May 25, 2016 | By: Carol Lea Spence
LEXINGTON, Ky., -

Kentucky’s rich woodlands can provide their owners with many advantages, but proper management is important to be able to reap all the benefits. Woodland owners who are wondering how to get the most from their property can benefit from attending one of three short courses being offered around the state this summer by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

Well-managed forests can provide extra income and recreation opportunities for their owners, as well as a healthy environment for wildlife. The 2016 Woodland Owners Short Course will cover all those aspects, for both novice and experienced landowners.

"Folks might not be aware of all the resources that are available to help owners care for their woodlands and achieve their objectives,” said Billy Thomas, UK extension forester. “The Woodland Owners Short Course brings landowners together 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. Planning committees have developed the regional programs with local needs in mind, so each region’s course will vary slightly from the others.

Two concurrent tracks, Gold and Green, target either new or seasoned woodland owners. Landowners who have just acquired woodlands or who are beginning to think about management and wondering what their options are should enroll in the Green Track, while more experienced woodland owners can take advantage of the information available in the Gold Track. Past attendees 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 such topics as timber improvement practices, wildlife habitat management, invasive species, tree identification and hunt leasing, to name only a few. During one session offered in all three regions, participants will make their own cutting boards while learning how woodland management can lead to quality wood products.

In Central Kentucky, the course is scheduled for July 16 in the Henry County Cooperative Extension office, 2151 Campbellsburg Road, New Castle. Sherman Dotson will host the field site visit at his farm. The course in Eastern Kentucky, hosted by Breathitt County Cooperative Extension, is scheduled for July 30 at UK’s Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability, 176 Robinson Road, Jackson, with the field site at the James Mullins farm. In Western Kentucky, the course on Aug. 13 will be hosted by Caldwell County Cooperative Extension at UK’s Research and Education Center, 1205 Hopkinsville St., Princeton. The Lyndle Barnes farm will be the site for the field visit. Organizers will provide transportation to all field sites.

Each short course begins at 9 a.m. local time, with on-site registration at 8:30 a.m., and concludes around 4:30 p.m. Lunch is included. Preregistration is strongly encouraged as space is limited. When preregistering, sessions are $20 for individuals and $30 for couples. The day of the program, sessions are $30 for individuals and $40 for couples.

For a detailed listing of course topics at each location and to register, visit the short course website at http://forestry.ca.uky.edu/wosc. Registration is also available by phoning 859-257-7597.

The 2016 Woodland Owners Short Course is 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, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Kentucky Forest Industries Association, Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Kentucky Chapter of the Association of Consulting Foresters of America Inc.

Contact: 

Billy Thomas, 859-257-9153