Thursday, October 28, 2010

Webinar: Forest Access Road Best Management Practices

The Pennsylvania Forests Web Seminar Center announces the November on-line program. Tony Quadro, Assistant Manager, Technical Programs Director, and Forester, Westmoreland County Conservation District, will be presenting Forest Access Road Best Management Practices (BMPs) on Tuesday, November 9th at noon and again at 7 p.m. Each webinar lasts approximately one hour.

Roads and trails through forestland represent one of the major causes of erosion and sedimentation of any forest practice. Forest access roads require proper planning to ensure a long, useful life with minimal negative impact. This presentation will cover the benefits of having roads in the woodlot, considerations for best locations (layout), road construction considerations, and BMPs (e.g., slope, water bars, dips, cross drain culverts, rubber belt deflectors, etc.), stream crossings, permits, erosion control plans, road retirement and maintenance, soils, PNDI searches, where to go for assistance, municipal issues, and other concerns including wetland crossings, the PA Fish and Boat Code and PA DOT. The webinar also qualifies for 1.0 SAF CFE credit hour, Category 1-CF.

Live seminars are scheduled for the second Tuesday of every month at noon and 7 p.m. Each session is recorded and loaded onto the Web Seminar Center's Previous Seminars page 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. Of course, none of the interactive elements will be available when watching the recording.

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.  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 the Pennsylvania Forests Web Seminar Center.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Forest Landowners Encounter New Challenges

Invasive plants and exotic insects are posing severe complications for today's forest landowners.  Today we are dealing with hemlock wooly adelgid, emerald ash borer and a host of exitic plants.  Twenty years ago many of these problems did not exist, today they are directing our management activities and costing lots of money in the process. 

Many people think you can simply grow the trees and harvest them when they are mature, that the trees will take care of themselves.  Or worse yet, that the forest is better off if simply left alone.  This is a real misconception, with the global issues we are dealing with today forests must be managed to be healthy and productive.

Many landowners purchase land today that was not properly managed.  They often find out that to turn it into a thriving, complex, and productive forest is going to take time, energy, and money.  This type of forestry is referred to as restoration forestry, restoring the forest landscape to a more productive and viable state.

To read an interesting article that appeared in the Clackamas Review (October 14, 2010) concerning one Oregon landowner dealing with these issues, click here.  These same concerns and issues are part of forestry in almost all states and most certainly in Pennsylvania.  Just a point of clarification, the fact that the property was clearcut had nothing to do with the problems the landowner is dealing with.  When done properly and under the right conditions, clearcutting is a sound form of forest management.

The Society of American Forester's E-Forester (October 15, 2010)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tax Tips and One-Day Courses for Forest Landowners

Tax time will be upon us before you know it.  The 2010 tax tips sheet is available from the Cooperative Forestry unit if the US Forest Service.  The tip sheet is provided by Linda Wang, National Timber Tax Specialist, and John Greene, Research Forester, Southern Research Station. 
The tip sheet can be acccessed by clicking here.  This year the sheet includes information on such topics as Timber as Personal, Investment, or Business Property; Timber Sales; Timber Management Expenses; Reforestation Costs; and more.  A useful aspect of the tip sheet is that it provides real life examples of how calculations would be made.

Penn State Cooperative Extension is also offering a number of One-Day courses across the state on Timber Taxation.  These one-day workshops are for financial advisers including attorneys, accountants, financial planners, foresters, tax preparers, and small-business owners.  Interested forest landowners are also invited to attend.  For a copy of the brochure with all the dates and locations click here.

For all your timber tax questions go to

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Webinar on Using GIS and GPS

On Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at noon and again at 7:00 PM the PA Forests Web Seminar Center will be hosting a webinar entitled  Acquiring Property Maps, Boundaries and Attributes for Private Properties Using GIS and GPS.  Brent Harding, Senior Land Management Forester at Penn State School of Forest Resources will be presenting. 

Quick digital acquisition of private property attributes is becoming more accessible every year. Armed with a fast internet connection, a contemporary computer and a willingness to explore federal, state and local websites a landowner or natural resource professional can rapidly investigate a private property from a home or office computer. Within minutes of obtaining a private property tax parcel ID one can obtain a property’s county & township location, size, access, hydrology, notable topography, dominate vegetation, points of interest, lat/long, soils and driving directions. This quick baseline data search is a potential increase in efficiency for a natural resource professional and a potential reduction in cost to a private landowner.

The webinars generally last approximatly one hour and qualify for 1.0 SAF CFE credit hour, Category 1-CF.  To view the webinar you will need to register on the Pa Forests webinar Register Now page