With nine concurrent sessions and 9 to 11 different presentations being offered during each session, we hosted over 75 presenters from various organizations and experiences and shared a lot of information.


What Can Soils Tell You About Your Forest?
Craig Houghton, Forest Technology Instructor & Program Coordinator, Penn State Mont Alto
We don't think about the soils under our feet as much as we do about the trees over our heads, yet forest soils determine much about how we manage our forests. Learn about soil information resources from the Natural Resources Conservation Service's Web Soil Survey.

Vernal Pool Ecology, Management, & Restoration
Betsy Leppo, Invertebrate Zoologist, PA Natural Heritage Program
JoAnn Albert, Heritage Program Specialist, PA Natural Heritage Program
Learn about how to recognize vernal pools, the life history of animals that use them, wetland regulations that protect them, best management practices to protect wildlife and water quality, and diseases that may show up in the wildlife using the pool. We will also talk about a case study of a vernal pool wetland restoration project in York County, Pennsylvania.

Forest Landowner-friendly Technology: Hardware & Software that May Aid in Your Woodland Stewardship
Brent Harding, Forester, Penn State
A consumer-grade GPS receiver is 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. Join me as I demonstrate how to marry emerging software technologies with consumer-grade hardware to enhance your stewardship.

How Woodland Owners Can Help Bats
Mike Scafini, Endangered Mammal Specialist, Bureau of Wildlife Management, PA Game Commission
Between April and October each year, following their hibernation period, many species of bats in the northeastern U.S. utilize forest environments. Forest management can have substantial effects on the structure and composition of these forests, both of which heavily affect bat usage for their life processes, including mating and reproduction. With the tremendous decline of Pennsylvania's bats in recent years due to white-nose syndrome, it is important, now more than ever, to help make, manage, and improve roosting and foraging habitat for these small mammals.

Got Firewood? Integrating Firewood Production into a Sustainable Forest Management Plan
Dan Snyder, Forest Assistant Manager,PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
This presentation will introduce you to tree and forest biology, the basic concepts about how trees grow, and the characteristics that make trees good or bad for firewood. We will also cover why you should have a forest management plan in place before you begin harvesting trees for firewood, which trees you should cut for firewood and how to cut them safely, and the various techniques for splitting, drying, and stacking wood.

Preserving & Enhancing Water & Aquatic Resources through Watershed Management
Chuck Keeports, Forest Service Hydrologist, USDA Forest Service
The Allegheny National Forest has a goal of maintaining a healthy, vigorous forest that provides wood products, watershed protection, a variety of wildlife and aquatic habitats, and recreational opportunities. We use a variety of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to maximize the protection and enhancement of forests and aquatic ecosystems. This presentation will cover some of the BMPs used when planning and conducting a timber harvest, including buffers for water resources, skid trail layout, and minimizing soil disturbance. Watershed analysis is also used when conducting timber harvests. Learn some of the implications of forest management activities to water quantity and water quality, particularly with the acidified soils on the Allegheny Plateau. You will also find out how BMPs and analysis are important for protecting eastern brook trout.

Forest Tax & Financial Planning: The Key to a Successful Investment
Mike Jacobson, Professor of Forest Resources, Penn State Department of Ecosystem Science & Management
This talk discusses the importance of tax, financial, and other economic factors in making wise forest management decisions. Focus will be given to practical advice such as good record-keeping, maximizing tax advantages, and considering estate planning for future generations.

The Backyard Connection: How Landscaping Choices Change PA Forests
Diane Oleson, Extension Educator, Penn State Extension
Landowners and homeowners 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. Many plant species sold for landscaping escape from yards and infest woods and natural areas. What's the big deal? Aren't all plants the same? No, they are not. Find out why as we discuss invasive plants and insects and their impacts on our woods, wildlife, and even the water we drink.

Managing Across Property Boundaries
Craig Highfield, Director, Chesapeake Forests, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
A majority of our forest landscapes are comprised of multiple, privately-owned forest parcels, yet our technical and financial resources are designed to address the needs of individual parcels. The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Mar-Len Environmental, and partners are working to bring adjacent landowners together to address the larger ecosystem needs of the forest and the common stewardship goals.

USDA-NRCS Forestry Conservation Assistance Opportunities
Peter Hoagland, State Staff Forester, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
This presentation will cover all available technical and financial assistance opportunities offered through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to forest landowners in Pennsylvania. Conservation assistance programs can help landowners achieve conservation benefits on their land such as improving forest health, improving wildlife habitat, reducing erosion, and improving water quality. The available programs include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), and the Healthy Forest Reserve Program (HFRP).

Creating Habitat for Golden-wing and Cerulean Warblers: Opportunities for Private Forest Landowners
Emily Bellush, Golden-winged Warbler Biologist, Indiana University of PA, Research Institute
Golden-winged and Cerulean warblers are two of the most rapidly declining songbirds in our Appalachian forests. Learn the breeding habitat needs of these two species and how you can manage your woodland to create the habitat they need. Find out about opportunities for financial and technical support from biologists, foresters, and various funding sources to help get the work done on your property.


Picking the Correct Chainsaw for You
Mike Powell, Instructor, Conservation Leadership School Director, SAF & Woodsmen Team Advisor, Penn State Department of Ecosystem Science & Management
This session will cover the necessary equipment for the proper maintenance of a chainsaw, how to pick the right saw for you, what safety features are located on a saw, and how to prevent potential problems associated with chainsaw operation.

