Category Archives: News

News about Kentucky Woodlands and their owners

Ambrosia beetle damage to standing dead ash

This report  is based on a survey of KY Master Loggers in response to concern about the occurrence of this damage and its potential to degrade and devalue logs. The white paper provides educational information and can inform decision-making by landowners, loggers, and the forest industry at large. Given the increasing amount of standing dead ash being logged due to the emerald ash borer, the issue of ambrosia beetle damage is likely to increase and affect new areas in the future.

2017 Ash Ambrosia Beetle Damage White Paper

For more info contact:

Ellen V. Crocker, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar

Forest Health Research and Education Center

Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Kentucky

e.crocker@uky.edu

Your Woodlands at Work is focus for 2018 Annual Meeting

 

Mark your calendar to attend our annual meeting March 20-21 at General Butler State Park in Carrollton, Kentucky. General Butler State Park overlooks the Ohio River approximately 1 1/2 hours from Lexington and less than an hour from Louisville.

Kentucky Tourism

General Butler State Park is Northern Kentucky’s first state park and one of the first 10 in the commonwealth. On August 12, 1931, a 300-acre tract comprising part of the old William O. Butler family farm became Kentucky’s sixth state park. Not only is the park a historic site, it is also a place of great natural beauty. This is the only spot in Kentucky that has the unique view of the convergence of the Kentucky and Ohio Rivers.

The theme for this year’s meeting is Your Woodlands at Work. The entire event will begin with two tours of how oak barrels are being used in the distillery and wine industry. Both of the products are being made locally in Kentucky.

The event begins on Tuesday morning in Frankfort, Kentucky at the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

For over 200 years, Buffalo Trace has been defined by a dedication to one craft; making fine bourbon whiskey.

After a tour of this facility we will move on north to the Elk Creek Winery

to better understand how white oak and the wine industry are connected. Lunch will be provided while at the winery.

After visiting Elk Creek you can proceed to General Butler State Park to continue with the annual meeting events including a buffet meal and several topics of interest to woodland owners. The following morning, March 21, the educational program continues.

To register for the annual meeting go to Annual Meeting page.

Room reservations at General Butler State Park can be made by calling General Butler State Park at 502-732-4384. Mention that you are attending the KWOA Woodlands Owners Conference. The conference room rate is $81 per night. Rooms will be held until March 6th for KWOA registrants.

2018 KWOA and KWOF Annual Meeting

Kentucky Woodland Owners Association and Foundation

Your Woodlands at Work

Tuesday, March 20 – Wednesday, March 21

General Butler State Park

Carrollton, Kentucky

 

Tuesday, March 20

10 AM Tour Buffalo Trace Distillery (http://www.buffalotracedistillery.com/)

The first stop will begin at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. From either Louisville or Lexington take I-64 and get off at Exit 58 and turn north onto US 60 west towards downtown Frankfort. Go straight for 5 miles and do not make any turns. This road will become 421 north and US 127 south and Wilkinson Blvd. After you drop off the hill the entrance to Buffalo Trace Distillery will be on your right. Look for the green plank fence and turn right  through the big stone gates.

We will be setting out signs as you get close to the turn into Buffalo Trace Distillery. Signs also will be placed to direct you to the correct parking lot for the tour.

A tour will be made of Buffalo Trace explaining the history and production of Buffalo Trace’s products. There will be an opportunity to sample and purchase products.

11:45 AM Depart Buffalo Trace Distillery and proceed to Elk Creek Winery                (http://www.elkcreekvineyards.com/)

When leaving Buffalo Trace Distillery, turn left. Travel only a mile or so and exit to your right to state route 2261 and 127. At the stop sign turn left (north) on 127. It is suggested that you not use “street pilots” to next location. Best route would be to go to Owenton where 127 intersects with route 227. Turn right on 227. In less than 5 miles turn left on 1883 and 330. Again, signs will be set out for you.

12:30 PM Lunch on site at Elk Creek Winery

Upon arriving at Elk Creek Winery lunch will be provided. Following the lunch there will be a tour of the facility explaining the production of their wines.

