Habitat for Humanity... and Wildlife

By KBJR News 1

November 9, 2010 Updated Nov 9, 2010 at 12:28 PM CDT

Duluth MN (Nortland's NewsCenter) - Student foresters from Ely are working to improve habitat in our area.

In this week's "Nature Matters" David Hoole brings us the story of how the students are helping wild life in the woods and residents in the city at the same time.

Working as a professional forester is a tough job. There are many obstacles to overcome just to get to the jobsite. That is if you can find the jobsite! But these Vermilion Community College students are determined - they have an important job to do.

"We've got these trees here and the trees are just about mature and something needs to be done with them"

So Rick Lundquist got an ambitious group of Natural Resources Technology students to cruise his Gnesen Township property for timber volume. He plans to donate the harvest to Habitat for Humanity.

"What is gonna happen eventually is that it will be sent up to Louisiana Pacific. They're gonna turn it into siding and they will make it available to Habitat for Humanity to complete homes for people too.

Most of these Vermilion Community College students are in their second year of studying to become foresters and wildlife managers.

"They're utilizing their skills and practicing their skills that they've begun to learn in the classroom."

"Basically we're determining how many cords per acre."

"We're marking the property line right now. We're at the northern end of where they're gonna be cutting in this stretch."

"It's an angle gauge .... If it goes through the tree between these two its in if it's in its out."

"If has a DBH of higher than 5 inches then it will be out."

"The owner has fairly high objectives in terms of wildlife so as they go through and take their plots that will essentially be determining volume estimates they're also marking off areas that might be leave areas for wildlife."

"I'm pretty sure this aspen has passed. It's just a dead snag; it's now a wildlife tree good for flying squirrels and woodpeckers."

So it really is a nice full circle, bettering the habitat for wildlife out here and eventually ending up for habitat for humans."

In Gnesen Township, I'm David Hoole for Nature Matters.

The logging operation will likely take place in January due to wet soils in the area.

Vermilion Community College and Habitat for Humanity thanks Bob Hedberg for coordinating the operation and getting the involved groups together.