Technical Reports

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Please note: This collection contains all Technical Reports produced by NRRI. We are in the process of sorting these reports by subject; for Technical Reports sorted by specific subject, please see the subject-specific collections (which contain Reports of Investigations, Technical Reports, and Technical Summary Reports):

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Now showing 1 - 20 of 580
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    Minnesota National Forest Breeding Bird Monitoring Program Annual Report 1995–2023
    (University of Minnesota Duluth, 2023-12) Grinde, Alexis R; Siebers, Reid; Kolbe, Stephen; Bednar, Joshua D
    The Avian Ecology Lab at the Natural Resources Research Institute completed the 29th year of Minnesota's National Forest Breeding Bird Monitoring Program in 2023. These data have provided insights into the impacts of forest management on breeding bird populations and informed the development of management policies and conservation initiatives. This report summarizes forest bird monitoring data gathered from 1995 through 2023. Here we summarize the current status of species trends and overall trends for migration, habitat, and nesting guilds. We focus our discussion on species of conservation importance in the state to provide ecological context and to discuss management implications of the observed patterns for these species in the region.
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    Chippewa National Forest Hunter Walking Trail Project 2023 Report
    (University of Minnesota Duluth, 2023-12) Grinde, Alexis R; Kolbe, Stephen; Bednar, Joshua D
    The primary objective of the Chippewa National Forest Hunter Walking Trail Project is to assess the effects of experimental harvesting on Ruffed Grouse and breeding bird species. The results from the pre-harvest study (2020–2021) established baseline data for future reference. Here, we report the results from pre- and post-harvest (depending on the study area) line transect and ARU (Autonomous Recording Unit) surveys conducted during the 2023 breeding bird season. These two survey methods are complementary to one another and provide a comprehensive assessment of Ruffed Grouse and breeding bird communities. Specific objectives include: 1. Assess Ruffed Grouse abundance and characterize breeding bird communities before and after harvest treatments that were implemented in 2021–2023; and 2. Summarize preliminary results as a part of the National Forest Bird Monitoring Project annual report and provide data to Chippewa National Forest.
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    Interstate Island Habitat Restoration: Phase III – Long-Term Monitoring and Maintenance Plan Common Tern Monitoring & Migratory Shorebird Assessment 2023 Final Report
    (University of Minnesota Duluth, 2023-12-01) Bracey, Annie; Kolbe, Stephen; Strand, Fred; Grinde, Alexis R
    The goal of the Interstate Island avian habitat restoration project was to restore and enhance critical breeding habitat for the Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) and Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) in the St. Louis River Estuary (SLRE). The primary objective of the habitat restoration was to maintain and increase the population of Common Terns breeding at the Interstate Island colony. To assess the effectiveness of the restoration, post-restoration field surveys were conducted to document the breeding status of Common Terns relative to pre-restoration averages. To document breeding population size and productivity, we followed the long-term monitoring protocol developed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), to ensure comparability between pre- and post- restoration monitoring. There were no monitoring objectives related to Piping Plover since this species has not been documented on Interstate Island. A secondary objective of the project was to document shorebird use of the island during migration to determine if this species group was utilizing the restored habitat. To meet this objective, researchers developed a shorebird monitoring protocol, conducted in- person surveys, and utilized remote camera traps to observe and quantify shorebird species diversity, abundance, and spatial and temporal use of Interstate Island. Based on post-restoration surveys, population targets are not currently being met for Common Tern, with the number of nesting pairs currently at some of the lowest recorded since the island was colonized. However, post-restoration productivity is above the range deemed necessary to sustain a viable population and above pre-restoration averages. The overall quality of the nesting habitat for Common Terns was greatly improved. If habitat quality is the primary factor limiting the size of the breeding population, we anticipate the restoration actions will result in an increase in breeding numbers but there may be a lag in response time. We also documented 22 shorebird species and 38 other avian species using the island during our surveys. Our results indicate that shorebirds as well as many other species of birds will readily use the newly restored habitat at Interstate Island, habitat which is much needed in this important bird region. Continued monitoring and management will be necessary to determine long-term effects of restoration for both Common Terns and migratory shorebirds.
