UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. --Individuals who want to learn about properly caring for their woodlands now have the opportunity to take an online course from the comfort of their own homes offered by Penn State Extension.
"WoodlandStewardship: Management Practices for Landowners" is designed for woodland owners and those who are interested in understanding the complexity of the woodland ecosystem and improving their own practices in caring for that resource. The course offers participants a solid understanding of what it means to be a woodland steward.
Participants can learn ways to apply their new knowledge to their woodlot, such as practical, hands-on skills, as well as some "big picture" concepts related to woodland management. Although this course focuses on Pennsylvania woods and landowners, much of the information applies to land in other states as well, particularly those in the Northeast.
Upon course completion, participants will be able to understand the importance of forests and the need for woodland stewardship; use field characteristics to identify trees; use forest measurement tools to collect field data; describe a tree’s relationship to its surroundings and other life forms; and identify how they can use forest-management techniques to reach desirable goals and outcomes.
Participants will also learn how forest-management activities relate to wildlife habitat; describe the relationship between forests and water and ways to protect water quality; identify plans for the future of the woods beyond the current tenure; and take steps to engage heirs or other land-protection strategies to continue stewardship.
"The information and skills you learn will enhance your enjoyment of the woods in addition to helping you make better informed decisions about caring for your woods," said course instructor Allyson Muth, Forest Stewardship Program Associate and Associate Director of the Center for Private Forest at Penn State. "As you will learn, there are a variety of reasons why woodland stewardship is of critical concern today."
In teaching the course, Muth is joined by Jim Finley, Director of the Center for Private Forests, and other forest experts in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
You can view the introduction and register for the course at: https://extension.psu.edu/woodland-stewardship.
You can view all of Penn State Extension's forestry related online courses here.