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2015 Conference Presenters and Presentation Descriptions

We were able to offer 11 different topic tracks, 78 presenters who taught 99 presentations. The Tracks offered were: Aesthetics and Biodiversity, Backyard Woods, Forest Finance, Forest Health, Forest Legacy, Forest Recreation, Forests and Water, Landowner Resource Panels, Tending and Management, Wood Products, Woods Wildlife and Your Woods Toolbox.

Forest Finance

Forest Products Industry Economics Outlook
Thad Taylor, Loan Officer & Forester, Forest Products Credit by AgChoice
Our forest products industry is recovering from six years of sluggish demand. How does a rural PA woodlot owner boil down national economic and housing data into something local and relevant? This presentation discussed global forest products demand, U.S. housing construction and other trends which directly impact your local stumpage markets, mills, and logging demand.

NRCS: Financing Forest Practices
Barry Frantz, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, USDA-NRCS
USDA NRCS administers several conservation programs that provide funding for development of forest management plans, forestry conservation practices, and conservation easements. Programs include Conservation Stewardship Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Healthy Forest Reserve Program, and the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.

Forest Taxation 101
Susan Lacy, Consulting Forester
Owning forestland offers multiple opportunities to incur taxes: property taxes for ownership, income taxes from management activities, and estate and death taxes when the land is passed to the next generation. This workshop provided an overview of several common forest tax issues and helped landowners understand the need for good financial records. Landowners learned about opportunities to minimize their forest management costs by optimizing current programs and tax laws.

Pennsylvania Wood Energy Markets: Their Place in Your Management Plan
Sarah Wurzbacher, Extension Educator, NEWBio Consortium, Penn State Extension
Should energy markets for wood be part of your management plan? Woody biomass is finding more and more markets in energy development that go far beyond firewood—for heat, power, and liquid fuels. Landowners explored management and market issues around natural forest management and short-rotation woody crops (SRWCs) grown on marginal crop land. Learning more about these markets can influence the way you decide to manage your land.

Recreational Use and Landowner Liability: Considerations for Free or Fee Access
Joseph Scipione, Chief Council, Little Pine Resources
The Recreational use statute reduces landowner liability for those using your property when there is no fee. Many landowners are interested in developing hunting leases as a source of income. This presentation covered consideration for free and fee access and how to handle liability concerns.

Walking Through a Timber Sale: A Step by Step Process of a Timber Sale
Eric Monger, Forester, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
Timber harvesting is an important tool in forest and woodlot management. When done properly it can allow a landowner to regenerate a healthy and diverse forest as well as bring profit. A timber sale cannot be taken lightly because this decision affects the forest for years after the harvest. This presentation took landowners step by step from start to retirement of the timber sale, and what to expect along the way.

Financing Your Woodland Purchase
Thad Taylor, Loan Officer & Forester, Forest Products Credit by AgChoice
How to smoothly and painlessly obtain funding for your next woodland purchase. This acquisition, which can be a complicated process, has the potential to be easy and stress free.

Landowner Rights: Townships and Forestry Ordinances
Paul Lyskava, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Forest Products Association
In some parts of the state, there has been a proliferation of municipal regulation of private forestry activities. Extreme municipal regulations can restrict landowner options on how to manage their forests, lowering financial return on their timber harvests and even unintentionally promoting poor forestry practices or conversion of forests to other uses. This seminar outlined township powers and forest landowner rights, as provided by the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code. We discussed how forest landowners can use the state ACRE law to have a township ordinance reviewed for validity.

Forest Legacy

Cultivating the Next Generation of Forest Stewards: Inspiring Youth
Sanford "Sandy" Smith, Natural Resources & Youth Extension Specialist, Penn State Department of Ecosystem Science & Management
Many landowners want to cultivate a forest stewardship ethic in the hearts of their children and other youth - but they are uncertain how to do it. A love and appreciation for forests and the outdoors in an adult is almost always the result of an older person having shared this with them as a child. This session presented useful ideas and methods for passing on your stewardship ethic within your family and community. There are many excellent “people resources” and educational materials for you to tap in to. There was an opportunity for participants to share what they have found to be effective and challenging in cultivating the next generation of forest land stewards.

Legacy Planning: The Other Side of Sustainable Forestry
Karen Hackman, Managing Member, RHP Law Group LLC
Attorney Karen Hackman discussed real threats to sustainable forestry beyond taxes, including cost of long term care, cost of dying, generational differences, and forced transfers. The presentation included down to earth discussion of legacy planning tools that manage those threats, using real life examples based on thirty-plus years of experience working with farm and forest families throughout central Pennsylvania.

