Emerald ash borer and other invasive species could cause big changes in Minnesota's forests in the years ahead.
Both rural and urban forests face other changes and challenges, too:
Roads, Buildings, Trails—Large stretches of northern forest are being disturbed by buildings and roads. These can make it hard for animals to find the unbroken habitat they need to thrive. Fragmented forests also are less likely to be available for wood harvest and recreation.
Climate Change—Climate change is expected to change the health and distribution of trees and forests in Minnesota. Warming is predicted to stress trees, making them more vulnerable to pests and disease, and promote the growth of nonnative plants.
The Call of the Unwild—Computer games, TV, and the Internet entice people to spend time indoors. As a result, people are becoming less familiar with and less connected to the outdoors, including trees and forests.