PHOTO: Matt Barton
Woodland owners who are wondering how to get the most from their property should think about attending one of three Woodland Owners Short Courses being offered around the state this summer, said Billy Thomas, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension forester.
When woodlands are managed properly, their health improves and they can produce a cash crop of valuable timber, as well as attract more wildlife and provide a place for family recreation. The 2014 Woodland Owners Short Course will cover all those aspects—for both novice and experienced landowners.
Woodland owners are sometimes not aware of the wide variety of organizations and programs available to help them care for their woodlands.
"It’s important to understand a property’s potential. And though there are plenty of people and organizations who can help accomplish an owner’s objectives, people might not know where to find them,” Thomas said. “That’s where the Woodland Owners Short Course comes in. It 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. Planning committees have developed the regional programs with local needs in mind, so each region’s course will vary slightly from the others. In the West Region, the course is scheduled for Aug. 9 in the Crittenden County Ed Tech Center, 200 Industrial Drive, Marion. The Philip Sharp Farm will host the field site visit. The course in Central Kentucky is scheduled for Aug. 16 at the Boone County Cooperative Extension office, 6028 Camp Ernst Road, Burlington. The field site will be at the D.B. Farm, and in southeastern Kentucky the course on Aug. 23 will begin at the Knox County Extension office, 215 Treuhaft Blvd., Suite 7, Barbourville and move to the Burchel Blevins Farm. Organizers will provide transportation to all field sites.
Two concurrent tracks, Gold and Green, target either the seasoned woodland owner or those who are just beginning. 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 managers can take advantage of the information available 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 such topics as tree identification; woodland management concepts; woodland rehabilitation, threatened and endangered species; management and control of deer and turkeys, wildlife food plots, woodland revenue options, hunting lease income, woodland certification, native warm season grass management and riparian buffers for water quality, to name some.
Each short course begins at 9 a.m. local time with 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.
The 2014 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, 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.
For a detailed listing of course topics at each location and to register, visit the short course website at http://www.ukforestry.org. Registration can also be done over the phone by calling 859-257-7597.
Billy Thomas, 859-257-9153