3:00 PM Depart from Elk Creek Winery proceeding to General Butler State Park. Proceed back to 227 from the winery and turn right. In Owenton follow 127 north until you come to route 35. Turn  left on 35 and proceed to the interstate 71 and proceed west to General Butler/Carrollton exit. Turn right and proceed north to the General Butler State Park entrance on your left (approximately   three miles from the interstate.) The park lodge is at the top of the hill. The trip from Elk Creek Winery to General Butler State Park is approximately 45 minutes.

6:00 PM KWOA and KWOF Annual Awards Banquet (located in the General Butler Conference Center – a short walk from the lodge)

Following the banquet:

University of Kentucky Forestry and Natural Resource Student Presentation

University of Kentucky Forestry and Natural Resource Student Scholarship KWOF Award Presentation

Kentucky Division of Forestry Service Foresters Award Presentation

Kentucky and National Tree Farm Report

Society of American Foresters Baggenstoss Award

Presentation of Leopold Program

Wednesday, March 21

(Breakfast on your own / please make arrangements for check out)

(Meeting will resume again at the General Butler Conference Center)

8:30 AM Welcome and Announcements

8:45 AM White Oak Supply Report and Ash Issues in Kentucky

White oak and ash are important tree species to many Kentucky woodland owners. In 2017, University of Kentucky Forestry Department conducted a survey at the KWOA annual meeting to better understand woodland owner perceptions of current and future white oak supply issues. Also in 2017, KWOA requested the development of a white paper on the EAB Disaster in Kentucky. This presentation will present results from these research projects.

9:15 AM Kentucky Forest Health Updates

In addition to the emerald ash borer, several other invasive insects and diseases present potential threats to Kentucky forest health.  Neighboring states have Asian longhorned beetle, European gypsy moth, and thousand cankers disease, but what are these and what do they mean for Kentucky?  This session will introduce you to these threats and also discuss the current management strategies to protecting our woodlands.

9:45 AM Deer Management in Kentucky

This talk will cover the basics of assessing the health of your deer herd, how to monitor its population and health status, and the varying management strategies that can be used to meet deer management goals. Focus will be placed on the how-to for initial assessments of your deer herds population, how to collect the data, and how anyone with a computer can track and analyze it to help manage their deer herd. Effectively using trail cameras, habitat improvement ideas including food plots and forest management strategies will be covered.

10:30 AM Break

10:45 AM Cooperators Reports

Kentucky Division of Forestry

University of Kentucky Report

Kentucky Conservation Committee

Kentucky Forestry Industries Association

 

11:15 AM KWOA and KWOF Annual Business Meeting and Elections

12:00 PM Adjourn

Census of Ag is underway

The Census of Ag mailouts take place over the next few weeks:

* Electronic Data Reporting Push Letter:  Nov. 27 to ~1 million farmers

* First mailing of Census form:  Dec. 5 to ~420,000 farmers

* Second mailing of Census form:  Dec. 12 to ~590,000 farmers

* Third mailing of Census form:  Dec. 19 to ~950,000 farmers

The first mailout is a letter with information for recipients to respond online.  Subsequent mailouts are paper copies of the Census of Agriculture, though farmers are always encouraged to respond online.  It’s a time-saver for everyone, because the improved online survey is user-friendly, calculates totals automatically, and skips questions not applicable to your operation.

The census response deadline is February 5, 2018.

Farm operations of all sizes which produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2017 are included in the census.

Data from the Census help:

* Shape programs and initiatives that benefit young and beginning farmers;

* Expand access to resources that help women, veteran and minority farmers;

* And help farmers diversify into new markets, including local and regional food systems, specialty crops and organic production.

 

If you have any questions about the Census of Agriculture or any NASS surveys and data, please call our office in Louisville, (800) 928-5277.  Thank you for your time and partnership.

 

David Knopf | Regional Director

USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service

Eastern Mountain Regional Field Office

T: 502-907-3218 | F: 855-270-2708

KWOA Board considers range of important topics at it meetings

Woodland property assessment

The on-going appeal regarding property assessment by Jim Corum, KWOA past president, is based on a lack of constitutional appropriateness regarding the disparity in application of property assessment criteria. The current assessment has economic implications for landowners regarding forestland as an investment given the carrying cost of the tax burden. For example, as a percentage of net income, woodland owners pay 15.6 percent of net income compared to 3 percent for corn farmers.