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    Evaluation of Carex Peat, Sphagnum Moss Peat, and Sphagnum Top Moss As Oil Sorbents
    (University of Minnesota Duluth, 1990) Hagen, Timothy S; Malterer, Thomas J; Levar, Thomas E
    Experiments were conducted to evaluate the ability of Carex peat, Sphagnum moss peat, and Sphagnum top moss to sorb (i.e., to take up and hold oil by either adsorption or absorption) Lloydminster and UHC crude oils. Pure component and mixed components of the peats and top moss were used. Experiments were carried out under ambient temperature and pressure. The sorptive capacity, sorptive rate, and height of capillary rise of oil was measured for the sorbents. The sorptive capacity of the pure Sphagnum top moss, for both oils, was significantly higher than that of the two peats. Mixtures of Sphagnum top moss and Sphagnum moss peat also had relatively high sorptive capacities. Carex peat and mixtures containing predominantly Carex peat had low sorptive capacities. The sorptive rates differed by both the oil type and sorbent. All pure component and mixed component sorbents had relatively low sorptive rates for the higher viscosity Lloydminster oil, and only slightly higher sorptive rates for the lower viscosity UHC crude oil. Mixing lower sorptive rate materials with higher sorptive rate materials resulted in lower than expected sorptive rates. In all cases, the height of capillary rise was found to be significantly higher for the mixed component sorbents than for the pure component sorbents. A preliminary cost-benefit assessment suggests that pure Sphagnum top moss, and mixtures that contain predominantly Sphagnum top moss are relatively inexpensive (0.022 to 0.031 US$/Kg oil sorbed) sorbents, and they may be competitive with common commercial oil sorbents.
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    Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape Climate Resilience Analysis and Strategic Plan Amendments
    (University of Minnesota Duluth, 2023-07) Bartsch, Will; Cai, Meijun; Johnson, Kris; Nixon, Kristi; Sprague, Tiffany; Wright, Chris; Olsen, Louis; Reed, Jane
    Camp Ripley is a military training facility located in central Minnesota. It is surrounded by the 750,000-acre Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape (CRSL). Created in 2015, the CRSL consists of working and natural lands surrounding Camp Ripley with the purpose of protecting the training mission of the facility. The rural character of this landscape is generally compatible with that mission. However, it could be compromised by development, which could diminish habitat quality and raise the potential for conflict with landowners. The ability of Camp Ripley to maintain its mission is also threatened by a changing climate, which is projected to get warmer and wetter with a higher frequency of large precipitation events in the region. To help ensure the viability of the mission, the Natural Resources Research Institute assessed climate vulnerabilities and developed strategies to build and enhance climate resilience. Specifically, we 1) evaluated and selected Global Climate Models (GCM) that are expected to perform well in the region, 2) modeled stream water quantity and quality under different land use and climate scenarios, 3) characterized the landscape using Geographic Information Systems, 4) modeled and identified high-quality habitat for at-risk species, 5) evaluated and ranked parcels for conservation and restoration opportunities, 6) created afforestation plans for individual parcels, and 7) amended the Camp Ripley Strategic Plan with climate resilience language and strategies. Modeling stream quantity and quality under different land use scenarios indicates generally increased flow and sediment and nutrient concentration in scenarios where forest land is converted to agriculture or developed. Modeling under different future climate scenarios generally predicts decreased summer baseflow and increased nutrient and sediment concentrations. A suite of environmental data was acquired and developed to help characterize the landscape and prioritize parcels for conservation or restoration activity. Habitat models were developed for the Red-shouldered hawk, Golden-winged warbler, Northern long-eared bat, and Blanding’s turtle, all listed as at-risk or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Afforestation plans with carbon sequestration modeling and carbon market participation compensation estimates were completed for two parcels within the landscape, illustrating an economically viable, market-driven solution. Climate resilience language was added to the strategic plan with emphasis placed on the restructuring and expansion of the strategy table while improving alignment with Minnesota’s Climate Adaptation Framework.