Legal Strategies for Protecting Your Forest Land for Future Generations
Tom Hoffman, II, Esq., Shareholder & Tax Attorney, Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C.
Attorney Hoffman discussed the use of estate planning techniques and tools to help forest landowners with multigenerational planning. Forest landowners learned about estate planning tools beyond a simple will which can help preserve their family’s forest legacy.

Forest Successional Planning: Financial Considerations for the Future
Susan Lacy, Consulting Forester
In the next 20 years, much of the private forest land will transition to new owners. You have worked hard to care for and maintain your forest and you want to be able to pass it on to your heirs. This workshop presented some of the challenges and opportunities to help a landowner achieve that goal: from starting the family discussion about the future of their forest, to reducing unintended consequences, through to passing your forest to your heirs.

Finding the Next Steward: Family Communications
Mary Sisock, Assistant Professor Forestry Extension, The Rubenstein School, University of Vermont
Thinking about passing your woodland? Success involves more than having a will or an estate plan. Landowners learned how to initiate conversations and the critical questions needed to ask and answer so their transition strategy will be successfully implemented.

Engaging Your Family with Your Forest
Jeanne & Tony Riley, Members, Irish Pines Tree Farm, LLC
Inspiring the next generations to love and tend our land as we do is one of our most important and challenging stewardship responsibilities as forest landowners. This workshop discussed ways of involving next generations of family, whether living locally or at a distance, with our forests and their future.

Conservation Easements: What Landowners Should Know
Andy Loza, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
A conservation easement ensures that when your land passes to new owners, the land will be sustainably managed as you would have done. A conservation easement limits certain uses on the land in order to advance a specified conservation purpose such as ensuring sustainable forestry, providing wildlife habitat or protecting productive soils. It prevents all future owners of the land from developing or otherwise using the land contrary to the specified conservation purpose. This workshop explained the basics of conservation easements and helped attendees understand whether or not their goals and needs might fit with this conservation tool.

Backyard Woods

Native and Invasive Plants in the Landscape
Jason Ryndock, Ecological Information Specialist, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
Su Ann Shupp, Ecological Information Specialist, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
Have you ever wondered what function native plants provide in our own backyard woods? This presentation answered this question and more. We discussed how our ecosystems change when native plants are replaced with non-native and invasive species, and our role in supporting our dwindling natural heritage.

Conservation Landscaping: Plants to Avoid and Native Alternatives
Diane Oleson, Extension Educator, Penn State Cooperative Extension - York County
We have a wealth of choices of trees, shrubs and plants that we can use in our backyards to enhance their beauty. But our choices can affect the woods nearby. What’s the big deal? Aren’t all plants the same? No, they are not. Better choices are out there. Invasive plants, impact our woods, wildlife and even the water we drink. Native plants are a more productive and eco-friendly alternative and are just as beautiful. The benefits of using native plants in landscaping and locating suppliers for native species was discussed.

Lose the Lawn: Improving Your Backyard Bird Habitat
Katie Ombalski, Conservation Biologist, Clearwater Conservancy
Are you satisfied with the wildlife you see in your backyard? Landowners learned what species they could attract based where they live in the landscape and how to improve their backyard habitat for target bird species.

Forest Recreation

Capturing Wildlife with Trail Cameras
Gene Odato, District Forester, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
Now that you own the property of your dreams you want to relax. You have attended forest landowner workshops; you’ve written your management plan; you have determined your goals for the property; you’ve invested in forestry practices; you have joined the local forest landowner’s group; you have built a pond, planted a food plot, put up a deer enclosure and hung a few bluebird or wood duck boxes. Don’t forget the 1,000 trees you planted. Tips and tricks to find out if all your hard work has paid off.

Birding Basics for Forest Landowners
Dr. Margaret Brittingham, Professor of Wildlife Resources, The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Ecosystem Science & Management
Learning to identify birds will help you become a better steward of your forest land while enhancing the enjoyment you get from being a forest landowner. This presentation provided an overview of forest birds through the year, insights on what birds can tell us about our forest and why birds are important to forests, and an overview of the basics of birding.

