Friday, June 11, 2010

Field Tours to Private Forests Around the State

The following information is from Ellen Voss. Ellen is with the WVU Forestry Extension. Every summer and fall they organize field tours to visit private forests around the state. The purpose of the tours is to educate people about forest stewardship. They are getting this year’s tours together and are trying to reach out to people like Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners.

Ellen Voss
Outreach & Education Coordinator
WV Forest Stewardship Program
P.O. Box 6125, Morgantown, WV 26506
(304) 293-5741

Walks in the Woods 2010

These informal tours will allow participants to learn about forest stewardship by seeing how other landowners have managed their forests. All the events are free and open to anyone who is interested in learning more about forests. Refreshments will be served. For more information or to register for any of the tours, contact Ellen Voss at 304-293-5741 or email evoss@mix.wvu.edu.

Taylor County Tour: Thursday, July 8 at 6 pm
WV Forest Stewardship Program
Forest Stewardship property tour near McGee in Taylor County, WV. Light refreshments served beforehand at 5:45 pm.

Nathan Kincaid was the 2007 Tree Farmer of the Year. He will lead us on a tour of his 436-acre property, where he's had a Forest Stewardship plan since 2002. When he purchased the property, it had been heavily logged and Nathan’s goal was to rehabilitate it. He first removed cull trees and grapevines as well as tree-of-heaven, a highly invasive tree species. He's now working on reforesting his property with oak, walnut, and cherry, using a very efficient tree planting technique that he designed himself. Nathan has also constructed some roads. We'll see many good examples of replanting and forest regeneration.

For more information or to register, contact Ellen Voss at 304-293-5741 or email evoss@mix.wvu.edu.

Pendleton County Tour: August 21 at 10 am
Forest Stewardship property tour near Franklin in Pendleton County, WV on Saturday, August 21 at 10 am. A light lunch will be served after the tour.

Charles Agle will lead us on a tour of his 355-acre property, which is under a conservation easement and which has a sustainable forest management plan. Charles has planted wildlife food plots with native bluegrass and has done a mast tree release. He has worked to reintroduce American chestnut on his property by planting the blight-resistant variety grown by the state tree nursery. Agroforestry is also one his interests and he is beginning to raise shitake mushrooms. Charles is passionate about finding ways to make forest land profitable while continuing to protect and enhance it.

For more information or to register, contact Ellen Voss at 304-293-5741 or evoss@mix.wvu.edu.

Hardy County Tour: September 11 at 10 am
Forest Stewardship property tour near Moorefield in Hardy County, WV on Saturday, September 11 at 10 am. A light lunch will be served after the tour.

Lee (Buck) Barb will lead us on a tour of his maple syrup operation, where he taps 4,000 trees with a vacuum system to maintain consistent sap production. Buck uses the reverse osmosis process instead of boiling the sap down, which reduces his fuel costs by over 70 percent. Buck is very knowledgeable about the history and lore of maple syrup production in this area as well as the newest technologies that can help producers maintain a viable maple syrup operation.

For more information or to register, contact Ellen Voss at 304-293-5741 or evoss@mix.wvu.edu.

Marion County Tour: October 2 at 10 am
Forest Stewardship property tour near Fairmont in Marion County, WV on Saturday, October 2 at 10 am. A light lunch will be served at 12:30 pm. Afternoon tour at 1:30 pm.

State Landowner Assistance Forester Juergen Wildman will lead workshop participants on tours of his own property and an adjacent property. Juergen has planted many hardwoods and conifers on his land, and will demonstrate planting techniques using two types of tree shelters. He has also experimented with various techniques to eradicate highly invasive plants such as oriental bittersweet and multiflora rose, and will share his trials and tribulations so we can learn from his experiences. Juergen will cover many other topics including his ginseng crops, the correct way to thin red maples, and the effects of heavy deer grazing on forest regeneration.

Jim & Dot Ice's property, which we'll visit in the afternoon, is the oldest Tree Farm property in West Virginia: it was signed up in 1956 and nominated for national Tree Farm of the Year. We'll see an area that has been high-graded in the past and the forest stand that has resulted, which is dominated by beech, maple, gum, and other low-value trees. We'll see examples of what makes a good road system through a forested property, and visit an interesting old family cemetery on the Ice’s property.

For more information or to register, contact Ellen Voss at 304-293-5741 or evoss@mix.wvu.edu.

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