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    Size Distributions of Taconite Ore by Image Analysis of Video Tapes of Muckpiles
    (University of Minnesota Duluth, 1994-02) Niles, Harlan B
    A computer-based digital imaging system has been developed by the United States Bureau of Mines (USBM), with the assistance of NORAMCO Engineering Corporation of Hibbing and the Coleraine Minerals Research Laboratory (CMRL), to determine size distributions of mine-run taconite ore. One such system, operating at a primary crusher at United States Steel's Minntac mine, produces size distributions of mine-run ore that are accurate for fragment widths of 12 inches and more. The CMRL proposed a project to develop a method of sizing mine-run ore in muckpiles by image analysis. These size analyses could provide rapid evaluations of blast fragmentation so that later blasts could be designed for more effective breakage. It was assumed that video tapes of muckpiles processed through an I.A. computer program could provide these rapid analyses. The Iron Ore Cooperative Research Committee approved and funded this project. After the CMRL camcorder was calibrated so that I.A. size distribution computer output could be converted from pixels to inches, several muckpiles at Minntac and at Eveleth Taconite were video taped at lens-to-subject distances of 24 to 116 feet. Video tape size distributions from one Minntac muckpile were compared to the size distributions established for that blast at the primary crusher. The size distributions from the muckpile were much coarser than those from the crusher which indicated that fragment resolution at the long distances was too insensitive to provide accurate sizing. The same Minntac blast was then video-taped by the CMRL by walking over the muckpile so that the lens-to-subject distance was 7.5 feet. Size distributions from this video tape were quite close to the average size distribution established by 120 trains at the primary crusher. This indicated that video tapes could be representative of muckpile surfaces and that the I.A. resolution is adequate at the shorter distance. Additional experimental blast areas will be video-taped by the CMRL by walking over muckpiles to generate size analyses to compare to sizing of the same blasts at the primary crusher. If these sets of size analyses are very similar and both muckpile and crusher data show the same size variations between experimental areas, the sizing method could be recommended for use at all Minnesota taconite mining operations.
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    Aspen Supply in Minnesota 1977 to 2007
    (University of Minnesota, Duluth, 1990-07) Gephart, John S; Tevik, John B; Adams, Roy D; Berguson, William E
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    Two-Step Overlay Project Using the Laboratory Press
    (University of Minnesota, Duluth, 1990-02) Roos, Kenneth
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    Commercialization of a Residential Panel Door: Final Report
    (University of Minnesota Duluth, 1999-10) Donahue, Patrick K
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    Heat Sterilization Times of Five Hardwood Species: Stress Wave E-Rating of Specimens
    (University of Minnesota Duluth, 2004-09) Wang, Xiping; Forsman, John W; Erickson, John R
    Heat Sterilization of lumber, timbers and pallets is currently used to kill insects to prevent their transfer between countries in international trade. A typical requirement is that the center of any wood configuration be held at 133 °F (56 °C) for 30 min. However, the time required for the center to reach this temperature can vary widely depending on a number of factors such as wood species, physical prope1iies, cross-sectional dimensions, and heating medium, etc. The overall objective of this project was to quantify the effects of wood species, cross-sectional dimension, and heating medium on the time required to heat the center of hardwood lumber and timbers to 133 °Fat a heating temperature of 160 °F (71 °C). A stress wave E-rating procedure was also added to examine if the stress wave properties of lumber and timbers can be any useful in predicting heating times for untested species in the future.
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    National Casein Adhesive Evaluation Heat Performance
    (University of Minnesota Duluth, 1999-04) Krause, Victor; Brashaw, Brian K
    The objective of this project was to evaluate the heat resistance of membrane pressed thermoformed vinyl panels manufactured by the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) using a polyurethane dispersion (PUD) adhesive mix supplied by National Casein Company.