Nature Journaling: A Path to Understanding
Pam Ruch, Founder, The Art of Nature Journaling
A nature journal can take many forms. It can be a creative outlet; a way of tracking the changes in your land; a recording of plants, insects, and animals that you wish to identify; an ecological study. However you choose to do it, journaling is unfailingly rewarding, as it prompts you, the journal-keeper, to make connections and ask questions, leading to a deeper understanding of your bioregion. Pam shared stories motivated by her journaling, while offering practical tips on resources, materials and methods that helped those who are naturally inspired by forested land to involve themselves in the thinking and practice of journaling.

Woods Wildlife

Managing Your Forest for Wildlife Habitat
Clay Lutz, Wildlife Diversity Biologist, PA Game Commission
This presentation discussed the ways that private landowners can enhance and protect important wildlife habitats features on their properties. Topics will included the identification of high value habitat features a landowner may already have, enhancement of habitat through active management (such as timber harvests), common obstacles to achieving high quality habitat, and advice on whom a landowner can contact for assistance to achieve their habitat goals.

Warblers, Wildlife, & Young Forests: Why Managing for the Early Successional Stage is So Important
Tammy Colt, Regional Wildlife Diversity Biologist, PA Game Commission
Emily Bellush, Golden-Winged Warbler Biologist, IUP-NRCS
At least 89 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles in the northeastern U.S. need young forest habitat to survive and are experiencing population declines due to the scarcity of this habitat on the landscape. The golden-winged warbler, a Pennsylvania species of greatest conservation need, is representative of young forest denizens. Landowners learned how managing for this warbler can benefit wildlife and forest health on your property, and they learned about funding sources available for young forest management.

Pennsylvania Bats and White –Nose Syndrome
Greg Turner, Wildlife Diversity Biologist - Endangered Species, PA Game Commission
This presentation was an introduction to the bats of Pennsylvania and a summary of what we know about the bat disease called White-Nose Syndrome (WNS).

Vernal Pools: Ecology & Conservation Guidelines in Forested Habitats
Justin Vreeland, Regional Wildlife Management Biologist, PA Game Commission
This presentation provided an overview of the ecology and management of vernal pools of central Pennsylvania (specifically the ridge-and-valley physiographic province). The focus was on conservation measures used to protect and manage vernal pools and their surrounding forest matrix. Included were brief discussions of hydrologic regimens and vegetation structure of vernal pools and their use by wildlife, particularly herpetofauna.

Squirrels of Pennsylvania: Who, Where, and What Do They Do?
Carolyn Mahan, Professor of Biology & Environmental Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, Altoona
Pennsylvania is home to 5 species of tree squirrels and 2 species of ground squirrels. The natural history, habitat, and management of these interesting mammals was presented. A focal point was on the species that are declining in the state.

Quality Habitat for Quality White-tailed Deer
Tim Smail, Volunteer, Quality Deer Management Association
Habitat management is one of four critical building blocks of Quality Deer Management. Sustainable forest management and management of sustainable quality whitetail populations are interdependent. This presentation covered the basics of woodland habitat management for quality deer and QDMA's Land Conservation Program, which provides a series of management guidelines for designing and evaluating your own habitat and forest management activities whether you work independently or with any and/or all of the various private and public consultants and programs available today.

Ruffed Grouse & American Woodcock Habitat: Enhancing Your Property
Linda Ordiway, Regional Wildlife Biologist, Ruffed Grouse Society
This talk will included what landowners should look for on their property in identifying opportunities to enhance upland bird populations. Linda, provided examples of techniques for enhancement, necessary forest structure and plant species important to the ecology of grouse and woodcock.

Birds Need Your Woods: How to Improve Forest Quality for Declining Songbirds
Sarah Sargent, Director of Science & NW IBA Coordinator, Audubon Pennsylvania
Of the 92 forest-dependent bird species in Pennsylvania, many have suffered continuing population declines since the 1960's. These declines are largely due to habitat loss and degradation. Landowners learned what Pennsylvania forest birds need, and how to maximize the potential of their woods to provide homes for more of these special inhabitants.

Conserving the Cerulean Warbler
Katie Fallon, Founder, Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia, Inc.
The cerulean warbler is the fastest declining Neotropical migrant songbird in the United States. Since 1966, their population has decreased by 3% per year due to deforestation on both their breeding and wintering ranges. Approximately 80% of ceruleans breed in Central Appalachia, primarily in large tracts of mature to old growth deciduous forests on ridges.

