Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Large Gunflint Turn-out for Dr Frelich's Presentation

Dr Lee Frelich, appearing at the Gunflint Conference Center on August 26, before a full house of about seventy-five people, discussed the implication of Global warming on the BWCA and the Gunflint. According to Frelich within the next fifty years, if actions are not taken to reduce the CO2 build up in our atmosphere, the BWCA, we know today, is likely to look more like Nebraska. Frelich explained that the BWCA's traditional pine forest over the next fifty years could be gone. Oak and Maple are already creeping into many parts of the Forest. Then, of course, we all can see what is happening to the paper birch in the area. According to Frelich, the birch can not tolerate the rising soil temperature which kill the birch at it's roots.

At the end of his talk at Frelich invited Jim Raml to join him and the two of them then discussed the implications of the Ham and Cavity Lake Fires.

Following the presentations, a bus tour was conducted of Ham burn sites. The tours first stop was at the "canister site' north of the Seagull Guard Station. This site's jack pine was hit hard by the "blow-down," then salvaged logged. After it was logged it was one of the few logged area with good jack pine regeneration. The site was then burned in the Ham Lake fire. When visited by the tour group they found the site was now filling with willow brush and invasive species. Very little to no jack pine regeneration was evident.

The other site visited by the tour was the Sag Campgrounds landing and ended at the camp grounds. Here the group saw evidents how aspen regeneration can take over a previous mix pine forest.

Click on WCCO-TV to view some of Frelich's visit.

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