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Betu-love it!

Season 2 | Episode 1 | January 15, 2021

Let’s talk paper birch! There are few tree species that have such a rich and diverse relationship with the inhabitants of North America, being prized for food, medicine, transportation, fuel, lumber, pulpwood, shelter, and aesthetic beauty. Paper birch is an ecological opportunist, taking advantage of disturbances that expose mineral soil and allow its abundant, tiny seeds to take root. Still, in the Lake States at least, many birch stands are disappearing to the forces of succession and changing disturbance patterns. Today we talk with Colleen Matula, Wisconsin DNR forest ecologist and silviculturist, and John Zasada, retired forest research scientist with the U.S. Forest Service, about paper birch silviculture and how we can sustain this fascinating species.




Colleen Matula

Silviculturist, Wisconsin DNR

Colleen Matula works for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – Division of Forestry as a Forest Ecologist/Silviculturist out of the Ashland, Wi office. She has worked for the WDNR nearly 20 years and with the Forest Service for 10 years in the Forestry and Ecology programs.  Among many forest management topics, she focuses on WI Silviculture guidelines and training; forest habitat typing and other tools; and black ash resiliency projects. At home she enjoys maple sugaring, XC skiing and hiking – and a weekly sauna with Vihta!

John Zasada

Retired Research Scientist, U.S. Forest Service

John Zasada worked for research branch of the U.S. Forest Service for 40 or so years in Alaska, Oregon, Wisconsin and Minnesota—retired in 2003. Since retirement he has been involved in biology and use of nontimber forest products, mainly use of birch and other tree bark in arts and craft. 

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