Stream Restoration Opportunities on Private Lands: Lessons & Successes in Partnership & Collaboration
Nate Welker, Ecosystems Management/Fisheries, USDA Forest Service
The Allegheny Watershed Improvement Needs (WINs) Coalition was formed in April 2007. The group's main focus is developing and implementing projects on public and private lands to protect and restore watersheds and aquatic ecosystems. Since its inception, the WINs Coalition has regularly partnered with private landowners and area businesses to complete a wide range of mutually beneficial stream restoration projects. The lessons learned and successes shared serve as an excellent example of the power of partnership and collaboration among private landowners, local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies.

Planting, Pruning, and Managing Fruit Trees for Wildlife Recovery
Scott Sjolander, Urban Forestry Extension Associate, Penn State Extension
Neglected, recovered, and newly established fruit orchards can provide food and habitat for wildlife. Management intensity must match the amount of time and attention a manager can provide; however, with planning, site managers and woodland creatures can enjoy the tasty bounty a fruit orchard provides with some basic maintenance activities.

Logging Your Property and Getting a Good Outcome
Charlie Brown, Consulting Forester, Charles Brown Forestry Consulting
Harvesting trees can be the single most important tool you use to achieve your forestland objectives. Done properly, logging can improve wildlife habitat, establish a new forest, allow for future harvests, and enhance forest health while also generating income. This presentation will provide tips and resources for sustainable forest management and achieving the best possible outcome from timber harvesting operations.

Connecting Youth to the Environment through Resource Training Opportunities
Jean Devlin, Natural Resource Program Specialist, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
Do you want to engage youth in the outdoors but need more skills and "know how"? Join us to discuss numerous programs and training opportunities that will give you the resources you need so you can connect kids to the environment. Specific programs such as Project Learning Tree, Project WILD, and others will be discussed.

How to Finance Your Woodland Purchase
Thad Taylor, Vice President, Forest Products Credit by AgChoice FC
Learn 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.

Tree Identification
Beth Brantley, Instructor of Forest Technology, Penn State Mont Alto
Identifying trees got you stumped? If so, this session is for you! Join us and learn the basics of tree identification, common characteristics of trees in your forest, and be introduced to excellent reference materials. Winter and summer identification tips will be provided, and there will be a quiz at the end for those who are up for the challenge!

PA Natural Heritage, Conservation Planning, & Environmental Review
Kent Taylor, Natural Resource Program Specialist, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
The Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program (PNHP) collects and provides information on the location and status of important ecological resources in the state. PNHP helps guide conservation work and land-use planning, ensuring maximum conservation benefit with minimum cost. Conservation Explorer is an innovative tool developed by the PNHP that enables the public to perform online searches for potential impacts to threatened, endangered, or rare plants, animals, natural communities, and geologic features. This presentation will cover how PNHP collects natural heritage data, and it will demonstrate how anyone with access to the internet can create reports using Conservation Explorer.

PA 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. We will explore management and market issues around natural forest management and short-rotation woody crops grown on marginal crop land. Learning more about these markets can influence the way you decide to manage your land; join us to find out how.

Make Your Woodlands Bird-friendly & Learn Basic Bird ID
Laura Jackson, PA Forest Steward & Landowner; President, Juniata Valley Audubon Society
If you enjoy watching the birds in your backyard or in your woods, but have trouble identifying them, then this program is for you. Tips on identification techniques and birding by ear will be shared, as well as ways to improve your forest habitat for birds. Many of our native birds are in decline, but there are many things that forest landowners can do to help the birds. Colorful pictures of Pennsylvania birds will highlight the presentation.


Tree Roots: How They Grow and Interact
Dave Eissenstat, Professor of Woody Plant Physiology, Chair of Ecology Graduate Program, Penn State
Pennsylvania has diverse tree species that use their roots in very different ways. To understand the ecology of tree roots, one must also understand how they interact with their fungal symbionts - an association known as mycorrhizas. One group of trees is colonized by ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi. Another group of trees associate with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Each has different functional abilities. In addition to mycorrhizas, tree species also differ widely in their root morphology. Differing root morphology and mycorrhizal associations give rise to different tree nutrient foraging strategies. Learn about the below-ground relationships as you consider your above-ground forest management.

Establishing Forested Buffers: Insights from Twenty Years of Work
David Wise, Watershed Restoration Manager, Stroud Water Research Center
Stroud Water Research Center has been restoring forested buffers and researching how to do it more effectively for nearly twenty years. Learn what they've discovered about methods for installing and maintaining buffers. Learn about maintenance methods and timing of maintenance that can increase survival and growth rates of trees.

Mountain Lions & Other Seldom Seen Critters
Gene Odato, President, PA Forestry Association
Mountain lions have been reported in parts of the eastern U.S. in the southern, central, and northern Appalachian Mountain range. Their expansion eastward is documented by several organizations and states. Learn about the latest trends on these big cats.

Pollinating Your Woodlands the Native Way!
Su Ann Shupp, Land Conservation Manager, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
Jason Ryndock , Ecological Information Specialist, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
Spring is in the air, the bees are buzzing, and Monarchs should be flying soon. But they are not, not really. Native species seem sparse lately due to the encroachment of invasive plants, European honeybees, and new pesticides used in farming, on our roadsides and in our woodlands. Come and hear about native plantings suitable for your woodlands that will attract the best and brightest NATIVE bees and butterflies, especially the Monarch, to your forested lands!