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    Low Frequency Vibration Approach to Assess the Performance of Wood Structural Systems
    (University of Minnesota Duluth, 2003-10) Wang, Xiping; Ross, Robert J; Erickson, John R; Forsman, John W
    The primary means of inspecting buildings and other structures is to evaluate each structural member individually. This is a time consuming process that is expensive, particularly if sheathing or other covering materials must be removed to access the structural members. This report presents an effort to use a low frequency vibration method for assessing the structural performance of wood floor systems.
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    Development of Stain and Sealer Formulations and Markets: MTI Final Report
    (University of Minnesota Duluth, 1999-10) Krause, Victor; Gephart, John S
    OBJECTIVE: To compare topcoat and staining properties of 2 Van Technologies sealer formulations to 5 commercially available sealers. To provide information to Van Technologies on the properties and performance of these sealers.
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    The Development and Commercialization of a Residential Panel Door: Final Report
    (University of Minnesota Duluth, 1999-10) Donahue, Patrick K
    Objective: To facilitate the commercialization of a residential wood door using computer numerically controlled (CNC) routing and engineered veneer overlay technology
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    Production Testing of Modified Soy Flour/MDI Adhesive in Oriented Strand Board Manufacturing: Final Report
    (University of Minnesota, Duluth, 1997-12) Edwardson, Christian F; Quan, Xianzhi
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    Evaluation of the Use of Acoustic Technology to Identify Low Value Logs
    (University of Minnesota Duluth, 2007-06) Wang, Xiping; Ross, Robert J; Brashaw, Brian K; Vatalaro, Robert J; Johnson, Scott
    The purpose of this service was to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of a resonance based acoustic technique for sorting low grade and low value logs from the chip wood mix stems. This work is conducted under a service agreement between the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) at the University of Minnesota Duluth and the Seneca Sawmill Co. in Eugene, Oregon.
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    Manufacturing and Use of Structural Lumber Substitutes: Final Report
    (University of Minnesota, Duluth, 1990-01) Edwardson, Christian F
    Minnesota does not have the necessary timber resource to provide the quality and quantity of softwood lumber used in building construction in the State. If an appropriate composite lumber substitute (CLS) can be identified and developed using Minnesota species, job creation and decreased use of imported lumber could be realized. This project endeavored to identify potential lumber substitutes and evaluate the economic feasibility of manufacturing various substitutes in Minnesota. Some product development work was initiated. Parallel laminated veneer lumber (PLVL) displayed excellent potential based on an economic evaluation. Some preliminary laboratory studies of this material were established. PLVL was manufactured with aspen and birch used singly or in combination. These boards were tested to establish preliminary strength information. This report includes a detailed economic analysis for the construction of a PLVL plant in Minnesota, with a sensitivity analysis. Less detailed numbers were available for the other CLS options resulting in less detailed analysis, but allowing for some comparisons. This study shows the excellent potential for the development of a CLS plant in Minnesota and work will be continued and expanded in a related project involving a major Minnesota utility company. The planned future experiments will primarily involve the preservative treatment aspects of PLVL.
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    Undrained Peatlands for Short Rotation Forestry
    (University of Minnesota, Duluth, 1989-12) Berguson, William E
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    Commercialization of a Residential Panel Door (1995-02): Semi-Annual Progress Report
    (University of Minnesota, Duluth, 1995-02) Donahue, Patrick K
    The project's goal is to continue technical and business development efforts to facilitate the commercialization of a veneered residential wood door designed with an engineered substrate and an engineered veneered door skin. Specifically, to continue product performance testing. This task will be accomplished by combining business expertise of Lexington Manufacturing of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, and the product development skills of the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) scientists. The successful completion of this work will posture Lexington Manufacturing closer to expanding their business with a veneered panel door product line.
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    Preliminary Evaluation of Hybrid Cottonwood Lumber Mechanical Properties
    (University of Minnesota, Duluth, 1995-12) Brashaw, Brian K
    As the availability of traditional lumber resources decreases, hybrid cottonwood and hybrid aspen are being considered for potential use as a lumber resource. The University of Minnesota, Crookston and the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) has an ongoing research focus on the forestry, economics, and utilization of hybrid cottonwood. Potential applications for this material include lumber and pulpwood for paper and oriented strandboard (OSB).