• VFVC newsletter - July 2005

    July 1, 2005

    Dear Friend of VF/VC:

    This is the third issue of volume two in a series of periodic updates on developments in Blandin Foundation's Vital Forests/Vital Communities initiative. If you would like to be removed from this mailing list, please send a reply email with a subject line UNSUBSCRIBE to vfvc@blandinfoundation.org.

    $6 Million Fund Established to Ensure Sustainable Forestry, Protect Wildlife Habitat, Provide Public Access

    Blandin Foundation and The Nature Conservancy have announced the establishment of a $6 million fund designed to ensure sustainable forestry, protect wildlife habitat and guarantee public access on forestland in the Itasca County region of northern Minnesota.

    Read the news release and the fact sheet

    Building the Capacity of Minnesota’s Wood Products Manufacturing Industry: Creating our Edge on August 16-17 at Wendigo Golf Club in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

    Join Minnesota wood products manufacturers and other key players to explore ways to strengthen Minnesota’s industry through cutting edge design, superior service and manufacturing capabilities, unique forest resources and untapped financing options.

    Click for more information 

    Continuing Progress on County Lands Certification Project

    In March 2005, six counties began working together to achieve third party certification of their forest management practices. By collaborating the counties hope to increase efficiencies, share best practices and reduce costs. The counties are on track to have the development process completed by September, and are confident that they will be ready for certification by the end of 2005. Read more

    Duluth Seaway Port Authority Seeking Applicants for Operation of Clay Transfer Station

    Preliminary findings of a feasibility study suggest a significant opportunity for savings to the regional pulp and paper industry from the establishment of a centralized pigment handling and distribution facility. The Port Authority is now seeking letters of interest and qualifications from parties interested in operating such a facility. Responses are expected in July and a review will be completed in August. Read more

    Minnesota DNR’s GEIS Report Card Study Nearing Completion

    The Timber Harvesting Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) report card study, an integral part of the plan to examine Minnesota’s progress on implementation of GEIS, is currently underway and slated for completion by the end of December 2005. Read more

    Steps Forward in Building Forester Capacity in Minnesota

    Minnesota Logger Education Program (MLEP) is developing a “Master Logger” certification program for loggers in Minnesota.  The certification program will be a voluntary, add-on component to existing educational programs. University of Minnesota Sustainable Forest Education Cooperative has hired a consultant, Beth Jacqmain, to lead curriculum development on an effort to train foresters on using ecological classification systems in the field. Itasca and Vermilion Community Colleges are developing new curriculum for recent forestry graduates, professional foresters needing continuing education units and private landowners. Read more

    Research Phase of Third Party Certification Project Wrapping Up

    University of Minnesota researcher Mike Kilgore is nearing completion of the research stage of his study to develop a low cost, user-friendly, framework to promote third party certification of family forestlands in Minnesota. Read more

    Special Forest-Focused Episode of History of the Land Video Education Project Underway

    The three forest stories told in the original Minnesota: History of the Land series will be summarized in this special episode as background for two new stories, The Story of Fire in the 20th Century and White Pine Once Again. Project staff is in the process of forming an advisory group to help shape the direction of the documentary. Read more

    True North Woods Brand Launched by Minnesota Wood Campaign

    Members of the Minnesota Wood Campaign made a major leap forward in their ability to generate awareness of and appreciation for northern Minnesota forest-based products with the launch of the Campaign’s True North Woods™ brand. The Campaign also focused on preparing the region’s producers to maximize this opportunity to complement their business. Look for the Campaign’s advertising to appear in regional publications during the fall of 2005, a significant presence at Goods from the Woods in September and, if you are in the Twin Cities this summer, the Campaign’s standing exhibit at the Minneapolis Farmers Market. Read more

    Family Forestland owner outreach and education: looking for best practices

    Two research projects are underway to identify best practices in family forest owner outreach and education. The goal is to help Minnesota increase the number of acres of sustainably managed family forests in Minnesota. One project, managed by U of M Extension Service, is looking at web-based models of forestland owner outreach and the other, led by Cooperative Development Service, is exploring community and land-owner driven models. Both reports are expected to be completed by late summer, and the foundation is exploring opportunities to share the results with the public.

    Read the CDS project update and the U of M project update

    Thank you for your interest in the Vital Forests/Vital Communities initiative. For more information, or to share any comments, please feel free to call 218.327.8728 or email: brjoselyn@blandinfoundation.org.

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