Active Management for Wildlife Habitat
Clay Lutz, Wildlife Diversity Biologist, PA Game Commission
Providing habitat for wildlife is often cited as a main interest among woodland owners. Unfortunately, our forests face a constant barrage of threats that degrade these habitats for wildlife. These threats include invasive species, poor timber harvest practices, and a lack of natural disturbance processes such as fire. These negative influences require landowners to actively manage their properties to improve wildlife habitat. This presentation will review some of the wildlife habitat challenges private landowners face and will identify strategies that the landowner can take to improve their land's wildlife value. Additionally, the presentation will provide a summary of programs and services available to private landowners to help them improve their wildlife habitat.

Charcoal: What's So Great About It?
Gary Gilmore, Woodland Stewardship Coordinator, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
Get an introduction into the many ways charcoal can be used in the modern era. From its use as a fuel for heating to running a car, from storm water management to water purification, and from increasing soil health to sequestering carbon dioxide, this material has an amazingly wide range of uses.

Forest Succession Planning: Financial Considerations for the Future
Susan Lacy, Consulting Forester
In the next twenty years, much of the private forestland in Pennsylvania will transition to new owners. Chances are that you are one of many woodland owners who have worked hard to care for and maintain your forest, and you want to be able to pass it on to the next generation. This workshop will present some of the challenges of forest succession planning and opportunities to help you achieve that goal - from starting the family discussion about the future of your forest, to reducing unintended consequences through estate conservation and financial planning, and ensuring the desired future for your forest.

Forestry Spray Equipment for Small-scale Operations
Todd Hagenbuch, Vegetation Management Specialist, Arborchem Products
This presentation will focus on the proper herbicide application methods, equipment, and herbicide mixes to control many of the competing and invasive plants encountered today. Identification and control of these common invasive plants will be included: hay-scented fern, sweet birch, striped maple, Japanese stiltgrass, Ailanthus, autumn olive, bush honeysuckle, Japanese barberry, multiflora rose, various vine species, mile-a-minute, buckthorn, Japanese knotweed, and bamboo.

Land Use Permitting
Jeff Sherry, PennTerra Engineering, Inc.
John Sepp, President, PennTerra Engineering, Inc.
Get an overview of permitting requirements a landowner may face for earth disturbance activities, including those that impact streams and wetlands. The overview will primarily focus on environmental permit requirements, but will also include a discussion of permit requirements for activities that take access from a public right-of-way. An example of such activities is the construction of a driveway that takes access off of a state route and crosses over a stream channel.

Pipeline Site Restoration Considerations
Dave Messersmith, Marcellus Education Team, Penn State Extension
Pennsylvania is in the midst of an unprecedented natural gas pipeline buildout as the industry connects well sites from the gas fields of northern and western areas of the state to consumers. In the process, many forested acres across the region have been impacted by pipeline construction activity. This presentation will focus on helping forest landowners understand best practices for restoring impacted sites after construction is complete.

Cooperative Partnerships to Deliver Habitat: Pheasants Forever Is More than Just Pheasants!
Kaitlyn Yoder, Private Lands Forester, Pheasants Forever
Cooperative partnerships are essential to deliver habitat services and funding to private landowners. Through a national program, Pheasants Forever is helping fill an important role in Pennsylvania.


Uneven-aged Management for Wildlife Habitat
Scott Wolbert, Forester, PA Game Commission
High-grading is bad for the woods for numerous reasons. Woodland owners are often hesitant to implement the even-aged management practices that are seen on publicly-owned lands, instead preferring practices that have minimal aesthetic impacts. This talk presents a reasonable silvicultural alternative, based on uneven-aged management, which considers invasive plant and interference problems, deer impact, available seedlings, wildlife habitat needs, and the existing overstory conditions. It also allows a landowner to have income from the woods while enhancing the future timber value and quality.

The Deer-Forest Study: Understanding the Effects of Plant Competition, Deer Herbivory, & Soil Conditions for Better Forest Management
Duane Diefenbach, Leader & Adjunct Professor of Wildlife Ecology, PA Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, US Geological Survey, Penn State
The Deer-Forest Study is a large-scale project studying the interactive effects of deer browsing, competition among plants, and soil conditions to better learn how to manage deer and forests. The presentation will share insights the research team has gained about deer behavior as it relates to harvest management, as well as preliminary findings about how soils and competing vegetation affect our forests.

Rare Mammal Species in PA and Their Conservation
Carolyn Mahan, Professor of Biology & Environmental Studies, Penn State Altoona
This presentation will discuss some species of Pennsylvania's mammals whose populations are declining in the state. In particular, reasons for mammal declines and conservation solutions will be presented.

Conservation of Our Urban Forest Health & Sustainability via Tree Genetic Diversity
Cynthia Morton, Researcher, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
An urban environment rich with trees is highly valued for its aesthetic qualities as well as its environmental benefits. Billions of federal, local, and private dollars are being spent annually on management, labor, and the trees themselves as part of tree revitalization projects, and millions more are being spent by individual homeowners to improve their environment and property values. Work conducted by Cynthia Morton, Ph.D., and Phil Gruszka compared the level of genetic variation in London Plane trees already existing in the Pittsburgh area with trees of the same species currently available from three commercial nurseries. The genetic diversity was far greater in the older urban tree samples compared to that of the nursery samples, indicating that the nursery industry has been selectively cloning to produce new trees. While cloning trees is in itself a benign practice, doing so on a mass scale, without a proper understanding of the implications of drastically reducing the genetic diversity of urban forests, is ill-advised and potentially creating an area for natural disaster. Currently Morton and Gruszka are funded by the Garden Club of Allegheny County to conduct studies on red maple. These preliminary results will be discussed in relationship to our urban environment.

