Jill Beim

Conservation & Nature Photographer

Black Ash Forests on the Brink

Minnesota has 1 million acres of black ash forest wetlands that are home to a rich diversity of species such as the oven bird, golden-winged warber, pine martin and fishers. They are under imminent threat from the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect from Asia, and climate change. Because black ash trees are 85-90% of the tree species within these forests, the emerald ash borer will decimate the forests within a decade.  Researchers, federal, state, tribal and local agencies have been working diligently since the emerald ash borer was first found in Michigan in 2002 to find ways to mitigate the damage. The black ash forests cannot be saved, and a 90% mortality is expected within 6 years of infestation. Tree species have been identified as replacements, but can we plant replacement species fast enough to save habitats for vulnerable and threatened species?

Stay tuned!

We are currently meeting with foresters and researchers in the field, and hope to have the complete story and images published soon.

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