The Honeybee, the Hive and What They Do for Your Environment
Frank Licata, Operations Manager & Certified Master Beekeeper, Mann Lake LTD, Eastern Apiculture Society
An explanation of the caste of the hive – Queen, Drones, Workers, and how they work together. What having honeybees in the environment does for us. How interested people can get into beekeeping or enhance their property to help the honeybee and other native pollinators.

Forest Health

Forest Vegetation Management with Herbicides
Todd Hagenbuch, Vegetation Management Specialist, Arborchem Products
This presentation covered all the competing vegetation and invasive plants that plague proper forest succession and seedling establishment in Pennsylvania Woodlands today. Application methods were discussed and highlighted. Assistance was given to figure out if a Landowner can do it on their own or if hiring a contractor is the best option. The presenter, Todd Hagenbuch, is a Forester and Vegetation Management Specialist for Arborchem Products. Todd has over 20 years’ experience in vegetation management and has a broad knowledge of all the herbicides and equipment available to do forest vegetation management today.

Managing Stands for Resiliency
Scott Miller, Silivicuture Section Chief, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
With the increased pressure from introduced insects and diseases, mortality and tree loss can occur at catastrophic and accelerated rates for many wood lot owners. Managing stands through Silviculture, and making informed choices, can build diverse stands that are resistant to catastrophic loss and resilient in the face of natural pests and diseases.

Forest Impacts: Lessons from Gas Development
Zack Roeder, Forest Resource Planner, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
As part of its overarching goal of ensuring the sustainability of the Commonwealth’s forests, DCNR established a Shale-Gas Monitoring Program to monitor, evaluate, and report on the impacts of shale-gas development to the state forest system and its stakeholders. The program aims to provide objective and credible information to the public and inform and improve shale-gas management efforts. This presentation reviewed the findings of the monitoring program.

The State Forest Resource Management Plan: What it means for Private Landowners
Zack Roeder, Forest Resource Planner, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
The State Forest Resource Management Plan (SFRMP) provides the framework for managing 2.2 million acres of state forestland under the principles of ecosystem management and forest sustainability. The Bureau of Forestry is committed to applying a landscape approach to management planning and activities on state forests may influence private lands, as well. Landowners learned more about how the Bureau of Forestry manages state forestland through the SFRMP and how they can be involved in the planning process.

Forest Pests in Pennsylvania: What’s Happening?
Tim Marasco, Section Chief, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
This presentation reviewed the forest pests in PA that dominated our workload during 2014. EAB and HWA continue to spread – IPM response is ratcheted up; gypsy moth has shifted from west to east; Thousand Cankers Disease is lurking in the shadows – is it a threat?; a handful of unexpected caterpillars were observed causing defoliation in central PA during Spring of 2014 – who cares?

Management Strategies for Forests Threatened by Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
Mary Ann Fajvan, Research Forester, USDA Forest Service
In many Pennsylvania forests, eastern hemlock is the only conifer species and hemlock woolly adelgid feeding is causing hemlock decline and widespread mortality. The loss of hemlock can be ecologically devastating because it plays a critical role in enhancing structural vegetation diversity, providing wildlife habitat, and protection of water resources. Silvicultural options were discussed to allow landowners to make informed decisions about hemlock management.

Planting and Growing Chestnuts in Fields and Forests
Tracey Coulter, Agroforestry Coordinator, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
This presentation detailed the information you need to know for growing chestnuts on almost any site. We covered everything from proper site selection, maintenance, and how to protect from the many things that want to eat or kill your trees (if they can be protected…). Many of these management practices can also be applied to many other hardwoods, so this presentation was helpful to landowners who were considering doing any planting on their property in the near future.

How Trees Work: An Introduction to Tree Biology
Dr. Bill Elmendorf, Associate Professor, The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management
This talk provided an overview of the function of roots, trunk, limbs, and canopy/leaves of trees. Important concepts such as tree condition, evapotranspiration, compartmentalization of decay in trees, the relationship of tree energy and maintenance activities, and the relationship of tree risk with tree condition were provided.

Tending and Management

Summer and Winter Tree and Shrub Identification
Tim Latz, Service Forester, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
The Tree ID presentation consisted of the following: explanation of different leaf types: (needle, awl, lobed, and simple); explanation of opposite, alternate, and whorled branching, e.g., maple-ash-dogwood; using prominent bark / pith features, e.g., red oak, sycamore, walnut, using smell, e.g., sassafras, ailanthus, spicebush; different fruits, e.g., acorns, samaras, nuts; how to use buds in winter ID; and using a species form.

