June 18, 2012 | By: Carol Lea Spence
LEXINGTON, KY.

Managed woodlands are healthy woodlands, which can enhance the landowner’s experience by attracting more wildlife, producing a cash crop of valuable timber and providing a place for family recreation, according to forestry specialists in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. The 2012 Woodland Owners Short Course will cover all those aspects—for both novice and experienced landowners.

Most woodland owners are not aware of the wide variety of organizations and programs available to help them care for their woodlands, said Billy Thomas, UK Cooperative Extension forester.

"Some of the biggest obstacles woodland owners face are understanding their property's potential and finding people who can help them accomplish their objectives,” he said. “The Woodland Owners Short Course puts landowners in contact with professionals who can help them achieve their particular management goals.”

More than 10 Kentucky forestry, wildlife and natural resource organizations work in partnership to plan, conduct and evaluate the one-day course, which is offered once in each of the three geographical regions of the state. Local planning committees have developed the regional programs with local needs in mind, so each region’s course will vary slightly from the others. In Eastern Kentucky, the course is scheduled for Aug. 4 in the Whitley County Cooperative Extension office in Williamsburg. The course in Western Kentucky is scheduled for Aug. 11 at the Marshall County Cooperative Extension office in Benton, and in Central Kentucky the course will take place Aug. 25 at Cedarmore Camp in Bagdad.

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

Depending on the track and the region, sessions will cover such topics as tree identification; tree planting; crop tree management; native warm-season grasses; wildlife food plots; woodland health threats; wildlife habitat management; salvage harvests and improve storm-damaged woodlands; conservation reserve program and wildlife corridors; woodland certification benefits and opportunities; forestry and wildlife; timber harvesting and sales; wetland reserve program and water quality plans, to name just a few.

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 $20 for individuals, $30 for couples.

The 2012 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.

For a detailed listing of course topics at each location and to register, visit the short course website at http://www.ca.uky.edu/forestryextension/WOSC.php. Phone registration is also available by calling 859-257-7597.

Contact: 

Billy Thomas, 859-257-9153