July 20, 2010

Managed woodlands are healthy woodlands, which can attract more wildlife, produce valuable timber and provide a place for family recreation, according to University of Kentucky forestry specialists in the College of Agriculture. The 2010 Woodland Owners Short Course will cover all those aspects-for both novice and experienced landowners.

"Some of the biggest obstacles woodland owners face are understanding their property's potential and finding people who can help them accomplish their objectives," said Billy Thomas, UK Cooperative Extension forester. "The Woodland Owners Short Course presents essential information and puts landowners in contact with professionals who can help them achieve their particular management goals."

The one-day course is offered once in each of the three geographical regions of the state. In Eastern Kentucky, the course is scheduled for Aug. 21 in the UK Robinson Forest in Breathitt County. The course in Western Kentucky is scheduled for Aug. 28 at the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton, and in Central Kentucky the course will take place Sept. 11 at the Casey County Cooperative Extension office in Liberty.

Though many of the sessions are offered in all three locations, some sessions will cover topics specific to the region in which they're offered.

Two concurrent tracks, Gold and Green, target either the seasoned woodland owner or those who are just beginning. Landowners who might just have acquired woodlands or who are beginning to think about management should enroll in the Green Track, while more experienced woodland owners can register in the Gold Track. Past graduates of the short course will also find valuable information by returning to the course through the Gold Track.

Depending on the track and the region, sessions will cover tree identification; working with forestry and wildlife professionals; woodland and wildlife management practices; farm bill programs; elk in Eastern Kentucky; tree quality and value, including a WoodMizer demonstration; developing and using a management plan; forest health issues; timber trespass and woodland boundary issues; timber harvesting, sales and marketing considerations; forest certification; and food plots and hunt leases. A detailed listing of course topics at each location can be found online at http://www.ca.uky.edu/forestryextension/WOSC.php.

Parents are encouraged to bring their children. Children ages 6 through 13 can look forward to a day of hands-on activities led by representatives of the Kentucky Division of Forestry. Each youth participant will take home a goodie bag of fun forestry-related products.

"We really want the management of the woodlands to be a family affair," Thomas said. "Including the children gets the whole family thinking about forestry and woodland management."

Each short course begins at 9 a.m. local time and concludes around 4:30 p.m. Lunch is included. Preregistration is strongly encouraged as space is limited. Sessions are $25 for individuals, $40 for couples and $5 for youth.

The 2010 Woodland Owners Short Course is the result of a partnership between UK Cooperative Extension Service, UK Department of Forestry, Kentucky Division of Forestry, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Kentucky State University, Kentucky Tree Farm Committee, Kentucky Woodland Owners Association, Kentucky Natural Resources Conservation Service, Kentucky Forest Industries Association, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Kentucky Chapter of the Association of Consulting Foresters of America Inc.

Registration is available online at http://www.ca.uky.edu/forestryextension/WOSC.php or by calling 859-257-7597.