Forest Landowner’s Guide to Tree Planting Success
David Jackson, Forest Resources Extension Educator, Penn State Cooperative Extension - Centre County
This presentation guided you through the steps taken to make the most of your tree planting project. It covered the necessary practices to get the right trees in the right place and increase their growth and survival. The trees you plant today can change the long-term attractiveness, wildlife value, and even the financial equity of your land. With some pre-planning and implementation of specific practices your trees will serve the purpose you had intended and provide added environmental benefits.

Forest Management Plan Development: Looking Toward Tomorrow
Gerald Hoy, Service Forester, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
Have you ever tried to build something without reading the directions? And when you’re done with the project you realize you forgot a part? Or would you solicit medical advice from the neighbor who is a Florist? Why do so many landowners try to manage their forestland without the help of a Forester and a Forest Management Plan? The Forest Management plan is used to provide an overview of a woodland property in the context of a landowner’s needs and objectives. This presentation focused on the what, where, why, when and how of forest management plans, including short- and long-term forest planning. The parts of a plan outlined include goals, objectives, and avenues to reach them. Gerald touched on where to find professionals for guidance during the planning process and possible funding opportunities for planning and implementation.

Regenerating Trees Naturally: Understanding the Basic Laws of Biology
Steve Wacker, Assistant District Forester, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
Principles covered: something is going to fill that vacant growing space; plants grow where they can, not always where they should; the hour hand moves; working with succession or against it; recognize babies; and hardest of all, visualizing what might be in the future; with practical examples of each.

Silviculture 101: Basic Concepts and How Foresters Work with Forests to Achieve Your Goals
Susan Stout, Project Leader, USDA Forest Service
Susan reviewed the most important common factors that influence forest growth and habitats. How do Pennsylvania’s common tree species differ in their response to factors such as light, deer browsing, or windstorm or fire? Then there was discussion about how foresters plan changes in the forest to favor the outcomes and values you prefer.

Sustainable Forestry
Frank Snyder, Service Forester, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
Sustainable forestry is about caring for and managing forests to provide the natural resources, such as wood and clean water, we need now and in the future. This presentation focused on the best management practices used in forestry activities involving timber harvesting, silvicultural practices, forest protection and health, and rules and regulations affecting timber harvesting activities. Landowners learned how to use the Treatment Unit Sustainability Assessment Form (TUSAF) to evaluate if their timber sale is marked sustainably. The topic of forest renewal though advance regeneration of tree seedlings was highlighted in the presentation.

Desirable Regeneration: What Is It and How Do I Get It?
Dave Scamardella, Service Forester, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
When regenerating hardwood forests, those seedlings may need some help. We discussed the use of herbicide, prep cuts, deer fencing and even goats to prepare your future forest for release!

The ABCs of Growing Oaks
Dr. Patrick Brose, Research Forester, USDA Forest Service
This talk presented the values of having oaks in your woodlots, the basics of their biology and life history, and techniques for establishing, enhancing, and regenerating oaks.

Firewood Cutting and Small Woodlot Management
Mike DiRinaldo, Field Services Specialist, Bureau of State Parks
Small woodlots make up the majority of landowners in southwestern Pennsylvania. These woodlots are full of challenges and difficult to manage especially if they are too big to handle by hand and too small to manage with contractors. We discussed some of the challenges and options to overcome them. Topics will ranged from small scale invasive work to fuel wood harvesting.

Silviculture 201: Applying Basic Concepts to Understand PA’s Common Silvicultural Practices
Susan Stout, Research Project Leader, USDA Forest Service
Like every other profession, forestry has a jargon all its own, a shorthand for more basic truths. Factors such as light, moisture, deer browsing, seed production, competition influence forest growth rates and suitability of habitat for forest wildlife. In this session, we took apart silvicultural jargon to see what common terms mean about the underlying drivers of forest growth and habitat quality. What questions should you ask your forester when those terms come into your discussion to be sure that your values are reflected in the practices on your forest.

Creating a Forest Management Plan
Frank Snyder, Service Forester, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
Learn how a forest management plan will help you care for that woodlot you love! This program focuses on the importance of developing a forest management plan to care for those things that you value the most in your woodlot. The steps in developing a forest management plan will be discussed from addressing your values; determining goals and objectives to help your achieve what is important to you; and securing a forest resource professional to prepare your plan that will guide you through activities to enhance your woodlot.

