Field Sites

Big Woods, MN

This area to the west of the Twin Cities featured 3,000 square miles of red oak, white oak, sugar maple, basswood and elm forest prior to settlement by Europeans. About 1% of this forest remains in several parks and natural areas.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, MN

The million-acre BWCAW is the most heavily used wilderness area in the US, and has been the subject of long-term studies of forest fire and windstorm impacts on boreal forests. The BWCAW was listed by National Geographic as one of the original "50 places of a lifetime."

Chippewa National Forest, MN

Studies of the leading edges of earthworm invasion by Cindy Hale and landscape-scale patterns of invasion by Andy Holdsworth take place in sugar maple-dominated forests.

Door Peninsula, WI

This 70-mile long peninsula in Lake Michigan is well known for its mixture of northern hardwood and boreal forests, unusual plant communities, occurrence of rare and endemic plants, and 250-mile shoreline with sand dunes and dolomite bluffs.

Isle Royale National Park, MI

This part consists of the largest island and associated islets in Lake Superior. A transition from temperate maple and yellow birch forest to boreal spruce-fir forest is present. Internationally known studies of wolf-moose dynamics and moose-vegetation interactions have taken place for the last 40 years.

North Shore, MN

Located on Minnesota’s north shore of Lake Superior, this landscape is the subject of Nature Conservancy’s Manitou Initiative, and the location of CFHE’s research on multi-aged forest management.

Porcupine Mountains, MI

Located on the shore of Lake Superior in western Upper Michigan, this park has 35,000 acres of unlogged sugar maple and hemlock forest, and has been a focus of Lee Frelich’s Research in disturbance ecology since 1981. Forests in all stages of succession and stand development are present in one of the few landscape-scale forest remnants left in the eastern US.


This federally owned wilderness in Ottawa National Forest, was designated by Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. It features 15,000 acres of unlogged hemlock and sugar maple forest with system of small lakes. Much of the research on long-term dynamics of sugar maple and hemlock patches has taken place here.

The Berkshires, MA

The Berkshires contain many forest treasures, such as Mohawk Trail and Monroe State Forests, as well as many historic sites. Sugar maple, hemlock, and white pine forests cover the valleys and slopes of 2,000- to 3,000-foot mountains.