College of Natural Resources receives new funding for studies

by Dawn Throener

When Frank Brookes Hubachek Sr. bought a pine forest on the shores of Basswood Lake in 1937, he wanted to learn more about his new land.
He went to Frank Kaufert, former dean of the University’s College of Natural Resources, for assistance.
The friendship between Hubachek and Kaufert developed into a friendship between Hubachek and the University.
To continue that relationship, Hubachek’s family gave the College of Natural Resources $2.5 million on Sept. 1 to continue University wilderness research. Hubachek died in 1986.
The gift is the largest single private contribution ever received by the college.
“It is too good to be true,” said Alfred Sullivan, current dean of the College of Natural Resources.
The money will be used to fund research at the Wilderness Research Center near Ely, Minn.
Peter Reich, a forest resources professor, said that the center is used primarily for summer research.
Research at the center focuses on what the forest will look like in the future and what causes the changes, Reich said. This information will then be applied to forest management.
Other studies look at how the white pine tree regenerates from wildfires and how logging affects vegetation, Reich said.
Hubachek’s son, F.B. “Bill” Hubachek Jr., said he wants the University to use the donation for research at the center because his father, who was also a trustee at the University of Minnesota Foundation, founded the Wilderness Research Center in 1948.
“I think this is a good step, and I think it brings together a lot of family interests of the past,” Hubachek Jr. said. “All you get is satisfaction.”

Dawn Throener covers the St. Paul campus and welcomes comments at She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3216.