January 23, 2009

Risk is often inevitable no matter what the circumstances, but the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service is helping woodland owners and natural resource professionals mitigate risk by offering the Master Tree Farmer series, "Forest Risks and Risk Management."

UK Extension Forestry Professor Jeff Stringer will lead the three-part series from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. ET, March 2, 9 and 16. The program will be offered simultaneously at various county extension offices in the state, with each site's participants connected with the others through a web-based conferencing system.

The three sessions will cover the topics: Understanding and Managing Natural Disasters and Changing Climate; Managing and Mitigating Invasive Plant Species, Insects and Diseases; and Taxes, Policy, Regulations, Law and Land Use Change.

"Problems with ice damage, wind damage, invasive species and timber theft - all of those issues are ongoing in Kentucky and important to woodland owners, regardless of their objectives for their property," Stringer said. "This program will provide woodland owners with information that helps them deal with those issues and the protection of their property and assets."

The series will include live presentations from Stringer and other Kentucky forestry experts, as well as recorded sessions from forestry experts across the South. Participants will receive a notebook and speakers' notes for each session. Those completing the program will receive a certificate and a subscription to Kentucky Woodlands Magazine.

Kentucky Master Tree Farmer partners include UK Cooperative Extension, Kentucky Division of Forestry and Kentucky Tree Farm Committee. Financial support also comes from Clemson University, Southern Regional Extension Forestry, the American Tree Farm System and the South Carolina Tree Farm Program.

Course fees are $30 for an individual, $45 for couples. Preregistration is required. For more information about the Master Tree Farmer Series call 859-257-7597 or visit http://www.ca.uky.edu/forestryextension/MTF.php.

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