Climate Change Vulnerability & Risk in Pennsylvania's Woodlands
Greg Czarnecki, Climate Change and Research Coordinater, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry Ecosystems will increasingly be affected by a changing climate. Understanding the potential impacts is an important first step to sustaining healthy forests in the face of changing conditions. This presentation will highlight several regional vulnerability assessments that can provide high-quality information about the potential effects on woodland ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic Region. This information helps to identify the characteristics that put forest communities at greatest risk and can be used to make informed decisions.

Degraded Woodlots: Opportunities for Salvage & Restoration
Kimberly Bohn, Extension Educator, Penn State Extension
High-grading has been a common harvesting practice in the Northeast, in which the motto is "take the best and leave the rest." The resulting degraded woodlands often contain small diameter, poor quality, and often unhealthy trees. This presentation will address how to identify woodlots that have been degraded in the past, and the management options to restore the health, quality, and productivity of these woodlands to more functional forest ecosystems.

High-grading 101: What Is High-grading, & Why Is It One of the Biggest Threats to Our Forests?
Annie Socci, Executive Director, Foundation for Sustainable Forests
Guy Dunkle, Land Manager, Foundation for Sustainable Forests
One of the most common forms of timber harvesting in our region, "high-grading," significantly degrades the developing forest by negatively affecting stand composition and vigor, and reducing the overall resiliency of the forest. Here we will explore high-grading in its different forms, and discuss its impacts on forests and wildlife habitat, both short- and long-term.

Forestry Roads: Regulations & Best Practices
Dominic Passanita, Project Manager, Stahl Sheaffer Engineering
This presentation will introduce you to current regulatory requirements and best management practices for constructing and maintaining forest haul roads. Our discussion includes Highway Occupancy Permitting (HOP), roadway bonding, environmental permitting considerations, and best management practices.

Plant & Animal Community Response to Long-term Vegetation Management Practices on Rights-of-Way in PA
Brad Ross, Instructor in Biology & Research Assistant, Penn State Altoona
The Pennsylvania State Game Lands 33 (SGL 33) research project in central Pennsylvania began in 1953 in response to public concern about the impact of vegetation management practices on wildlife habitat within electric transmission rights-of-way (ROW). Today, SGL 33 is the site of the longest continuous study measuring the effects of herbicides and mechanical vegetation management practices on plant diversity, wildlife habitat, and wildlife use within a ROW. Since 1987 similar studies have been conducted at a companion site, Green Lane Research and Demonstration Area, in southeastern Pennsylvania. Both projects provide invaluable information for understanding the response of plants and animals to vegetation management on the ROW. Many of the findings are of particular interest to wildlife managers because species in decline reside within our ROW study areas. In particular, bird assemblages requiring early successional plant communities are declining throughout the eastern U.S. and have and continue to thrive in the ROW. Our recent research objectives are to continue this long-term research project and document trends in wildlife and plant species on our study sites. Our study supports earlier work that finds many bird species that are on the Audubon Society's conservation Watchlist (e.g., eastern towhee, field sparrow) continue to utilize and successfully reproduce in the ROW. Finally, a high diversity of native plants within the ROW potentially supports over 200 species of Lepidoptera and a diversity of Hymenopteran pollinators.

Documenting Wildlife on Your Property
Gene Odato, President, PA Forestry Association
Is the wildlife on your property benefiting from all your hard work planting, seeding, pruning, cutting, piling? Find out how you can spy on them.


Degraded Woodlots: Opportunities for Salvage and Restoration
Kimberly Bohn, Extension Educator, Penn State Extension
High-grading has been a common harvesting practice in the Northeast, in which the motto is "take the best and leave the rest." The resulting degraded woodlands often contain small diameter, poor quality, and often unhealthy trees. This presentation will address how to identify woodlots that have been degraded in the past, and the management options to restore the health, quality, and productivity of these woodlands to more functional forest ecosystems.

Black Cherry Is Changing in the Allegheny Region: How & Why?
Susan Stout, Research Project Leader, USDA Forest Service
For the last several decades of the 20th century, the black cherry of the Allegheny Plateau region was known around the world for its quality. In the 21st century, numerous aspects of black cherry growth have changed. Scientists and managers are turning to long-term research to understand why.

Invasive Forest Insect & Disease Pests
Dave Cole, Forester, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
This talk will seek to explain some of the major insect and disease challenges we face in Pennsylvania at the current time. Emphasis will be placed on the problems caused when non-native pests meet native trees. We have already lost most of the American chestnut, butternut, and American elm trees from Penn's Woods. Now we are losing the ash trees. Our state tree, the Eastern hemlock, is in trouble in many areas. Another new, non-native insect has arrived recently, and the full extent of its potential impact is not yet known. While insects and diseases aren't the only problems we face, they are very high on the list of factors that continue to change our beloved forest.

