Last Days for Our Boreal Forest?

Lee Frelich, Ph.D., an internationally recognized expert in forest ecology and the environment, will present a program titled “Are These the Last Days for Door County’s 4,000-year-old Boreal Forest?” on Feb. 1, at Björklunden, 7590 Boynton Lane, Baileys Harbor. The program begins at 7 pm. Sponsored by the Climate Change Coalition of Door County, it is free and open to the public.Lee Frelich

Door County is one of the most ecologically interesting places in the world because it is split between two biomes: temperate forests of maple, oak, beech, hemlock and basswood on the Green Bay side and boreal forests of spruce, fir and paper birch on the Lake Michigan side. The boreal forest exists because of the lake effect’s cool summer temperatures. If Lake Michigan’s surface temperature goes up as the climate warms, then temperatures on the east side of the peninsula will also rise and the boreal forest will shrink or disappear. Temperate forests, or even savannas or shrublands on shallow or sandy soils, could replace the boreal forests as the climate warms.

Frelich is director of the University of Minnesota Center for Forest Ecology and has authored 150 publications with coauthors from 23 countries.

Following his presentation, naturalist Bob Bultman will give a brief description of The Forest Recovery Project in Door County and how the changes Frelich discusses are influencing current and future tree planting efforts.

The Climate Change Coalition of Door County seeks to transcend partisanship and to voice the care for the natural world. It fosters knowledge and action to address climate change’s challenges and protect the Earth for future generations. For more information visit

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