Restoring Degraded Woodlands
Jim Finley, Ibberson Professor of Forest Resources and Director Center for Private Forests at Penn State The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Ecosystem Science & Management
Unfortunately, many woodlots have been poorly treated at one time or another in the past. "High-grading” and “select cutting" mean taking the best and leaving the rest. Maybe the first time it is done, the woods can remain productive; however, the second time leaves them in bad shape. In this presentation, we delved more deeply into silviculture and looked at how you might, by careful planning and cutting, start a poorly treated woods down the path to recovery. And, if you were thinking about a future harvest, you will learned how better to do it right.

Thinking Differently: Uneven-Aged Forest, Horse Logging, and Leaving a Forest Legacy
Guy Dunkle, Land Manager, Foundation for Sustainable Forests
John Bartlett, Development Director, Foundation for Sustainable Forests
New thoughts on silviculture; new thoughts on protecting Pennsylvania’s private forest lands.

Your Woods Toolbox

Forest Landowner Friendly Technological Hardware and Software and How They May Aid in Stewardship
Brent Harding, Forester, The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Ecosystem Science & Management
A consumer-grade GPS receiver has the ability to be as useful to an active forest landowner as their chainsaw, pruning shears or herbicide sprayer. Armed with a relatively inexpensive consumer-grade GPS receiver a fast internet connection, a contemporary computer and a willingness to learn, a landowner can accurately and efficiently record, map, archive and navigate to and from forestland spatial features. Brent demonstrated how to marry emerging software technologies with consumer-grade hardware to enhance your stewardship.

Tractors in the Woods: Things You Need to Know
Gary Micsky, Agriculture & Renewable Natural Resources Educator, Penn State Extension
Tractors designed for farming or property maintenance are commonly utilized for many tasks in Pennsylvania woodlots. Unfortunately, these tasks often represent an unacceptable risk of a serious injury or death to the operator and those assisting or in the vicinity of the operation. Pennsylvania farm fatality reports from recent years have identified numerous fatalities involving tractors that were being used for pulling down trees and limbs, pulling tree stumps, dragging logs, clearing saplings and brush from fence rows, or for collecting and hauling firewood. Over 50% of these incidents involved tractor upsets while dragging trees, logs, tree tops, or brush. Nearly forty percent of the incidents involved falling trees due to lodged trees, wind gusts, or falling limbs (widow makers) from overhead. The remaining fatalities involved chain saw kick-back. This session reviewed hazards and safety recommendations that forest landowners should consider when planning to clear fence rows, cut firewood, or transport farm wood products. Additionally, we identified important differences between the farm/utility tractor and equipment designed to operate in the forest.

Roads and Trails for Working Forests
Tony Quadro, Forester, Westmoreland County Conservation District
Roads and trails provide a connection to your woodlot. Whether for harvesting timber and other products from the woodlot or access for recreation, roads and trails provide a necessary bridge between you and your woodlot management activities. Without roads, it is very difficult if not impossible to do good forest management. This talk covered planning and locating the road, road layout, equipment needed, BMPs, bridges and other types of crossings, permits that may be needed, and long term maintenance of the road/trail system.

Technology and Useful Apps for Landowners
Amanda Subjin, Education Coordinator, Women & Their Woods: Delaware Highlands Conservancy
Landowners were introduced to the tools and applications available online and for smart devices that can be used to better connect with their forest lands. Topics included using parcel data to explore aerial and topographic images of your forestland, using digital property boundaries and a GPS or smart device to maintain boundaries, identify locations and create or share trails, using smart devices to learn about the flora and fauna in your woods and an introduction to websites and other sources geared towards forest stewardship education.

Toward a Land Ethic in the Twenty-first Century
Michael Jabot, Professor, Science Education, State University of New York, Fredonia
Aldo Leopold once said that there were two things that interested him; “the relation of people to each other, and the relation of people to land.” This session shared ways we can bring tenet into practice by focusing on the way we can access existing data as well ways that we can generate our own data to help our future planning an enhance our stewardship efforts.

Surveys and Marking Boundaries
Clyde Braun, Consulting Forester
This discussion centered on why boundaries tend to disappear, how to attempt recovery of missing boundaries, and reasons and methods to keep boundaries well marked.