 

KWOA has conducted lengthy discussions covering many aspects of the issue including what criteria distinguish personal use from agricultural use for timber properties and the potential impact on counties’ tax base, particularly in light of the significant decrease in tax revenues from mined minerals.

 

Rough estimates indicate that Kentucky timber resources are only about 25 percent as productive as they could be due to lack of management. The KWOA board voted to form a committee to define what constitutes sustainable management practices. The committee will attempt to compare differences in tax rates between properties that implement sustainable management plans and those that don’t.

Recent high-profile property tax assessments for lots slated for future development in Fayette County resulted in new criteria for agriculture exemptions. There is no similar criteria for tree farms. KWOA is developing a related position paper focused on retaining property tax exemptions for all 10+acre woodlands. The position paper supports greater rewards for woodlands with active management plans. The first effort will be to develop and agree on the criteria that will differentiate a “working forest” (actively farmed) from a personal use or “volunteer” forest.

U.S. Congressional Working Forest Caucus

U.S. House and Senate bipartisan caucuses were formed to pursue common legislative objectives and policies relating to responsible, active management of privately owned forests. No Kentucky congressional legislators are members of these caucuses.

KWOA sent letters with the UK Kentucky Forestry Economic Contribution Report 2016 to the state’s U.S. senators and representatives. Sample letters were sent to KWOA members to encourage them to contact their congressional legislators about joining a caucus.

 

Member presentation on timber harvest

Eric Shrader, woodland owner and KWOA member, made a presentation to the board regarding his experience with a 2015 timber harvest. He shared the challenges, lessons learned, and the result of his efforts to have a logging inspection report corrected to reflect what he considered to be violations of best management practices during the harvest. A summary of his presentation is on the KWOA Practices page at www.kwoa.net.

 

Guest presentation from Dendri Fund

Barbara Hurt, Dendri Fund Executive Director, explained that the Dendri Fund is an independent foundation that gives grants focused on working groups: wood, water and grains. Born out of Brown Forman, a family-owned business, the Fund invests in building relationships, creating dialogue and shared learning, and fueling innovative solutions bringing together diverse perspectives. The Fund is in the process of changing its policy from a transactional to transformative grant-making process.

McCauley Adams, with Dendri’s wood working group, spoke about its focus on the importance of wood products to Brown Forman and to the quality of life for Kentucky’s future generations. Members brought up possible topics of mutual interest such as sustainable management of forests, the importance of other species besides oak and barrel-making and the threats from invasives.

 

KWOF sponsors six programs during 2017 with $3,450 in funding

KWOF contributed sponsorships to the following entities during 2017:

Greenup County Conservation District – $400 – to help fund their annual Woods and Wildlife for Your Wallet program.

Leopold Conservation Award – $500 – honors Kentucky farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who voluntarily demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources.
UK Forestry Student Scholarship – $1,000 – to an outstanding student enrolled in the University of Kentucky’s professional forestry degree program.

Woodland Owners Short Course – $650 – The WOSC is designed to assist Kentucky’s woodland owners in the care and management of their woodland resource.

UK Kentucky Forestry Leadership Program – $400 – for two competitive scholarships to the weeklong program at Jabez for students interested in natural resource management.

Salt River Watershed Project- $500 – managed through the Kentucky Waterways Alliance.

 

New Kentucky Division of Forestry Director outlines plans for agency

Recently appointed Director James Wright introduced himself and updated the board on agency activities and plans. Mr. Wright reported on staffing levels at the agency and his goal to streamline management personnel and increase field staff, including an urban forester position. There is real hope to have US Fish &Wildlife Service provide ongoing support on all enforcement issues. Kentucky foresters are being sent to other states on fires and management practices through new neighbor agreements with the US Forest Service. These changes are saving general fund dollars and looking in new directions to fund and promote sustainable forestry.

Pam Snyder, KDF Stewardship Branch Manager, reported that emerald ash borer has been found in six more counties. The division is re-gearing to roles that have an economic return. It is developing a cooperative agreement with NRCS on easements and timber stand improvement.

