know my friends back at the University would agree, if you had the vest you were in!!!)  The vest the beautiful vest carries all our tools and everything we will need for our visits.  In my vest for site visits I have so many things in it.  I have an angle gauge (to get the basal area), a clinometer (tree height), compass, gps, clipboard, knife, magnified scope,  pens/pencil, tree id book (I do not know everything!!), small notebook, and usually my phone to take pictures! There are so many things in a foresters vest- helps us be prepared and look super great 24/7!!

5. This weekends misconception….so you watch for poachers? This weekend while watching my Wisconsin Badgers win, I met some new folks and again when asked what I did, I responded with I am a forester and his response was “so you go out and catch poachers”!? Again, no.  I do not regulate what folks do on their properties or state lands- I leave that up to the conservation officers, not a foresters job!

So next time you meet a forester..thank them for actively managing lands for future generations and not jumping to one of these 5 conclusions right away!

Ash Tree
Inside the “mind” of an Ash
White Pine, Red Oak, Aspen, Paper Birch (L to R)
White Pine, Red Oak, Aspen, Paper Birch (L to R)
IMG_2536[1]
Black Ash on Left