Native Pollinators: Why We Need Them & How We Can Help
Janice Snowberger, Blair County Master Gardener
This presentation will focus on promoting and sustaining native pollinators through biodiversity and habitat management, and, as landowners, how we can foster a pollinator-friendly environment.

Assessing Your Woods for Future Markets
Matt Sampson, Regional Forester, The Forestland Group
History reveals an ever-changing array of values connected to our forest resources. As managers, we tend to do a pretty good job growing timber; but trying to predict future markets and values places us somewhere between picking lottery numbers and a hot stock. Fifteen years ago who predicted cherry dropping from grace, carbon sold on the stump, and a beetle infestation would support an increase in stumpage values? Beyond the uncertainty there are some general tendencies that any forest owner can get comfortable with, and a host of uncertainties that allow them to "roll the dice" on future opportunities. In this presentation we'll glance at the past as a segue to what the future might hold with a particular emphasis on resource evaluation, risk tolerance, and management complexity.

A Primer on Timber Security for Your Family Woodland
Thad Taylor, Vice President, Forest Products Credit by AgChoice FC
This session will teach you how to protect yourself from timber theft, insect, and disease problems. Protect your property from massive monetary losses that are, for the most part, avoidable.

Legal Strategies for Protecting Your Forest Land for Future Generations
Tom Hoffman, Shareholder and Tax Attorney, Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C.
Learn how to develop an estate plan using limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and trusts to protect your forest land for future generations. The estate planning strategies will illustrate the use of income-only trusts for Medicaid/long-term care planning, and generational trusts for multi-generational family planning. Examples will illustrate how trust planning can protect assets transferred to trusts from Medicaid estate recovery, ex-spouses of your children, creditors of your children, and other events that would otherwise necessitate the sale of forest land if owned outright by your children. The trust planning discussion will also focus on reducing or eliminating federal estate and Pennsylvania inheritance taxes.

Libations from the Woods: Forest Fermentables
Scott Weikert, Forest Resources Extension Educator, Penn State Extension
This presentation will cover the basic steps required to make wine and cider in your home. We will discuss proper sanitation, preparing the must, primary and secondary fermentation, and additions that can be made to the wine to make it better.

Game Commission Funding for Private Land Habitat Projects
John Taucher, Private Lands Section Chief, PA Game Commission
Funding can be a major hurdle to implementing habitat projects. The Game Commission has funding available to assist landowners with invasive species treatments, non-commercial cutting, prescribed fire, native meadow establishment, and much more. Learn about the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Improvement Program (VPA-HIP) funding that the Game Commission has available through a grant with NRCS.

The 2017 Face of Pennsylvania Tree Farm
John and Maureen Burnham, Committee Chairs, PA Tree Farm
Review the new and exciting changes of Pennsylvania Tree Farm as we move to a full certification system.


Mentoring Up "Wild Kids"
Sanford "Sandy" Smith, Extension Specialist & Senior Lecturer, Penn State Extension
Every child needs the example and encouragement of at least one adult in their life to instill a sense of place and respect for the natural world. This session will take participants beyond the worry of Nature Deficit Disorder by presenting practical ways adults can be positive mentors in connecting youth to forests and nature. Learn ways to engage youth in outdoor learning and activities, and how to adapt your efforts to the needs and interests of children with whom you are working. This session will be interactive, allowing participants to share their successes and experiences of mentoring "wild" youth.

Practical Applications of GIS: A Landowner's Guide to Geographic Information Systems
Josh Flad, Owner, Green Leaf Consulting Services, LLC
This presentation will demonstrate the integration of GIS software with forest management planning and related activities, including data collection, database development, and mobile mapping applications.

A Holistic Approach to Creating Wildlife Habitat
Annie Socci, Executive Director, Foundation for Sustainable Forests
Guy Dunkle, Land Manager, Foundation for Sustainable Forests
Do you manage your woodland for deer? Are you considering creating early successional habitat on your land? While many practices will successfully provide habitat for your target animal(s), some are at the expense of ecosystem health as a whole. Here we present different approaches to wildlife habitat management, with an eye for sustainable practices that also benefit the larger forest ecosystem.

Boundary Lines & Easements: What Do You Really Own?
Rob Davidson, RHP Law Group, LLC
How do surveyors determine boundary lines? What if the surveyor says I have more/less land than my deed says? Does my neighbor have a right to use my land? The laws, rules, and principles of determining boundaries of woodlands employ unique practices. This presentation will provide information on the legal and practical aspects of boundary line determination.

Eight Guiding Principles to Make Better Decisions about Your Forest & Your Finances
Blaine Aikin, Executive Chairman, fi360, Inc.
This session is about good stewardship - the careful and responsible management of what is entrusted to your care. As an attendee at this conference, the odds favor that you have, or aspire to have, some forest property under your care. You are also likely to have financial assets that you need to manage wisely to meet your family's goals. If you want to manage your land and money better, a great place to start is by mastering eight guiding principles of good stewardship. The eight guiding principles discussed in this presentation are the "natural laws" of better decision-making. Learn about how you can apply these practical processes on an ongoing basis to determine where you should focus your attention to make reliable progress toward your goals.

Climate Change & Pennsylvania's Forests
Marc McDill, Associate Professor of Forest Management, Penn State Department of Ecosystem Science & Management
This talk reviews how climate change is already changing Pennsylvania's climate and how it is projected to change in the future. It discusses how Pennsylvanians in general, and Pennsylvania's forests in particular, are likely to be affected in the coming decades. Finally, it discusses the role forests can play in mitigating climate change and how we can help Pennsylvania's forests increase their ability to adapt to the changing climate.

