Cloquet Forestry Center Hosts National Silviculture Program

The Cloquet Forestry Center (CFC) played host to forty federal agency foresters this summer for the first of four modules of the National Advanced Silviculture Program (NASP) to become certified silviculturists. Silviculture is the art and science of how we manage forest systems. Department of Forest Resources' Assistant Professor Marcella Windmuller-Campione and the CFC's Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative Manager Eli Sagor direct the program. This was the 11th annual offering of NASP, and CFANS faculty provided much of the instruction on topics ranging from tree physiology to forest hydrology to landscape ecology to silviculture. Participants came from the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Bureau of Land Management from over 30 different states, ranging from southern California to New Hampshire.

"NASP is a great opportunity to introduce an influential group of Forest Service foresters to the University of Minnesota and the forests of our region," said Windmuller-Campione. "They bring a wealth of experience and leave here with a deeper understanding of how forest ecosystems work and how their management decisions impact those systems."
Day-long field trips to visit the Marcell Experimental Forest and Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest gave students a chance to explore forest ecosystems as diverse as peatlands, northern hardwoods, and nutrient-poor jack pine stands. In group discussions and presentations, participants explored the similarities and differences between these systems and those managed on their "home" forests.

NASP is required to train Certified Silviculturists, who develop and approve forest management and improvement treatments on National Forest lands. NASP begins with the Cloquet ecological systems module, an annual two-week training co-directed by Windmuller-Campione and Sagor. Other modules in the series address inventory and decision support, landscape ecology, and advanced silviculture.

"The CFC is always a highlight," added Sagor. "Visitors enjoy exploring the forest roads and the great facilities that the Forestry Center offers, as well as learning about the research happening here."