January 14, 2020 | By: Carol Lea Spence

LEXINGTON, Ky., – University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service will offer a series of free, web-based woodland seminars on five successive Thursday evenings in February and March. The goal of the webinar series, Getting to Know Your Woodlands: Next Steps, is to empower woodland owners to promote environmental and forest health through increased awareness, experience and access to resources.

“There used to be a time when we could let our woodlands grow, and they would probably have been OK. That’s no longer the case,” said Billy Thomas, UK extension forester in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “There are too many threats facing our forests today, including invasive species, wildfires and changing climate, that require you to be actively involved in managing your woodlands. If you don’t, you won’t be able to control what happens to them.”

Part of Woodland Stewards, a regional extension program for landowners, the series is made possible through a partnership between UK Forestry and Natural Resources Extension and its sister forestry extension programs in the South. The first series, which was offered in 2019, focused on those who were new to forest management. This year’s and future seminars will advance the subject matter as clients’ knowledge increases. People can attend this year’s programs, however, without having attended the 2019 series. For those interested in catching up, last year’s series is available online at https://sref.info/woodland-stewards/2019.

UK FNR extension will supply the series to participating county extension offices, with local agents hosting the gatherings. As of this date, 29 county extension offices throughout the state will host one or more of the seminars in the series. Each session will last from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET or 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. CT. Webinars are interactive, with technology allowing participants at each site to ask questions of the experts. The final session will have a Kentucky-specific focus and include presenters from Kentucky agencies and organizations that work with woodland owners.

“This is an excellent opportunity for people to receive a significant amount of information in a relatively short time, without having to drive great distances to attend,” Thomas said. “We have a lot of trees here in Kentucky; they are a valuable farm asset that is often overlooked. I tell farmers, ‘You’re paying taxes on that land, so you might as well manage it for its highest productivity.’ This series will give you important information to do that and connect you with local experts who can help.”

Sessions include:

  • Feb. 6 — Woodland Management: What is Right for You and Your Woodland? Managing your woodlands to grow healthy forests and produce revenue depends on making the right choices for your location. This session will help woodland owners understand how stand dynamics and market considerations are used in the application of management. Host extension offices include Barren, Boone, Breckinridge, Carroll, Carter, Clay, Clinton, Grant, Hancock, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Lee, Lewis, Morgan, Pike and Russell.
  • Feb. 13 — Understanding the Financial Aspects of Woodland Management. This session provides an overview of financial factors that affect your woodland management, such as when to replant, thin, harvest, use cost-share programs and more. Host extension offices include Allen, Barren, Boone, Breckinridge, Carroll, Carter, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Grant, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Letcher, Lewis, Lyon, Morgan, Pike, Ohio, Owsley, Pulaski and Russell.
  • Feb. 20 — More than Timber: Income Opportunities from Nontimber Forest Products. In this session, participants will learn more about the range of opportunities to generate income from their woodlands that are compatible with timber management. Host extension offices include Barren, Boone, Breckinridge, Carroll, Carter, Casey, Estill, Grant, Harlan, Knox, Lawrence, Lee, Letcher, Lewis, Lyon, Morgan, Ohio, Pendleton, Pike, Pulaski and Russell.
  • Feb. 27 — Launching your Woodland Legacy: Intact, in Forest and in Family Ownership. Most woodland owners cite legacy as one of their main reasons for owning land, and a large majority express concern over their ability to keep the land intact. This session is designed to help participants find the best way to pass this legacy on to their heirs intact. These county offices are participating in the webinar: Barren, Boone, Breckinridge, Carroll, Carter, Clay, Grant, Hancock, Lawrence, Letcher, Lewis, Lyon, Morgan, Pike, Pulaski and Russell.
  • March 5 — Kentucky Forestry and Wildlife Assistance: Finding the Help You Need. Participants will learn about the forestry and wildlife resources and assistance available in Kentucky to help them care for and get the most from their woodlands. Host county offices include Barren, Boone, Breckinridge, Carroll, Carter, Clay, Clinton, Grant, Harlan, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lewis, Madison, Morgan, Ohio, Owsley, Pike and Russell.

Kentucky Master Loggers can receive 1.5 continuing education credits for each session they attend at a hosting county extension office except for the Feb. 27 offering.

Interested participants may register through participating county extension offices, http://extension.ca.uky.edu/county. More information is available online at https://forestry.ca.uky.edu/webinars_upcoming or by contacting the local extension office or Thomas at 859-257-9153 or billy.thomas@uky.edu.

UK Forestry and Natural Resources Extension is part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. With its land-grant partner, Kentucky State University, the UK Cooperative Extension Service brings the university to the people in their local communities, addressing issues of importance to all Kentuckians.

Contact: 

Billy Thomas, 859-257-9153

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