Legacy Planning for Woodland Owners: Protecting Your Woodland for the Next Generation
Karen Hackman, Managing Member, Rudnitsky, Hackman & Potter LLP, Attorneys at Law
Attorney Karen Hackman will discuss the unintended consequences of not implementing a legal strategy to protect your woodland from forced sale, generational differences, the costs of dying, and the costs of long-term care. The presentation will also include a down-to-earth discussion of the tools and strategies available to avoid these consequences and position your family and the woodland for the next generation.

Edible Wild Mushrooms in Your Woodlot
Bill Russell, Owner, Bill Russell's Wild, Wild Mushrooms
Some of the best quality edible wild mushrooms grow in the woods, on decaying wood, and on the ground beneath trees. Many have good commercial value. We will examine some of these delicacies common to the woods of Pennsylvania and discuss how to identify and use them.

Evaluating the Process, Value, & Costs of Forest Certification: Is It a Worthy Investment for Private Forest Landowners?
Mike Eckley, Working Woodlands Forestry Manager, The Nature Conservancy
Are you interested in forest certification? Curious to know how it works or want to know what it has to offer private forest landowners? This presentation will provide a general background and history of forest certification systems and offer perspective on the structure, functionality, costs, and intended benefits of being certified. Much of the discussion will compare and contrast the (Domestic) American Tree Farm System (ATFS) to (Global) Forest Stewardship Council certification.

Finding Friends in the Forestry Community
Bob Slagter, Landowner & PA Forest Steward
Being a woodland owner is hard work. While many go it alone, to be successful it takes a community of people and resources to help you make good decisions. This community involves natural resources professionals, conservation organizations, government agencies, and other landowners like you. How do you find the friends you need? Learn about the people available to help you make decisions and do the work. Who has the right resources to meet your needs? Find out more about Woodland Owners Associations - groups of woodland owners who come together to learn more about better caring for their woods for a diversity of benefits. There are many who can help you treat your woods with the care that is needed. Learn who you need on your team and how to find those forest friends.

Wisdom in the Wilds
Sue Schiemer, Landowner
Wisdom in the Wilds is about creating a connection to nature with the mind, body, and heart. We will explore the processes of OR3S (observation, record, research, reflect, and share) to achieve a deeper understanding and appreciation for the natural world around us. This presentation will examine both science-based knowledge and tradition-based knowledge (legends, lore, and myths) of nature- based observations. Citizen science opportunities will be identified as a fun and valuable way to share observations.


The Process of Planning & Coordinating a Burn
Shannon Henry, President, Silvix
Prescribed fire can bring multiple resource benefits when properly applied. Some of these benefits are immediate and some occur years into the future. We will discuss some of the reasons to consider burning, the process of planning and coordinating a burn, and typical short- and long-term results of burning.

Riparian Forest Buffers: Improving Local Water Quality
Matthew Keefer, Assistant State Forester, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
This session will highlight the Commonwealth's initiative around riparian forest buffers, including funding sources, technical assistance, and innovative approaches to installing and managing buffers for wildlife habitat and income potential.

Identification & Conservation of Wild American Chestnut Trees
Sara Fitzsimmons, Director of Restoration, The American Chestnut Foundation, Penn State
While efforts to create a blight-resistant American chestnut are ongoing, there remains a need to find, document, and protect wild American chestnut trees within the landscape. This workshop will involve hands-on identification of leaf samples and also discuss ways in which landowners may conserve native trees, both in situ and ex situ.

Getting Better Results from a Timber Sale by Using a Consulting Forester
Eric Monger, Forester, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
The process of a timber sale, from start to finish, is most successful with a consulting forester on your side. We will talk about the on-the-ground activities as well as the paperwork involved. At the end of this presentation you will have a better understanding of all the steps to responsibly conducting a timber sale on your property.

Real-world Examples of Woodland Management in a Changing Climate
Marc McDill, Associate Professor of Forest Management, Penn State Department of Ecosystem Science & Management
Forests across the U.S. are already changing in response to the changing climate, and natural resource professionals increasingly need to address new challenges for management and conservation. The Adaptation Workbook is a structured process to consider the potential effects of climate change on forest ecosystems, and design forest management and conservation actions that can help prepare for changing conditions. The process is completely flexible to accommodate a wide variety of geographic locations, scales, forest types, management goals, and ownership types, as will be presented in several example landowner adaptation projects.

Nothing Is Certain Except Death & Taxes: Forest Planning Beyond Your Tenure
Su Ann Shupp, Land Conservation Manager, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
Scott Rimpa, Assistant District Forester, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
They say nothing is certain except death and taxes, and this presentation will discuss both! Planning for the future of your woods beyond your tenure is often an afterthought or something not thought of at all, until it is too late. Legacy planning, and the tools needed to accomplish it, are often complicated and not easy to decipher. Without good planning, private woodlands are at risk of being lost to development. Come and hear the buzz surrounding one of private woodlands hottest topics!