 

Emerald ash borer

The office of the Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture has agreed to hold a meeting to discuss issues and economics related to the emerald ash borer. The emerald ash borer (or EAB), a native of Asia, is a half inch long dark metallic green beetle that kills ash trees within three to five years after they become infested.

Former KWOA president Joe Ball has contacted several statewide agencies and associations regarding the EAB threat. He assured the board that forestry is a big issue for the current commissioner, Ryan Quarles. In discussions with the commissioner’s marketing staffer, Ball thinks that woodland owners who have experienced timber loss from EAB damage may qualify for disaster relief funds. The USDA Farm Service Agency’s Emergency Forest Restoration Program provides payments to eligible owners of rural nonindustrial private forest land to carry out emergency measures to restore forest health on land damaged by natural disaster events. Insect disease is mentioned as damage that is eligible for relief funds.

 

UK Forestry Extension is developing a fact sheet utilizing existing forest inventory data for ash trees and EAB infestations to project the economic impact of resultant stumpage, canopy and overall downstream loss from this invasive. (Ash trees comprise seven percent of forest species in Kentucky.) Joe Ball recommended that loss payment be tied to cleanup and active management of future timber.

KWOA launches series on timber harvest management for woodland owners

Have you conducted a timber harvest on your land? Was the experience what you expected? Were you satisfied with the results? Or if you are considering a harvest, what questions and concerns do you have?

KWOA/KWOF is starting a series of articles on the topic of timber harvests. The series will include articles, publications and resources on contracts, harvesting, best management practices, landowner relationships with and responsibilities of consulting foresters, logging inspections and reports, remediation for and correction of BMP violations.

To begin the series we are providing a list of articles that have been published in the University of Kentucky Forestry Extension’s Kentucky Woodlands Magazine. The articles are listed chronologically beginning with the magazine’s first issue in 2006. To read the full articles go to: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/KYWoodlandsmagazine/about.php.

We would also like to hear from woodland owners about their experiences, questions and lessons learned. Please submit comments, questions and/or articles to editor@kwoa.net.

Kentucky’s Consulting Foresters

November 2006 1.2

Christopher J. Will

 

Kentucky Master Loggers and Woodland Owners

April 2007 2.1

Jeff Stringer

 

Forestry Water Quality Plans

April 2008 3.1

Amanda Abnee Gumbert
Selective Harvesting Part One

Sustainable Management of High-grading?

August 2008 3.2

Jeff Stringer

 

Selective Harvesting Part Two

Elements of a Selective Harvest

December 2008 3.3

Jeff Stringer

 

Managing and Preventing Woodland Degradation

December 2009 4.3

Jeff Stringer

 

Timber Measurements, Products, Harvesting, and Sales

April 2010 5.1

Doug McLaren

 

Tracking the Establishment of Invasive Exotic Species in a Timber Harvest

August 2011 6.2

Kevin Devine, Jeff Stringer, Songlin Fei, Chris Barton
Woodland Roads

December 20102 7.2

Chris Osborne

 

Selecting a Logger

April 2013 8.1

Jeff Stringer

 

Logging and Woodland Owners

How to Protect Yourself from Bad Actors

August 2013 8.2

Jeff Stringer and Mark Schuster

 

It’s Your Woods

(So Know Your Ags and Ugs)

December 2013 8.3

David Mercker

 

Hardwood Timber Products and Tree Value

Winter 2014 9.2

Jeff Stringer

 

Kentucky’s Woodland Owners and Logging Best Management Practices

Summer/Fall 2015 10.1

Jeff Stringer

 

Protecting Woodlands from Timber Theft and Trespass

Spring 2016 10.2

Jeff Stringer, Chad Niman, Billy Thomas

 

Changes to Kentucky’s Forestry Best Management Practices

Spring 2016 10.2

Jeff Stringer and MacKenzie Schaeffer

 

Kentucky Landowners and Logging BMP’s

Summer 2017 11.1

Jeff Stringer

 

