Michigan behind other states in wood use innovation

Capital News Service
LANSING – Michigan is lagging far behind states on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts in exploring innovative markets and uses for wood products and wood energy, experts say. And with Michigan’s abundant forestlands, identifying and developing new uses has major implications for the economy and employment across the state, not only in the north. “People think of the Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula as Michigan’s woodbasket, but there are a heck of a lot of trees that grow south of Clare, and a lot of them are dead or dying,” said Warren Suchovski, a logger and forestland owner in Stephenson, Menominee County. About 55 percent of the state is covered by forests, and forestry is the state’s third-largest manufacturing sector, according to MSU Extension. It says forests support about 136,000 jobs in the state and add $17 billion to its economy.

Woodsman, place that limb under water in a pond or a lake

Capital News Service
LANSING – Low lake levels and wood loss are causing some fish to binge until they run out of food, according to recent research. Jereme Gaeta, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studied the relationship between bass and perch, predator and prey, as dropping water levels altered the habitat offered by submerged trees and wood. Fallen trees and wood create a coarse woody habitat submerged in lakes. “Woody habitat is great for many species of fish in terms of foraging for food,” Gaeta said. “It’s a place for algae to grow and bugs to live.”
Trees in lakes can also provide shelter.