Regenerating Hardwood Forests: Managing Competition, Deer, & Light
Dave Jackson, Forest Resources Educator, Penn State Extension
The regeneration, or re-growth, of forests requires that sufficient numbers of desirable tree seedlings become established following a timber harvest. Often times, regeneration is not easy. Regeneration failures and re-growth of less desirable tree species are common. Competing plants, over-browsing by deer, and insufficient light to the forest floor interfere with tree seedling establishment and growth. Forest sustainability is threatened without adequate forest regeneration. This presentation provides information on key practices used to successfully establish hardwood forest regeneration.

Accessing & Describing Markets: What Local and International Markets Can I Access?
Wayne Bender, Executive Director, PA Department of Agriculture, Hardwoods Development Council
"Pennsylvania Lumber Stands for Quality" is not just the motto of the forest products industry, it is the result of our shorter growing season, diversity of species, and height of our mountains, among other uniquely Pennsylvania characteristics. Pennsylvania lumber is in demand all over the world, not only for products such as furniture, flooring, and cabinetry, but also for new products such as thermally modified lumber and cross-laminated timber used in construction of tall buildings. This presentation will focus on international markets and domestic demand for the high quality lumber that your woodland produces.

Clean & Green and Property Taxes
Gary Gilmore, Woodland Stewardship Coordinator, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
The Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest Land Assessment Act of 1974 is commonly referred to as the Clean and Green Act. This legislation was passed to slow down the conversion of open space to development. The law prevents counties from taxing land based on its potential use and only allows them to assess the land on its current use as a farm or forest. This lower tax rate comes with provisions for how the land may be used. The presentation will focus on how forest land is affected by Clean and Green. Topics covered will include what are Forest Reserves, how to apply, benefits and detriments of the program, forest types, and their valuation by county. Changes to the law since 1974 will also be presented.

Keeping a Nature Sketchbook
Beth Glasser, Landowner & PA Forest Steward
A nature sketchbook is an excellent way to observe the world around you and enhance your observational skills. A sketchbook can be tailored to your interests, be it studying foliage, looking at birds, or simply recording changes in the seasons. You don't need to be an artist to benefit from sketching in the field. This presentation will introduce you to a variety of techniques and media for recording nature, from basic field notes and sketches to more developed drawing and painting options.


Managing Healthy Woodlots for Mammal Habitat
Julie Zeyzus, Consulting Biologist
Pennsylvania is home to sixty-four wild mammal species, fifty-three of which utilize wooded habitat during some or all of their life cycle. This presentation will examine sample components of wooded habitat that may be favorable to specific mammal species, discuss the beneficial role of mammals, and provide recommendations for enhancing habitat for greater mammal diversity.

Enhancing Riparian Areas with Willow Cuttings
Dave Scamardella, Forester, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
Trees and shrubs along streams help to stabilize soil, reduce impacts of erosion, and provide wildlife habitat. One alternative to planting trees is the use of cuttings of black and sandbank willow trees. These cuttings become established quickly to protect stream function and increase diversity along your stream. Learn from success stories and from what has not worked.

Invasive Species Management: Picking Battles Large Enough to Matter & Small Enough to Win
Norris Muth, Associate Professor of Biology, Juniata College
It is a safe bet that every parcel of privately owned forest land in Pennsylvania has multiple invasive species. With these invasive species posing more problems than can possibly all be solved at once, how can landowners decide when and how to act? We will discuss some ways to prioritize and make management decisions toward reducing the impact of invasive species.

Ticks & Lyme Disease Awareness
Nicole Chinnici, Forensic Scientist, Northeast Wildlife DNA Laboratory, East Stroudsburg University
This presentation will discuss ticks, their ecology, the pathogens associated with ticks, and tips for protecting yourself and your home. Why is this important? Tick-borne diseases affect hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. Ticks, and the infectious organisms they vector, have affected humanity and animals, and continue to be a global health threat. There are 30,000 cases of Lyme disease reported yearly in the U.S., but recent studies indicate that the actual number of people infected may be 300,000. In recent years, Pennsylvania has reported the highest number of Lyme disease cases in the U.S., with over 7,000 in 2014. Understanding the life cycle of ticks, where they are found, and the pathogens they transmit will aid in prevention.

Making Charcoal In Your Woods
Gary Gilmore, Woodland Stewardship Coordinator, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
Charcoal has many uses and can be made from trees in your woods. This session will give an overview of the history of making charcoal as well as easily-used methods more suited to small woodland owners.

Citizen Science: Share Your Observations with Scientists
Mike & Laura Jackson, PA Forest Stewards & Landowners
Do you keep a nature journal, or list the birds you see when you walk through the woods? Do you have trail camera photos of wildlife, or like to photograph wildflowers? Your observations and photographs could be very helpful to researchers, when you participate in citizen science projects. Citizen science happens when ordinary people (and extraordinary people like private forest landowners!) study the world around them and send in the data they collect to scientists. These observations are extremely valuable, as most scientists work on public lands, not private. We will show some really cool projects that you might like to do on your property, and provide a resource list for a wide range of citizen science projects that will also include projects for kids.

Tree Identification: The Basics
Tim Latz, Forester, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
This presentation will cover learning to identify tree species using multiple tree characteristics: branching, leaves, buds, bark, flowers, fruit, and smell. We'll talk about how to use a dichotomous key and will share more detail on native Pennsylvania species, including twenty-five trees and ten shrubs. We'll also talk about building your resource library with useful books, guides, and internet sites.

