The Truth is Powerful
Climate, earthworms and deer overpopulation alter northern forests
The Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest near Boulder Junction includes stands of mature conifers. (Jonathan Kult | Wisconsin DNR) As summer reaches its peak, thousands of vacationers are flocking to the forests and lakes of Northern Wisconsin. But those lakes and forests are undergoing big changes, due to the impacts of climate change, invasive species, an oversized deer population and other human-caused disturbances.
The Wisconsin Examiner takes a look at some of the threats and efforts to address them in a two-part series that begins today. Here, we look at the status of the northern forests with Wisconsin native Lee Frelich, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Forest Ecology and an internationally recognized forest ecologist.
Frelick was born in Janesville, and his interest in forests was nurtured while spending time at his family’s summer home at the tip of the Door County Peninsula. “When I was 12, I checked out the book ‘Vegetation of Wisconsin: An Ordination of Plant Communities,’ by John Curtis,” he says. “I read that book about 10 times and decided I would get a Ph.D. in forest ecology, which I did, at the University of Wisconsin. ”
Lee Frelich had just returned […]