Minnesota may be capable of sustainably harvesting up to five million cords of wood per year (according to the Generic Environmental Impact Statement), but is currently only harvesting about two thirds of that amount. While that may not be good news for loggers, there is a silver lining. Less wood harvesting in Minnesota means that more forested land is maturing and providing habitat to forest song birds.
And here’s just one reason why we should all care: Birds are highly effective, non-chemical insecticides. One pair of Evening Grosbeaks eats an estimated $4,000 a square mile per year in equivalent cost of chemical insecticide applications.* And each bird species has carved out their preferred food niche — some species, for instance, depend upon spruce budworm. Take out one species and it could unbalance the system.
A national search has resulted in Rolf Weberg accepting the position of Director of the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Weberg comes to NRRI with 25 years of experience at DuPont USA, most recently in Buffalo, New York, as Global R&D Manager in DuPont’s Building Innovations; Surfaces Division.
Northern Minnesota’s Sax-Zim Bog — a rare, old growth Black Spruce/Tamarack bog — is one of the most famous birding spots in North America. Especially in the winter, it attracts birders from all over the United States in search of Great Gray Owls, Northern Hawk Owls, Redpolls, Pine Grosbeaks, Black-backed Woodpeckers... and many more.
The northeastern Minnesota moose population is in danger, and NRRI is working with county, state, tribal, and Federal agencies, to determine the cause of the decline. The most shocking statistic is the low number of moose remaining in Minnesota.
"What is the benefit of natural chemicals over synthetic chemicals?"
The short answer is that we know nature better than we know the man-made world. The information might not be stored on a computer, but it’s stored in the collective memory of thousands of years of human development.
Both animals and humans have used the chemicals in nature throughout their evolution and have learned what works, what their side affects are, what is poisonous, and how to use them effectively. Synthetic drugs, we’ve only had for about 50 years.