April 30, 2009

The management of privately held woodlands is a family affair. The 2009 Woodland Owners Short Course reflects that view by offering, for the first time, beginners and advanced programs based on an individual's or family's experience and interest level. A youth program will run concurrently with the day-long adult programs. The course also has moved to Saturdays to accommodate people's busy schedules.

"Woodland owners have a number of options available to them, some of which include recreational use, wildlife management and generating income from timber and forest crops," said Billy Thomas, University of Kentucky 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. The Woodland Owners Short Course presents essential information and puts landowners in contact with professionals who can help them achieve their particular management goals. We really want the management of the woodlands to be a family affair."

In this year's short course there is something for everyone. Two concurrent tracks, Green and Gold, have programs for both the seasoned woodland owner and those just beginning. Landowners who may have just acquired woodlands or who are beginning to think about management should enroll in the Green Track, while more seasoned woodland owners can register in the Gold Track. Past graduates of the short course will also find valuable information by returning to the course through the Gold Track.

The short course is offered once in each of the three geographical regions of the state. Though many of the sessions at each level are similar across the regions, some sessions are designed to match the needs of that particular region. The central region's course is scheduled for June 13 at the Curtis Gates Lloyd Wildlife Management Area in Grant County, the east region's course is scheduled for August 29 at the Boyd County Fair Grounds, and the west region's course is scheduled for September 26 at the Breckinridge County Cooperative Extension office.

Green Track sessions include basic forest management; working with a wildlife biologist; non-timber forest products; invasive species identification and control; fire and wildland urban interface issues and tree identification. Gold Track sessions cover timber harvesting and marketing; a WoodMizer demonstration and discussion about log values; invasive species mitigation; ponds, native warm season grasses and wildlife damage control; "Food Plots: Myths and Realities"; tree planting, timber stand improvement, and crop tree release and ice damage assessment. A detailed listing of course topics at each location can be found online at http://www.ca.uky.edu/forestryextension/WOSC.php.

The Kentucky Division of Forestry will lead the youth component of this year's short course. It is designed for young people ages 5 to 17.

"Including the children not only gives the adults, if they didn't have childcare available, an opportunity to bring their kids, but it gets the whole family thinking about forestry and woodland management," Thomas said.

Each session begins at 9 a.m. and concludes around 4:30 p.m. Lunch is included. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged as space is limited. Sessions are $25 for individuals, $40 for couples and $5 for youth.

The 2009 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 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.

Registration is available online at http://www.ca.uky.edu/forestryextension/WOSC.php or by calling 859-257-7597.

News Topics: