Monday, June 29, 2009

Central PA Biomass Energy Workshop

A Biomass Energy Workshop is being offered on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at the Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building, Penn State University Park from 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM, cost $20.00. The workshop is sponsored by Headwaters RC &D, Penn State Cooperative Extension, and Biomass Connections.

Topics include warm season grass establishment, mineland and biomass production, biomass bennefits to wildlife, markets for energy crops, and a tour of biomass energy projects at Penn State.

Do you have an interest in how biomass energy crops support your local economy and protect your environment? Are you a landowner interested in establishing biomass energy crops for home, farm, or industry use but don't know what funding sources are available to help you get started? Would you like to see a machine that makes pellets out of switchgrass up close and personal?

To register or for more information contact the Headwaters RC & D Council at 478 Jeffers Street, Bldg 3, Ste D, DuBois, PA 15801, 814-375-1372 or e-mail Adam Dellinger:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

PA Forest Web Seminar Center - Short Summer Series

The PA Forests Web Seminar Center ( is pleased to announce a special Short Summer Series for the months of July and August.

Summer Tree ID Made Easy - Wednesday, July 22nd, 7-8:30 PM, presented by Sandy Smith, Youth and Natural Resources Extension Specialist, Penn State School of Forest Resources. The identification of trees by their leaves is perhaps the easiest way to distinguish one species from another. This session will present the basic types of leaves, their characteristics, and how to use a "tree key" for identification. Old and young alike will benefit from learning this valuable skill. Before attending this webinar, each participant should download and print out the 4-H Summer Key for Pennsylvania Trees (available on the website) that will be used during the session.

An Introduction to American Ginseng Forest Farming - Wednesday, August 26th, 7-8:30 PM presented by Eric Burkhart, Instructor and Program Director, Plant Science, Shaver's Creek Environmental Center. Establishing or "farming" American ginseng on Pennsylvania forestlands is a fascinating and potentially profitable activity that can contribute to both plant and forestland conservation. In this presentation, participants will be introduced to one of Pennsylvania's most valuable crops, American ginseng. The botany, biology, ecology, markets, growing options, propagation techniques, and management issues (pests, theft, regulations) will all be covered.

Each session is recorded and loaded onto the Web Seminar Center along with a copy of the presentation and any handout materials. So, if you are unable to participate in the "live" session, a recording of it will be available for you to view at your convenience. To participate in the live seminars you must register and have a "Friend of Penn State" user ID. The "Register Now" page on the website will walk you through this process. If you are a member of the Penn State community, you already have your User ID, but we would ask you to register on the website so that you can receive reminders of upcoming programs. Participation in the web seminar does not require any special software.

To view live and previously recorded seminars all you need is a high-speed internet connection and sound. To register and take part in the live seminars or to view the upcoming seminars schedule, visit

Monday, June 15, 2009

Woody Biomass Desk Guide and Toolkit Available Online

A new woody biomass desk guide and toolkit are now available online. The purpose of the guide is to equip natural resource professionals and outreach specialists with the information and tools needed to increase awareness of the use of woody biomass for energy in the U.S.

Communities today are challenged to develop effective strategies that support forest ecosystem health, mitigate the effects of climate change, satisfy growing energy needs, and provide local economic opportunities. For some communities, woody biomass may be a viable option for meeting these needs and deserves serious consideration. Forests in the United States represent an important potential energy and biobased product resource. NACD, in collaboration with federal, state, and local partners is working to raise awareness about the potential for woody biomass as a primary feedstock for such products.

This Woody Biomass Desk Guide and Toolkit provides an overview of woody biomass production and utilization in the U.S., tips of how to provide effective outreach for your clientele, and educational handouts to share with your audiences. The purpose of this guide is to equip natural resource professionals and outreach specialists with the information and tools needed to increase awareness of the use of woody biomass for energy in the U.S.

This Guide is designed for use by conservation district, Resource Conservation & Development and Extension professionals throughout the U.S. It also contains handouts and other resources to assist in educating respective audience. The Desk Guide and Toolkit is a comprehensive guide comprised of the following sections: Reference Sections, Handouts, Case Studies, Introductory PowerPoint Presentations, Frequently Asked Questions, Glossary, and Additional Resources.

You can pick and choose from the materials in this Guide and Toolkit to create the outreach strategy or program that best meets your objectives. Whether you need to give a thirty-minute presentation to your local county commission or conduct a week-long professional development training for consulting foresters, the resources in this program can help.

For the full guide and toolkit go to the National Association of Conservation Districts web site at:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Wildlife Food Plot Manual Available

Craig Harper, Professor/Extension Wildlife Specialist from the University of Tennessee recently finished a manual on wildlife food plots. It is available for viewing or purchase at the following web site:

In writing the manual, Harper tried to put food plots in the correct context with holistic habitat management. Food plots are not needed to sustain healthy wildlife populations, but they can provide a positive benefit, and many landowners are trying to grow and manage food plots. It is important to give them accurate information regarding food plots if they are going to be planting them.

The manual was written primarily for the Southern region, but provides a lot of information that is just as pertinent further north and west. You will see Cooperative Extension played an important role in the review and content.

The only way anyone can purchase the manual is through the website listed above. When an order is placed on-line with a credit card, it is sent by the mailroom that day.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pennsylvania Tree Farm Forestry Field Day

The Pennsylvania Tree Farm Program is holding their annual field day at the Hillwood Tree Farm in Lucinda, PA on June 13th, 2009. Hillwood Tree Farm, owned by George & Jane Schmader was selected as the Pennsylvania Outstanding Tree Farm of the year for 2008 and will be the host of the event. The field day is being held in conjunction with the Woodland Owners of Clarion – Allegheny Valley’s annual picnic.

The day will feature presentations and demonstrations on three of the four aspects of Tree Farming, Wood, Wildlife, Water and Recreation. Presenters scheduled are; Wood - Gary Gilmore, DCNR Bureau of Forestry, Wildlife - Rod Bimber, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Water - Trudy Alexander& Bernie Spozia, Clarion County Conservation District, there will also be time allotted for Recreation in the form of hiking and fellowship.

At 10 AM there will be a program on trees, habitat and environment geared specifically for the youth in attendance.

The Woodland Owners of Clarion Allegheny Valley (WOCAV), American Tree Farm System, (ATFS), Pennsylvania Forestry Association (PFA), Clarion County Forest Stewardship Committee, in conjunction with our partners, DCNR Bureau of Forestry, Clarion County Conservation District, (CCCD), and Penn State Extension promote best management practices throughout the local area, state and nation. Please join us for an informative and educational experience and consider becoming a member of one or more of the above mentioned organizations.

The agenda and registration information for the program can be obtained at the WOCAV web site