BOZEMAN - The Montana State University Extension Forestry Program has scheduled forest stewardship workshops for owners and managers of private forestlands are scheduled at Whitehall, Thompson Falls, Yaak, Mammoth and Roundup.
The program has assisted more than 3,200 participants in developing stewardship plans to care for their forests, said Cindy Bertek, the Forest Stewardship Coordinator in Missoula.
"The workshops help people determine objectives, discover how forests function and develop their own management plants to care for the land in sustainable ways," Bertek said. "With nearly 3.8 million acres of forests in private ownership, these forests are every bit as important as every other forest in the state."
At an Extension forest stewardship workshop, forest owners identify their goals for their forest, as well as the potential to fulfill objectives. These can range from increasing fire resilience, to better wildlife compatibility, to noxious weed mitigation, to being a source of income through the sale of timber or real estate development.
Natural resource professionals teach the workshop and visit each participant's property, providing information and advice to help landowners meet their objectives. At the end of the workshop, landowners or private forest managers will have a forest stewardship plan for sustaining their forest.
The course involves 24 hours of class and field time, plus some independent research and forest inventory by each landowner for their property. Participants will learn how to use topographic maps and aerial photos, understand the ecology of their forest, inventory their resources, set goals and priorities, develop and analyze management considerations and understand environmental effects of stewardship decisions.
Sponsored by MSU Extension Forestry, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service, the three-day forestry skills workshops will be held in the following locations:
- Whitehall, May 9-10 and 17;
- Thompson Falls, June 13-14 and 21;
- Yaak, July 18-19 and 26;
- Mammoth/Cardwell, Aug. 15-16 and 23;
- Roundup, Sept. 12-13 and 20.
Interested forest owners can request an application or obtain information by calling the MSU Extension Forestry office at (406) 243-2773 or visiting www.msuextension.org/forestry.
Contact: Cindy Bertek, (406) 243-4706 or firstname.lastname@example.org.