PA Sustainable Forestry Initiative Tools for Sustainable Timber Harvesting
Chuck Coup, Program Manager, PA Sustainable Forestry Initiative
For 20 years the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Implementation Committee (SIC) has worked with forest landowners throughout the state to promote sustainable practices during their timber harvesting operations. A number of resources are available to forest landowners, through the PA SIC, to help them achieve a sustainable timber harvest. Landowners learned more about what they are and how they can help you.

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
Evan Stover, Partner & Lead Consultant, L & E Stover Enterprises
This presentation reviewed recent accident statistics related to chainsaw, string trimmer, and leaf blower use in the United States. It discussed how simple safety practices and use of appropriate personal protective equipment can largely avoid the operator from becoming one of these statistics. It also stressed the need for safety training and familiarity with the operator’s manual for the equipment being used.

Forest Forensics
Charlie Schwarz, Land Protection Specialist, Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy
Every woodland has a story to tell about its past and how it got to be the way you see it now. What you see today is almost certainly not the way your woodland was 100 years ago. Learn to read the landscape of both your woodland and other forested parcels you may visit. What has happened? Why? How? When? Most of these questions can be answered when you learn to see and understand the clues to the past that abound in most woodland.

Forests and Water

The Use of Benthic Macroinvertebrates to Assess Water Quality
Greg Hoover, Ornamental Entomologist, The Pennsylvania State University
Assessment of the water quality of streams and rivers across the United States utilizes the presence or absence of certain aquatic insects and their relatives in a particular location in these surface waters. Each group of benthic (bottom-dwelling) macroinvertebrates (mayflies, stoneflies, caddisflies, etc.) has their own sensitivity or tolerance to different types of pollution. The presence or absence of these aquatic organisms serves as indicators of the water quality. In this presentation you discovered how benthic macroinvertebrates provide information on the water quality of streams flowing through your forest.

Managing Trout Streams on Privately-Owned Forest Lands
Robert (Bob) Carline, Retired Fisheries Research Biologist, US Geological Survey
This presentation focused on how watershed-scale conditions and reach-scale conditions can influence trout populations, and what measures landowners can take to improve water quality and habitat for trout.

How to Manage Your Pond or Lake
Bryan Swistock, Water Resources Specialist, The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Ecosystem Science & Management
Ponds and lakes can provide many recreational benefits to landowners, but they have their share of problems. Penn State surveys show that about 75% of pond and lake owners report at least one problem including too many aquatic plants, slow fish growth, leaks, poor water quality, or nuisance wildlife. This presentation focused on the principles of proper pond and lake management to solve these problems. Pond and lake owners will learn how to collect data about their pond and use this information to make informed decisions to create a pond that meets their goals.

Streamside Forest Buffers: How to get Trout to Grow on Trees and Trees to Grow on Streams
Kate Austin, Grassroots Field Specialist, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Jennifer Johns, Restoration Specialist, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
For centuries in Pennsylvania, trees have grown along the banks of streams providing wildlife habitat, stream bank stability, and shade. Recent research has demonstrated that streamside forests also enhance the stream’s ability to process pollutants and produce clean water. Learn how to successfully establish trees on your streams and how trout grow on trees!

Wood Products

What Kind of Wood is This?
Mike Powell, Instructor, Conservation Leadership School director, SAF & Woodsmen Team Advisor, The Pennsylvania State, Department of Ecysystems Science & Management
Attendees learned about steps used to identify an unknown piece of wood with their eyes and hand lens. This was geared for the novice individual interested in learning how-to identify a piece of wood.

Processing Your Own Lumber
Scott Weikert, Forest Resources Extension Educator, Penn State Cooperative Extension
The presentation provided information about log quality, sawing pattern options, and how to successfully dry lumber down to a moisture content suitable for use.

The Wonderful World of Wood
Dr. Chuck Ray, Associate Professor of Wood & Forest Science, The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Ecosystem Science & Management
Wood is not as highly valued in our society as it once was, and that is in part due to the fact that folks no longer have a regular connection to wood or the world from which it comes. This presentation recalled the value of wood in the world, and the efforts that are working to restore wood to its rightful place as one of nature's gifts to mankind.

Developing a Commercial Charcoal Enterprise to Support Forest Improvement Efforts
Scott Bagley, Owner/Operator, Light on the Land Services, LLC
In this presentation, Scott Bagley will described his mobile charcoal-making enterprise that uses TSI-derived hardwood and pine to support forest practices usually requiring investment or considered barely break-even. He is working to develop a distributed production network of woodland owners and forestry service providers, Associated Colliers, to support the viability of smaller-scaled and TSI-oriented practices. This business supports collaborators in developing local marketing strategies and is building a regional infrastructure to handle larger scale marketing and logistics.

