CRI hosts Feb. 23 natural resources presentation on ecological classification systems

BEMIDJI, Minn. — Forester Harvey Tjader will discuss the challenges inherent in applying an ecological classification system to silviculture management practices during a 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23, presentation at the Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation.

Part of the Bemidji Area Natural Resources Continuing Education Consortium series, the 60-minute session is open free to the public at the Center for Research and Innovation, located at 3801 Bemidji Avenue North.

An ecological classification system is used by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service to identify, describe and map progressively smaller areas of land with increasingly uniform ecological features. The system associates many far-ranging variables to map an area’s biological and environmental profiles, including climate, geology, topography, soils, hydrology and vegetation.

The system can then be applied to a practice known as silviculture, the science of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health and quality of woodlands to sustainably meet the varied purposes and values of landowners and society.

“Ecological classification systems are tools used by land managers to predict vegetative responses to various management treatments,” explained Tjader, the state’s ecological classification system specialist for northwest Minnesota. “Land managers would base a prescription for treatments to a site based on its native plant community.”

Until recently, forest management practices followed a development model focusing on site preparation, planting and seeding. Silviculture takes a broader view of management, encompassing all forest management activities — from stand initiation and maintenance to re-initiation — to address health and productivity throughout the life of wooded lands.

“By using ecological information to inform our management, we could realize substantial savings while improving our management,” Tjader said. “It’s conceivable that we could achieve more natural and diverse regeneration and faster growth rates.”

A graduate of the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in forest management, Tjader has been with the Minnesota DNR since 1978, serving as a district forester, timber program forester and forest ecologist. He is based in Bemidji.

The presentation is part of an on-going series of Bemidji Area Natural Resources Continuing Education Consortium programs, typically held on the third Monday of each month. While covering topics of general interest, the sessions are designed for professionals working in the natural resource area and may be technical in nature. Groups participating in organizing the consortium include the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Chippewa National Forest, Leech Lake Division of Resource Management, Ainsworth, and the Red Lake Reservation.

For more information, or to be added to the mailing list for the series, contact the Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation at (218) 755-4900; toll free, (888) 738-3224; e-mail,; or at

Feb. 23
– 3 p.m. – Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation hosts Bemidji Area Natural Resources Continuing Education Consortium presentation on application of ecological classification systems to silviculture management practices. Presenter: Harvey Tjader, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Location: CRI; 3801 Bemidji Ave. N.; Bemidji, Minn. Cost: free. For information: (218) 755-4900; (888) 738-3224;