Caring for Shade Trees
Celine Colbert, Forester, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
This talk will cover the basics of shade tree care. We will follow the life of the tree, starting with the importance of proper planting and continuing on to maintenance activities like pruning, mulching, and more. We will also discuss some common threats and what can be done to protect your trees. Emphasis will be placed on "right tree, right place" practices, and information will be provided to assist with species selection.

How Tree & Log Quality Affect Product Quality
Scott Weikert, Forest Resources Extension Educator, Penn State Extension
In this presentation you will learn to recognize various defects in log and tree form (such as knots, bird peck, bumps, etc.). We will then talk about how those defects show up in lumber form, how they affect value, and what products are the likely use of trees with various defects.

Old Time Logging
Marc Lewis, Co-owner, Dwight Lewis Lumber Company
This presentation will take a look into the history of logging in Pennsylvania including Williamsport, PA, which was once lumber capital of the world. There will be examples of tools that were used and the history behind them as well as modes of transportation including construction of log rafts. Many of these hand tools have survived the test of time and are still being used to this day.


Ten Trees & Shrubs for Wildlife
Scott Sjolander, Urban Forestry Extension Associate, Penn State Extension
Many landowners have a goal of creating or enhancing wildlife habitat but are not sure which species to plant. This presentation will highlight ten species of trees and shrubs most preferred by the greatest variety of wildlife.

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 will explain the basics of conservation easements and help attendees understand whether or not their goals and needs might fit with this conservation tool.

Forestry for the Birds: How to Improve Your Woods for Declining Song Birds
Sarah Sargent, Program Manager for Bird Conservation, Audubon Pennsylvania
Of the ninety-two forest-dependent bird species in Pennsylvania, many have suffered continuing population declines since the 1960s. These declines are largely due to habitat loss and degradation. Learn what Pennsylvania forest birds need and how to maximize the potential of your woods to provide homes for more of these special inhabitants.

Two-pronged Approach to Deer Management
Dave Jackson, Forest Resources Educator, Penn State Extension
Extended deer hunting seasons and increased antlerless licenses are often blamed as reasons for hunters seeing fewer deer. In many cases, however, poor habitat is a limiting factor. Providing quality habitat is essential for maintaining any wildlife population. Deer management consists of a two-pronged approach that includes improving habitat while simultaneously harvesting the appropriate number of does. This presentation will show how the two are intertwined. Specific habitat improvement practices you can install on your property will be discussed. In addition, the presentation will cover how to assess deer populations by looking at browse impact, and how the impact level can be used to measure the level of antlerless deer harvest needed.

Getting Better Results from a Timber Sale by Using a Consulting Forester
Eric Monger, Forester, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
The process of a timber sale, from start to finish, is most successful with a consulting forester on your side. We will talk about the on-the-ground activities as well as the paperwork involved. At the end of this presentation you will have a better understanding of all the steps to responsibly conducting a timber sale on your property.

High-grading 101: What Is High-grading, & Why Is It One of the Biggest Threats to Our Forests?
Annie Socci, Executive Director, Foundation for Sustainable Forests
Guy Dunkle, Land Manager, Foundation for Sustainable Forests
One of the most common forms of timber harvesting in our region, "high-grading," significantly degrades the developing forest by negatively affecting stand composition and vigor, and reducing the overall resiliency of the forest. Here we will explore high-grading in its different forms, and discuss its impacts on forests and wildlife habitat, both short- and long-term.

Useful Technology & Tools for Learning about Your Woods
Sarah Johnson, Conservation GIS Analyst, The Nature Conservancy
This presentation will feature free or relatively low-cost and easy-to-use smartphone applications, computer programs, and software that landowners can employ to measure forest attributes, collect data, and evaluate options. Applications and software include Google Earth Pro, ArcGIS Online, Avenza PDF Maps, a peek at the wide range of free or low-cost smartphone applications, and a brief introduction into more complex mapping applications that land managers use to gain landscape-scale data for decision-making.

You Don't Have a Management Plan? Let's Talk!!
Gerald Hoy, Forester, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
A 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 will focus on the what, where, why, when, and how of forest management plans, including short- and long-term forest planning. The parts of a plan we will outline include goals, objectives, and avenues to reach them. We will touch on where to find professionals for guidance during the planning process and possible funding opportunities for planning and implementation.

Field to Forest: Direct Seeding
Andrew Duncan, Regeneration Coordinator, PA DCNR, Bureau of Forestry
Direct seeding is an alternative method of afforestation/reforestation to traditional planting of seedlings in tree protectors. We will discuss the origin of direct seeding, current trials in Pennsylvania and beyond, methods of seeding, the associated costs, and basic methods landowners can use on their own land.

Made in America: The Emergence of Family Woodland Owners
Keith Argow, President, National Woodland Owners Association
Families and other private holdings own and manage more than half of the forests and woodlands in the U.S. Most hold twenty or fewer acres. These woodland owners make decisions about the acreages in their care. If these decisions are to be good decisions, it is important to get to know your neighbors, to learn about forestry, to share the amount being paid for logs, and to keep up with forest regulations and timber tax laws. In short, forward-looking family woodland owners need to join together in landowner associations at the county, state, and national levels. This presentation will help you understand why it is important for woodland owners to come together for the common good of their land.

Early Logging
Jim Walizer, Landowner
This presentation will feature a slideshow, in the Rothrock tradition, depicting the evolution of harvesting technology from 1800 to 1900 (the Williamsport era).

James C. Finley Center for Private Forests


416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802

James C. Finley Center for Private Forests


416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802