The Outlook | October 2023

A trusted source of environmental information

Dovetail Partners and Cambium Consulting To Explore the Potential Effects of an Expanding Forest Carbon Market

The US Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) has provided a grant to Dovetail Partners to conduct a project in collaboration with Cambium Consulting over the next year with the goal of creating shared understanding around the potential effects of an expanding forest carbon market in the United States. The project has four distinct phases designed to raise awareness and encourage consideration and integration of approaches to maximize positive outcomes and minimize negative impacts. The project includes development of a concept paper, a survey of stakeholders and interested parties, development of mapping strategies, and a conveying workshop to be held in mid-2024.

Click here to learn more.

Forestry and Wildlife Managers Collaborate on ‘Best Practices’ for Endangered Species

Article by Dovetail Associates Mark Jacobs and Kathleen Preece, with contributions from Lane Moser

In September 2023, foresters and wildlife managers from across northern Minnesota gathered for a workshop and field tour focused on forestry practices relative to the now-designated ‘endangered’ Northern Long-eared Bat species. The bat was designated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as a species of ‘special concern’ in Minnesota in 1984, and eventually was designated as federally endangered in November 2022.

The gathering was organized by the University of Minnesota’s Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative (UMN-SFEC) to take place in Aitkin and Carlton counties, and was specific to forestry practices that could enhance the survival and health of the Northern Long-eared Bat. The counties were chosen for the field tour as their land departments have been proactive in developing a cooperative Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the Northern Long-eared bat and two other bat species. The two counties proactively developed their HCP prior to the endangered label because of what they were seeing in the woods. In cooperation with Dovetail Partners Inc, counties had conducted forest bat surveys on lands they manage from 2014-2019.

You can read more about this collaborative event here.

Pictured: Carlton County forester Mark Westphal (blue jacket) speaks to the group. Photo by Lane Moser - UMN.

Nimaawanji’idimin Giiwitaashkodeng: We are all gathering around the fire

At the September Dovetail Partners team meeting, staff and associates had the privilege of hearing from Nisogaabokwe Melonee Montano and Evan Larson. Nisogaabokwe Melonee Montano is a graduate student at the University of Minneosta and a Red Cliff tribal member, and Evan Larson is a professor and dendrochronologist at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Their project, funded by the Wisconsin Sea Grant program, combines tree-ring data with Indigenous cultural knowledge to understand the role of fire, or Ishkode, in the Minnesota and Wisconsin points and how returning fire to the area would contribute to cultural and ecological restoration. You can learn more about this incredible project at the links below.

The Stories Trees Tell—a news article written by Marie Zhuikov of the Wisconsin Sea Grant program that highlights the project, Anishinaabe relationships with fire, and the importance of storytelling.

Fire, Blueberries and Treaty Rights—a 45 minute podcast produced by the Wisconsin Sea Grant program that explores the themes of environmental justice and equity through considering the relationships among people, fire, blueberries and pines

River Talk: Working with Fire to Heal the Land on Wisconsin and Minnesota Points – a 1.5 hour lecture and webinar hosted by the River Talks speaker series that reports the results of the tree-ring research on Zhaagawamikong Neyaashi.

Check out the MinnesotaFAC website to learn more.

Liberty Earns Accreditation as a Right-of-Way Steward

Liberty joins utilities in leading the way towards responsible ROW vegetation management 

25 September 2023, (Minneapolis, MN) - The Right-Of-Way Stewardship Council (ROWSC) is pleased to announce that Liberty has successfully achieved accreditation as a "Right-of-Way Steward" for sustainable integrated vegetation management (IVM) of its electric transmission right-of-way systems in its Central Region. Liberty is now one of only nine utility companies currently qualified to achieve ROWSC accreditation. Liberty manages vegetation on more than 1,460 miles of transmission Rights-Of-Way in four states in its Central Region: Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, with a geographic footprint for electric transmission estimated at approximately 21,000 acres. 