Marking Your Woodland Boundary

Summer 2017 11.1

Laurie Taylor Thomas

Stickney tree farm field day demonstrates options for sustainable woodlands

Thanks to the following educators for participation in the field day and information for this article:

Eric Baker, Estill Co Extension Agriculture/Natural Resource Agent

Jason Powell, KDF

Sam Miller, NRCS

Merle Hacker, KDF&W

Portia Brown, KWOA

Henry Duncan and Clarissa Rentz, KWOA – photos

 

Woodlands owners experienced an exceptional on-site tour of a top-rated tree farm on October 5. Jack Stickney, 2016 Kentucky Tree Farmer of the Year, and his wife Teresa own 100 acres of woodlands in Estill County. During the field day agency professionals assisted the Stickney’s demonstrations, covering topics that included timber stand improvement (TSI) practices, technical and financial assistance programs, advanced agricultural practices, shitake mushroom production and wildlife habitat management.

Jack Stickney introduces field day participants to the many facets of his tree farm with a slideshow in his barn. (The barn was built with salvaged wood from the farm.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Located in the eastern knobs and eastern coalfield region of Kentucky, Estill County transitions the bluegrass to the mountains. The county is covered by 116,480 acres of woodland which is an important part of the local economy. Approximately 75 percent of Estill County is forest, of which around 4,500 acres lie within the Daniel Boone National Forest.

Estill County has beautiful natural resources and we were so pleased to have 101 people come enjoy the field day and help showcase the Stickney family’s exceptional stewardship efforts on their farm and woodlands.  Eric Baker, Estill Coounty Agriculture/ Natural Resource Extension Agent

 

The Stickneys got a forest stewardship plan from KDF in 1987, the same year they purchased the land. In accordance with the plan they have implemented timber stand improvement (TSI) on all their woodlands. Sam Miller, NRCS Technical and Financial Assistance Program, has worked with the Stickneys over the last 20 years to provide financial assistance through various programs (WHIP, FIP – now EQIP, and CRP). They broke the TSI practice down into segments of 8 to 10 acres to be tackled at a time. For this practice KDF helped by marking the trees.

 

Marking trees – KDF uses a blue dot to identify trees to be killed using hack and squirt or cut stump herbicide treatment. An “X” is used to mark desirable species, such as red and white oak, hickory and poplar that could benefit from simply cutting to encourage healthy re-sprout; no herbicide would be used on these stumps.

The Stickneys have planted a variety of tree species. They began by planting northern hardy pecans 25 years ago but have not had significant nut production. The trees still help preserve water quality. In 2003, under the Conservation Reserve Program they planted more pecans and walnuts in a 2.2-acre tract of bottomlands along the Red River. This area has flooding so their practices help water quality. They also planted a few cypress trees. The first planting was 800 trees 15 years ago.  Early plantings did not fare so well due to weeds and deer and beaver predation. KDF helped with the next planting – in rows 12 feet apart with seedlings at 8 foot centers – and using herbicides to control weeds.

For decades, Estill County first thought of woodland as a logging opportunity. Too often, the woods were high graded and left without any consideration for the future. This is not a sustainable practice. It is far better to harvest in a calculated way, doing selective harvesting with management post-harvest for desirable species to come back. Managing woodlands is investing in the future.

The Stickney’s first non-timber forest product venture was growing shitake mushrooms from logs. The first ten years was for personal use. After a TSI practice opened a 67 acre area, they began growing mushrooms on 500 logs. They transitioned to a commercial operation adding oyster mushrooms to the shiitake farming. Their

Jack displays a collection of the logs used for growing mushrooms

land is at the edge of the outer Bluegrass and the Knobs limestone creek bottoms are excellent for soaking logs.

Eighty percent of the nutrients in mushrooms comes from the mycelium. The stem of a shiitake has a lot of medicinal value. Teresa dries the stems and grinds them into a powder that she uses to add flavor to recipes for gravy and Alfredo sauce. Jack says “Eastern Kentucky should be the mushroom capital of the world.” He thinks there is a valuable future market for mushrooms as a medicinal product, especially in cancer treatment.

