April 25, 2007 | By: Terri McLean

Helping Kentucky’s 423,000 private forest owners better manage their property and, in the process, ensure the future of the state’s valuable forest land is the goal of the 2007 Woodland Owners Short Course.

Sponsored by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, the Kentucky Division of Forestry and the Kentucky Woodland Owners Association, the program consists of three regional short courses aimed at providing educational opportunities in several areas of woodland and natural resource management.

“Woodland owners need access to information about forest management and its vital role in ensuring the future sustainability of our woodlands and protection of natural resources,” said organizer Billy Thomas, Extension forester at UK. 

This is the fourth year for the popular woodlands series, but this year it will be set up in a regional format, Thomas said. Each of the regional short courses will feature three separate field sessions. All sessions will be targeted to the specific region in which they’re held.

“The regional format … offers additional opportunities for woodland owners,” he said. “Travel time will be significantly reduced, more educational programs will be offered and those programs will be better tailored to the needs of each region.”

A variety of forestry and natural resource professionals will discuss topics in three program areas: woodland management practices, woodland economics, and wildlife and recreation. In each session, natural resource professionals will lead an open discussion on regionally important forestry issues. 

Sessions in woodland management practices, featuring such topics as woodland evaluation, tree planting, harvesting and regeneration treatments, will be at Green River State Forest in Henderson County May 31, Eden Shale Farm in Owen County June 7 and Kentucky Ridge State Forest in Bell County July 10. 

Sessions in woodland economics, including timber valuation, selling strategies, estate planning and woodland products, will be at Pennyrile State Forest in Christian County June 28, at Pittman Creek Wood Products in Pulaski County July 19 and at the Lee County Cooperative Extension office in Lee County Aug. 7.

Woodland wildlife and recreation sessions will be at Bandana Hunt Club in Ballard County Aug. 2, Knobs State Forest in Bullitt County Aug. 23 and at Elkhorn Park in Floyd County Sept. 11. Topics covered include hunting leases, trails, tree identification and water resources.

“New woodland owners or those who have not done any management work on their property will benefit the most, but experienced landowners will also gain valuable information to help them better manage their woodlands and meet their objectives,” Thomas said.

In addition, all Kentuckians stand to benefit from the woodlands series. Nearly half the state is covered in woodlands, which contribute to the state’s economy and provide ecosystem services to everyone.

“Increasing woodland management and awareness of woodlands’ important role will ultimately benefit all citizens, as well as the state of Kentucky,” he said.

Cost for each day-long workshop is $10. To attend all three sessions in a region, the cost is $25. Lunch is provided, and attendees will receive either a reference CD or binder of information aimed at helping them manage their woodlands. Space is limited, so advance registration is required. Directions to each session will be mailed after registration is received.

For more information about any of the Woodland Owners Short Course or to register, call the UK Forestry Department at 859-257-7597 or the Kentucky Division of Forestry at 502-564-4496. More information is also available online at http://www.ukforestry.org,http://www.forestry.ky.gov or http://www.kentuckywoodlandownersassociation.com.


Billy Thomas, 859-257-9153