Read more:

Pictured left to right: Dennis Fallon – UAA, Lewis Payne - ROWSC Chair, and Liberty team members Jason Grossman and Gary Edens

Mass Timber Competition Award Winners

Five winners of the 2023 Mass Timber Competition: Building to Net-Zero Carbon, funded jointly by the Softwood Lumber Board and USDA Forest Service (USDA), were announced in Chicago on October 19th. The winning projects received funds totaling $2.2 million to demonstrate mass timber’s applications in architectural design and highlight its significant role in reducing the carbon footprint of the built environment.

Finalists were chosen by an independent jury representing the fields of architecture, structural engineering, construction, real estate development, and forest products. They included Joe Allbright, Senior Director, Corporate Real Estate, Walmart; Jennifer Bonner, Director, MALL; Kathryn Fernholz, President/CEO, Dovetail Partners; Tom Flicker, Sustainable Product Innovation, Amazon; Andrew Katz, Founder and Principal, Katz Development; Chandra Robinson, Principal, LEVER Architecture; Erich Roden, Deputy Chief (Ret.), City of Milwaukee Fire Department; Lauren Wingo, Senior Engineer, Arup; Christine Zinkgraf, Sr. Project Executive, Lease Crutcher Lewis. View the list of winners here.


Biochar is the hidden gem of the 21 century. This substance is catching the attention of scientists, farmers, and environmental enthusiasts alike. The factsheets and application guidelines will explore the boundless potential, benefits and ways it is revolutionizing industries around the globe. Biochar is a solution that promises to shape a greener, more sustainable future for our planet. You can view the factsheets and application guide here.

The Biochar application guideline has been translated to Spanish thanks to the Instituto Latinoamericano del Biochar (ILBI) Check out the translated version here.

Investing in the Future of Forestry: Building a Thriving Workforce

Port Blakely held a panel discussion titled “Investing in the Future of Forestry: Building a Thriving Workforce”. Representatives from national industry groups in the U.S. shared what they are doing to support creating a sustainable and thriving forestry workforce. Katie Fernholz of Dovetail Partners was one of the panelists for this event. The session explored what we as a collective industry can do to ensure we have a ready and engaged and diverse workforce now and for years to come. 

You can view the recording here.

2023 Women’s Chainsaw Safety Workshops

In September, The Minnesota Women's Woodland Network (MNWWN) partnered with Dovetail Partners and Wisconsin Forestry Extension to host three workshops geared towards female woodland owners with little or no experience with a chainsaw. The principal focus of the workshop was on safety: safe posture, safe practices, safe clothing, and safe habits. The three workshops provided an opportunity for women from southern and northern Minnesota to attend and provided a 1:5 ratio of instructors to participants. Read more about the event here.

Photo Credit: Gloria Erickson

Give to the Max

Mark your calendar! Give to the Max is November 16, 2023, and we hope you will make plans to support Dovetail Partners!

Support Us Here

Dovetail's 20th Anniversary & First Score Club

2023 is a big milestone for Dovetail Partners - it’s our 20th Anniversary!

We want to thank the individuals and organizations that have already responded to our invitation to join Dovetail's First Score Club!

Special thanks and much gratitude to:


  • Cheryl Adams
  • Steve & Janet Bratkovich
  • Mike Carroll
  • Alicia Cramer
  • Paul DeLong
  • Kedren Dillard
  • Carmen & Sally Fernholz, A-Frame Farm
  • Kay & Annette Fernholz, Earthrise Farm
  • Patrick de Freitas
  • Heather Himler
  • Jonathon Kemske
  • Tom & Mary Kroll, Kroll Consulting Forestry, LLC.
  • Jim Marshall
  • Thomas McLain
  • Gerry Mich
  • Norm Moody
  • Norman Murray
  • Pierce Cedar Creek Institute
  • Robert Scheierl
  • Beth Waterhouse
  • Adam Zoet


  • Jim & Ruth Bowyer
  • John Bradfield, Dedicated to My fellow Wood Science Graduates and my Professors at NC State University 1977-1982
  • Cassie Phillips
  • Martha and Colin Moseley


  • CNUC
  • Domtar
  • Jill & Charles Koosmann


  • Georgia-Pacific

Donations made before November 25, 2023 (twenty years to-the-day of Dovetail’s founding!) will count toward membership in the First Score Club. Donors to the First Score Club will be recognized in Dovetail’s e-newsletter, at our website, and in our annual report. 

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