Imagine a world where there is no fall leaves that crunch under your boots, no shady spot to lay in on a hot day, or piles of leaves for your dogs to jump in. These are just a few of the ways we find pleasure with trees, but what if there wasn’t any form of forest management? What would happen to our forests?
In all honesty, our forests technically wouldn’t need our management if it weren’t for our own reliance on forests as a resource. Forests have covered this Earth for hundreds of millions of years, long before humans even existed. Back then, forests were able to manage themselves. The trees grew and provided resources like oxygen, shelter, food, and more to the animals that lived in their forests. When the trees died, they continued to provide for the animals of the forest, just in a new way. Animals could live in their hollowed trunks, use their branches to build homes, and benefit from the nutrients as the tree decomposed. In life and death, the tree provides.
Today, trees still are a great resource for wildlife and humans alike. They provide us with the lumber we use to build our homes, the paper we need to do our jobs, the food we eat, and the air we breathe. The only difference is that now we need to properly manage our harvesting so future generations can also utilize this resource.
Forest management was created to save the trees from depletion so we could learn how to properly manage and harvest trees. There are a variety of careers that focus on maintaining our forests such as…..
While these are just a few of the many careers in forestry. Whether you’re a federal employee, state employee or a landowner, your role in forest management is vital to protecting our forests. Although these are very different roles, they each play a large part in keeping these lands safe and healthy. At the end of the day, we’re all working towards the same goal, and that’s sustainable management of our forests.
For more on careers in forestry, join the Into the Outdoors Adventure Team members Charlie and Lucas as they head on a “special mission” to explore the diverse career opportunities and pathways for young people interested in natural resources.
Getting outside seems a lot easier in the summertime when the sun is shining and the weather is warm, but there are a lot of fun activities to enjoy in the winter too! Here are 15 winter activities that will get the whole family out and enjoying the snow season!
The best snowman building snow comes right after a fairly warm snowfall, with temperatures hovering just above or below freezing. This creates moist snow that packs together easily to hold shapes without becoming icy!
Take a walk down the street to look at all of the holiday lights in your neighborhood. Check if there’s a light show at your local park or zoo!
Nothing is more satisfying than a fresh blanket of snow! See if you can spot any animal tracks in the snow, and try to identify what type of animal made them.
As the lakes begin to freeze, check to see if your community hosts any special events like Kites on Ice or skate days. Maybe they even have an ice fishing competition! *Please check with local experts before walking on the ice.*
It is hard for birds to find seeds in the winter because the plants are mostly covered in snow. Help out your neighborhood birds by creating a bird feeder to hang in your backyard!
Whether it’s ice skating, cross country skiing, sledding or snowmobiling, get your family active this snow season! There are plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors in winter.
As the Earth rotates around the sun, our view of the night sky changes. That’s why some constellations are only visible in the winter. See if you can spot Orion in the night sky during the winter months!
Many state parks keep their trails open in the winter, so break out the snowshoes and take in the snowy views!
Icicles are a great way to teach kids about thawing and freezing. Take the kids on a fun ice caving expedition so they can see for themselves how ice caves form.
This is a hefty task, but definitely a memorable one! Always be extra careful to make the roof thinner, so it’s not too heavy, and to have adult supervision at all times.
Snowball fights are a great way to burn some energy and have some healthy family competition. Divide into teams, build your forts and let the snowballs fly!
Every snowflake has its own unique design, no two are the same! They form when a cold droplet of water freezes to a particle of pollen or dust in the sky, creating an ice crystal. The arms of the snowflake form as water vapor crystalizes onto the original crystal. Use construction paper to create your own unique snowflake design!
You don’t need sand to build castles! Get out your buckets and shovels and start building your very own snow castle!
Take a ride through a winter wonderland in a classic horse-drawn sleigh. Lots of resorts and other attractions will host sleigh rides during the winter season, see if there’s one near you!
Not everything needs to be super planned out to be fun! Sometimes all you need to do is sit back and make a snow angel.
No matter how you choose to spend your snow days, we hope you enjoy at least one of these 15 winter activities! Make sure to tag @intotheoutdoors on Facebook and Instagram to have your outdoor family adventures featured on our page!
A healthy lake means a happy angler! What makes a lake a healthy home for their resident fish and plant species? Let’s dive deep and explore everything that goes into maintaining a stable, sustainable home for all living creatures below the ripples on the surface.
If you’re a savvy angler, you know that some of the best fishing spots are around weed beds, emerging and submerged plants, where fish love to hide! Marine plants are great for the environment, but only if they are native to that specific ecosystem.
Lakes, ponds and other bodies of water might seem pretty similar at first glance, but if you look below the surface, they are a very unique combination of species that live together in harmony. Plant species that are native to one lake are often not native to other lakes, and mixing these species where they don’t belong can cause major disruption to an ecosystem.
Invasive species are species that are introduced to an environment, often accidentally, that become overpopulated and negatively impact the ecosystem. For example, a thick layer of an invasive algae species could starve oxygen from the water, harming the fish and plants below the surface.
If you’re looking to keep your favorite fishing spots healthy, make sure to properly clean your engine and vessel before changing into a different body of water so you don’t accidentally introduce an invasive species.
Similar precautions should be used when picking out which live bait you’ll be bringing along on your next fishing trip. While you’re hoping your bait stays on the hook, sometimes one might get away. This simple frustration for you might mean a whole lot more for the health of the lake you’re fishing in.
Just like plants, invasive fish and marine species can also spread to other lakes and bodies of water, so it’s important to make sure you're fishing with a bait that is native to the lake you are fishing in. This will protect the native species from potential disease, over predation and elimination caused by invasive species.
Help keep the ecosystem and the native species healthy by checking out your local DNR regulations to make sure the species of live bait you are fishing with is safe for the body of water you are at!
Fishing from the dock is always a great option, but sometimes you need to get out on the water to reach the best ‘fishy’ spots. If you can, try to avoid using a motorboat that can pollute the water with oil and gas, and try taking on a new, and a bit more tippy, adventure. Give an old school rowboat a chance on your next trip!
This motorless option can help reduce and eliminate water pollution, as well as noise pollution, to keep the lake as healthy and clean as possible. Motors also cause a lot of disruption to the water which can potentially stir up sediment from the lake bottom and mix it back into the water ruining the clarity.
Check out our newest episode, “Into Fishing with a Spincaster Reel” where our Adventure Team members Gracie and Solomon try out fishing in a rowboat!
If you enjoy catching big fish in healthy lakes, do your part and practice safe and smart fishing. Watch out for invasive species, both plants and fish, check out your local DNR regulations, and if you’re reel-y feeling adventurous, try out a rowboat!