Lumber Seasoning Basics
Lee Stover, Partner & Lead Consultant, L & E Stover Enterprises
This presentation discussed practices which are recommended for protecting lumber quality as it is dried following lumber manufacture. The moisture contents of green, air dried, and kiln dried lumber are explained and related to dimensional stability of the lumber for its intended end use.

Aesthetics and Biodiversity

Forest Biodiversity: It Needs Us, We Need It
Roy Brubaker, District Forester, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
Protecting or enhancing forest biodiversity is often seen as something that constrains management options or drives up the cost of achieving landowner management objectives. This talk focused on how to turn biodiversity concerns from “bump in the road” surprises on the path to meeting your management objectives to a values driven mindset that both guides your ownership priorities and provides bootstrapping opportunities to achieving your objectives that broadens management options and in many cases, drives down costs of land management.

Caring for Forests in the Face of Change: Managing For Resilience
Scott Bearer, Senior Conservation Scientist, The Nature Conservancy
Today’s forests are facing an increasing number of stresses, from various pests and disease to extreme weather events such as drought and ice storms. If not addressed or managed properly, these emerging stresses have the potential to change and alter the traditional economic and ecological values found in our forests. In this presentation, we reviewed some of the emerging trends in forest management that attempt to maintain forest health in an increasingly stressed forest ecosystem.

Monarch Decline & Conservation Methods for Ecosystems at Risk
Su Ann Shupp, Ecological Information Specialist, DCNR Bureau of Forestry
The presentation focused on one of the world’s rarest ecosystems: the longleaf pine-wiregrass ecosystem. Once spanning across 90 million acres from Virginia to Texas, the ecosystem now covers just over 3 million acres from North Carolina to Florida. This presentation gave Su Ann the opportunity to show you a glimpse into the dynamic management practices that sustain and conserve one of the world’s most precious forest systems and present to you current population dynamics of the Monarch butterflies and management goals for the future.

Conserving Rare and Declining Species: Monitoring, Maintaining, Improving, & Creating Critical Habitat
Charlie Eichelberger, Herpetologist, Western PA Conservancy
Family and individual forest owners are stewards to more than half of Pennsylvania’s 16.6 million acres of forest. How those lands are managed has more influence on the commonwealth’s rare, threatened and endangered species populations than any other land-use change. Careful planning can help private forest landowners accomplish their land-use goals while benefitting certain rare and declining species. While each situation requires special care when considering the needs of species of concern, some tried-and-true practices can be applied to foster the success of these populations. Charlie highlighted some successful examples of management and provide a brief overview of the tools available to private forest landowners accomplish multiple land management goals, while addressing the conservation needs of some of our rare and declining species.

Pollinator Habitat
Kelly Gill, Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Xerces Society, Mid Atlantic
Natural areas such as forest edges, riparian areas, windbreaks, and hedgerows provide important nesting and foraging resources for pollinators. Landowners learned how to incorporate pollinator conservation into forest management practices, select the best woody plants for creating pollinator habitat, and best forest management practices for protecting pollinator populations.

Landowner Resource Panels

Peer Networks
PA Forest Stewards Volunteers, Women and Their Woods, and regional and county Woodland Owners Associations are a few of the peer-to-peer learning opportunities available to landowners to learn more about their land. These networks involve landowners interested in promoting good forest stewardship through education and action on their own land and who share a commitment to extending this information beyond their networks. These peer groups provide advice to others based on activities tried, challenges addressed, and opportunities taken. They are open to growing their membership and participation by involving other landowners interested in learning more and willing to share what they’ve learned.

Service Providers
There is an alphabet soup of government agencies, organizations, and individuals offering advice and providing service to forest landowners. This panel is a representation of resources available to help landowners assess and incorporate their values and goals for their land into on-the-ground activities. The PA DCNR Bureau of Forestry, the PA Game Commission, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Consulting Foresters are a few of the many individuals and organizations who have skills, aid, and programs for landowners interested in undertaking action on their land.

Conservation Organizations
For many landowners, conserving and protecting the land and its resources long-term is important and highly valued. Pennsylvania has many non-profit groups willing to help landowners achieve their conservation goals – from protecting land across generations, to improving wildlife habitat for specific species, to expanding learning opportunities for the public and other landowners who share a stewardship ethic.