In 2003, the Stickneys planted native warm season grasses to provide rotational grazing for their grass fed beef production and to provide grazing throughout the summer. They have a 30 to 50% improvement over continuous grazing by using rotation. They fenced cattle out of the streams and woodlands and instead water them using gravity-fed waterlines from a spring on the property to four strategically placed tanks. In addition to rotational grazing, the native warm season grasses provide good mixes for pollinators and value for ground nesting species, rabbits, turkeys and quail. Undergrowth in woodland habitats is fabulous for wildlife such as rough grouse and other birds. They like the scattered light as opposed to the closed canopy. Mid story removal also promotes filtered sunlight.

The next stage for the Stickney’s woodlands will be to ramp up invasive species management. They are fighting bush honeysuckle and multiflora rose.  Having a plant identification guide can help identify invasives. Many factors, such as ice storms, disease and insects open up the forest and introduce opportunities for invasives.

An intergenerational effort. Jack and Teresa pause for a photo with Teresa’s mom who lives in nearby Breathett County. Caleb, Jack and Teresa’s son, has been instrumentally involved in all aspects of the farm. He is pursuing a college degree in natural resource/environmental studies.

Managing woods for a diversity of species helps brace against diseases that can take out one species.

Life isn’t all crop production at the tree farm. The Stickneys have hosted many educational field days over the years including Scouts, MACED, Shitake Mountain Mushroom Foundation Festival and environmental practices. They have a teepee for the Scouts to use and an elevated viewing station in the woods. They have excellent wildlife and allow deer and turkey hunting.

Nominate your service forester for KWOA’s 2018 award

KWOA Outstanding Service Forester Award 2018

Background

Kentucky Division of Forestry regional service foresters are stationed in five regions across Kentucky. These service foresters are the first line of support for Kentucky woodland owners who have a desire and need to manage their woodlands. 160,000+ woodland owners have 10 acres or more located throughout the state. The service forester’s workload is demanding and important to woodland owners.

Kentucky Woodland Owners Association will recognize a KDF Service Forester for his/her outstanding achievements. Nominations may be made by any KWOA member and are due no later than February 1st of each year.

KDF will review the top three applications for accuracy and notify the KWOA awards committee for the selection. This recognition will not automatically be awarded each year if applicants do not meet KWOA selection standards.

The winning recipient and a guest will be invited to the KWOA annual meeting where the recognition and a plaque will be presented. Previous award recipients are Steve Gray (2011), Kevin Galloway (2012), Robert Bean (2013), Michael Froelich (2014), Lisa Armstrong (2015), and Bill Knott (2016) and Josh Frazier (2017).

Please take a look at the application guidelines and consider nominating your service forester for the 2018 award!

Application for KWOA 2018 Program Achievement Award for Service Foresters

Entries are due by February 1, 2018.  

Purpose:  To recognize outstanding accomplishments of Service Foresters employed with the Kentucky Division of Forestry. The applicant should have not received this award for the past three years. Nominations may be submitted by any KWOA Member.

 

Suggested format and guidelines for nominations:

  1. Entries may be typed or handwritten. Limit the award entry to 2 pages, one side only, plus 1-2 pages, one side only, of supportive information, i.e., letter(s) of support, news articles, pictures, etc. Additional pages beyond this description will not be considered. The nomination may be submitted in an electronic form if desired.
  1. Consideration for the service award will be the demonstrated overall professionalism, the volume of work, the relationship with the woodland owner, the responsiveness to request and the sustained excellence over a period of time.
  1. Include in the application:

      Full name, current address and title plus email address of nominee

     Name, contact information of the one preparing the nomination

  1. Other considerations, if available. Work history, achievements that particularly relate to success in working with Kentucky Woodland Owners: who benefited and what were the impacts. Additional contributions made to forestry including work on committees, task forces, and leadership positions.
  2. Summary Statements of Support: Concise, well-written, easy-to-read narrative summary statement (50-75 words).
  1. TIME PERIOD:

Entries are due by February 1, 2018. Although forestry programs require more than one year completing, the major accomplishments being considered should have been realized during the past three years.

  1. Submit applications by February 1 to Karen Marshall, KWOA editor: editor@kwoa.net or mail hardcopy to KWOA at PO Box 694, Maysville KY 41056.

