Thursday, February 7, 2013

Opportunity for Woodland Owners

Unprecedented Offer for Forest Landowners: Registration Now Open!

On May 10 and 11, 2013 there is an unprecedented opportunity for Pennsylvania’s woodland owners to participate in an enlightening and entertaining conference on forest land use, conservation, and best management practices for woodlots of all sizes. The Center for Private Forests at Penn State and its partners are hosting the 2013 Private Landowner Conference at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona, PA. The event offers nationally recognized experts on virtually all matters of concern to woodlot owners. With an expected 1000 participants, nearly 100 seminars, field trips, exhibitions, and interaction with fellow landowners, this event will offer all you need to undertake the best practices and enhancement of the myriad values you hold for your property.

In Pennsylvania, nearly 750,000 landowners make decisions on 11.5 million acres of forestland, or 70% of the nearly 17 million acres of forestland in our state. Many of these owners (approx. 500,000) hold 10 acres or less (the average is about 3 acre) but together they make decisions for one of every eight acres of our state’s private forests. While, many of the small woodland parcels are likely part of a residence, these wooded acres contribute to backyard habitat, water quality, and woodland diversity, for example. Although these parcels seem small ("Why should we worry about what happens on only 2 acres?"), cumulatively these lands account for much of our urban and community forests and provide many more public and individual values than just a setting for a home.

The remaining 250,000 holders of larger parcels really affect all citizens and wildlife of the state through their land-use decisions – think water, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, clean air, and forest products. Many of these woodland owners can be passive about their property stewardship. Sure, they occasionally engage in an active way, perhaps with building a road or trail, harvesting some firewood or even conducting a timber sale. They often believe that Mother Nature does not need help. Yet, human impacts have introduced threats that our forests have not adapted to. Think about invasive pests such as the emerald ash borer that came to our woodlots as a result of global trade, or about invasive plants that started as ornamentals around our homes. These threats were introduced where the conditions were right for them to thrive at the expense of native species.

If you are a woodlot owner in PA and are concerned about the future of your investment and “The Future of Penn’s Woods,” visit or call 1-800-235-9473 to learn more.

The conference costs $75 for the day and a half event. The fee covers two breaks on Friday, two breaks and lunch on Saturday, a nationally-known Saturday morning keynote address, and access to information and resources from respected presenters from across the region. Optional events include Friday morning field tours and a Friday evening keynote banquet with Doug Tallamy, Professor and Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, and author of "Bringing Nature Home." Conference exhibitors include educational, resource, and service-providers with tools and information to help you undertake good practices on your woodland.

Remember that you, the landowner, are the greatest resource that our forests have… The better informed you are, the greater the value you bring to your property, to the environment and to the legacy that our forests produce for those who follow.

Please call or go online to register now; you will agree that you need to be there!

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