District-sponsored courses aim to support forest stewards

A pair of conservation districts are helping landowners become forest stewards in their free time.

Becoming a forest steward - online

The King Conservation District is promoting an online, seven-week forest stewardship course this winter, put on by Washington State University Extension. The Forest Stewardship Coached Planning course costs $185 and meets for three hours every Tuesday evening. Topics covered include:

  • How do you know if your trees are healthy? What should you do if they aren’t?
  • What types of trees do you have? Does your forest look like a “mess”?
  • Are characteristics of your property attracting or repelling the wildlife you enjoy? What can you do if wildlife cause damage? Read more>>>

Districts among the many partners assisting 2017 LRP projects

Conservation districts are partners in half of the 2017 Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership (LRP) projects announced in December. Through the program, the U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) strive to work together to restore landscapes, reduce wildfire threats to communities and landowners, protect water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat.

In 2017, five LRP projects in California, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, and Virginia will work with local conservation districts. Read more>>>

Follow NACD Annual Meeting forestry activity on social media

The NACD Forestry Resource Policy Group (RPG) will meet next week in Denver during the 2017 NACD Annual Meeting. There are several forestry-related breakout sessions planned, including one to highlight district forest health engagement, a session on State Forest Action Plans, and one detailing the pine beetle infestation in Colorado and the potential for biomass utilization. A number of forestry partners will also have displays in the Conservation Expo area. NACD will track forestry highlights from the meeting on social media (Twitter and Facebook) with the hashtag #NACDforestry2017.

Tools available on JFT website

The Joint Forestry Team (JFT) website has resources available to help conservation districts and conservation district state associations engage in forestry partnerships. The site has a directory of all state-level forestry memorandums of understanding (MOUs) and example MOUs for states considering formalizing a multi-partner agreement. Recently, the JFT produced a series of webinars. One provided examples of state-level MOUs in action, and another discussed the process and objectives of State Forest Action Plans. To learn more, visit http://jointforestryteam.org.

Forestry Briefs


New Allegan Conservation District forester promotes value of having forest stewardship plan

Allegan Conservation District forester Benjamin Savoie hopes to help local landowners get the most from their woods with a forest stewardship plan. Savoie said shaping a plan starts with asking the landowner a series of questions: What do you value most about your woodland? How do you use it? And what kinds of wildlife do you hope to attract?

“If they have plants, trees, and shrubs that are preferable to species like deer and turkey, you’re more likely to see them on your property… Having a management plan in place to either plant, or naturally grow these preferred species can definitely help for managing wildlife,” he told MLive. Click here to read more.


Conservation district helps preserve 500 acres of woodland

The Perry County Conservation District was among several partners to help complete a three-year project to preserve 500 acres of woodland in the county. The area is considered a wildlife refuge and is located near other protected lands, including the Tuscarora State Forest. Click here for more.


SWCD encourages landowners to start planning for windbreaks

The Buena Vista Soil and Water Conservation District issued a press release to encourage area residents to consider planning now for 2017 windbreak installations or repairs. Windbreaks are linear plantings of trees and shrubs designed to enhance crop production, protect people and livestock, and benefit soil and water conservation. They are one of five recognized agroforestry practices.

In the release, the district suggested the months of January and February were good times to plan where windbreaks should be constructed and what type of plantings would be needed. It also said this month and next were prime times for signing up for cost share incentives. Read more on the story here.

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