KWOA members selected for Outstanding Forest Stewards Award

Jerry and Portia Brown have been awarded the central regional and the state Division of Forestry awards as the 2017 Outstanding Forest Stewards. The award will be presented to them at the awards luncheon October 20 during the 41st annual Kentucky Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment in Lexington. The conference’s two days of discussion and debate will examine the top issues involving Kentucky’s energy future and its environment.

Portia Brown, KWOA secretary, and Jerry Brown, KWOA board member, accept the 2017 Outstanding Forest Stewards Award at the KY Governors Conference on Energy and the Environment. With them are KWOA members Greg Kuhns and Harry and Karen Pelle, 2012 Forest Stewards of the Year. Photo by Lisa Armstrong, KDF

“Over the years we have learned so much, met many wonderful people who share our interest in sustaining the natural resources that bless us all, and tried to share our time, talents and resources to conserve these invaluable resources and promote sustainable practices.”

The selection committee chose the Browns for having “… left a beneficial, everlasting mark on the natural resources of our great Commonwealth.” The award reflects work done at both farms. Grayson Woods, the Grayson County Tree Farm that Portia’s mother started a little before 1950 to curb severely eroded land reflects successful and natural transition from a pine plantations to native hardwood. The last pines were harvested in 2014 with the help of ACA consultant, Chris Will. Jerry & Chris laid out road access to the site prior to opening the bidding process. This served a dual purpose:

> preparing the site with respect to BMP practices for logging

> allowing bidders to better see what trees were to be harvested and any areas of concern relating to the actual harvest process.

 

The Shelby Property contributes an educational center and reflects post-harvest regeneration. The Browns purchased this land in 1996. The majority of the land was clear cut around 1975 for transition to grazing / silage crops. An area of roughly 35 acres, that the Browns like to call “The Back Forty”, appears to have been high-graded about 75 years ago.Their first project was re-aligning access roads to prevent erosion and improve the quality of access. They used a number of techniques for crop tree release and invasive species control in order to nurture the regeneration of native hardwood species. They also use several techniques to provide wildlife habitat, including:

  • the establishment of over 30 acres in local ecotype native grasslands with over 50 wildflower species (such as milkweed for pollinators)
  • a variety of wetland and woodland habitats.

Portia observes that over the years the Kentucky Division of Forestry in Grayson County has provided outstanding service to their family by guiding them through stewardship options, educating them on the implications of different practices, and connecting them with various programs to help implement their plan. Federal programs including CRP & EQIP, administered through NRCS, have provided financial aid that made it feasible to implement many of the practices. State assistance has also come through KY Fish & Wildlife and The Nature Conservancy.

 

Leopold Conservation Award 2018 Call for Applications

If you, or someone you know, is a Kentucky landowner who is committed to land management practices that increase conservation, the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts invites your application for the Leopold Conservation Award.

Sand County Foundation, the Kentucky Agricultural Council and KACD are accepting applications for the 2018 Leopold Conservation Award program in Kentucky. The $10,000 award honors Kentucky farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who voluntarily demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. It inspires other landowners through these examples and provides a visible forum where farmers, ranchers and other private landowners are recognized as conservation leaders. The Leopold Conservation Award Program is offered in the following states: California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Application deadline for the 2018 award is spring 2018. See the 2018 Leopold brochure (2017 winner) (v.3) for information on applying or on candidate nomination.

Mail all materials to:

Leopold Conservation Award

c/o Franklin County Conservation District

103 Lakeview Court

Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

 

To submit materials electronically, email materials to:

Steve Coleman, colemansteve51@gmail.com, 502-330-5044

The award will be presented at the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts annual convention in July 2018.

KWOA member Charles Williams, Hart County tree farmer, was the 2015 recipient. The 2017 Kentucky winner is Harry (KWOA board member) and Karen Pelle’s Tallow Creek Farm in Taylor County. The Pelle’s timber stand improvements have enhanced their forest crop, wildlife habitat and growth of forest floor vegetation. Their forest generates addition income through the sale of carbon credits to help sustain their conservation practice.

KWOA is a sponsor of the KLC award.