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Forestry Experts Examine Effects of Climate Change on Northern Forests

August 11, 2006

Fairbanks, Alaska- State and federal foresters, researchers and scientists will explore issues surrounding the management of northern
boreal forests in light of global climate change at the Western States Extension Foresters conference August 21-25 at the University
of Alaska Fairbanks.

According to conference organizer Bob Wheeler, a forestry specialist with UAF Cooperative Extension, issues that affect Alaska’s forests
are subjects that foresters throughout the West are keenly interested in because of similar concerns in their own states.

Wheeler says large wildfires, heightened wildfire risk to rural and urban communities, increases in fire severity, increased mortality of
trees by insects and diseases, invasive plants taking over natural habitats, melting permafrost and tree line movement northward are
some of the topics conference participants will address.

“This is an opportunity for foresters from throughout the West and Pacific Northwest to learn from each other and establish multi-state
partnerships to address these issues,” said Wheeler.

Conference presenters include Terry Chapin, professor of ecology with UAF’s Institute of Arctic Biology, and Glenn Juday, professor of
plant ecology with UAF’s School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences forest sciences department. Chapin is considered one of the
nation’s leading ecologists and a pioneer in the field of UAF terrestrial ecosystem ecology. Juday is highly sought by local, state
and national media as an expert on the subject of global climate change and its impacts on northern forests.

Also attending the conference are Eric Norland with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative States, Research, Education
and Extension Service forest resource management program, as well as federal, state and university foresters from throughout the Western
states, and from North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia.

CONTACT:  Extension Forestry Specialist Bob Wheeler at (907) 474-6356 or via e-mail at, Extension forestry administrative
assistant Mary Haley at (907) 474-5295 or, or Extension Communications Director Debra Damron at (907) 474-5420 or via e-mail

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