Category Archives: Events

Upcoming Events of Interest

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

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.

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.

 

Ancient American Chestnut makes surprising appearance on Pelle tree farm

Thanks to Harry Pelle, KWOA board member, for sharing this story

While marking fifty acres for a timber stand improvement project on their property on April 23rd, Harry and Karen Pelle along with Chris Will, their consulting forester, found quite a welcome surprise. They discovered a couple of American Chestnut root sprouts. Harry admits there have been other aspiring chestnut seedlings over the thirty years the Pelle’s have been traversing their tree farm near Bradfordsville but they didn’t know what to look for.

The day before, Earth Day, they had helped plant 1200 American Chestnuts at Eastern Kentucky University’s Taylor Fork Ecological Area.

Earth Day 2016 - EKU faculty, staff, students and volunteers join The American Chestnut Foundation to plant 1200 American Chestnuts in Taylor Fork Ecological Area on Arbor Day
Earth Day 2016 – EKU faculty, staff, students and volunteers join The American Chestnut Foundation to plant 1200 American Chestnuts in Taylor Fork Ecological Area on Arbor Day

The effort with The American Chestnut Foundation seeks to restore the iconic tree as a staple in eastern forests.

April 22, 2016 – Karen and Harry Pelle volunteer with EKU American Chestnut planting
April 22, 2016 – Karen and Harry Pelle volunteer with EKU American Chestnut planting

 

That recent experience may have made the Pelle’s more aware of the chestnut’s latest effort to re-establish itself in the territory where it once reigned.

The Pelle’s marked the spot where they found the tree sprouts on Chris’s GPS and with a tee post.

April 23, 2016 – Newly discovered American Chestnut sprouts on Pelle tree farm
April 23, 2016 – Newly discovered American Chestnut sprouts on Pelle tree farm

The Pelle’s also cleared the area around the sprouts of fallen tops and brush. They intend to monitor the potential trees’ progress and just maybe these two will beat the Chestnut Blight that decimated the regions mighty giants. It may be the next generation of Pelles that will have to continue the watch over the seedlings.

The newest trees are in good company. Harry has an American Chestnut restoration grove just down the hill from the little guys. He likes to think the trees’ ancestors are looking down the hill and cheering on their new cousins in the fight to beat the blight. Harry thinks the finding of the sprouts “might have been the chestnuts’ way of saying ‘thanks for the help.’”

 

KWOA and NWOA support resolution to create Timber Theft and Trespass Reduction Task Force

HCR 29 directs the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission to establish a Timber Theft and Trespass Reduction Task Force to study issues regarding timber theft and trespass and to develop consensus recommendations to address those issues.

The task force would meet three times before submitting its final report to the LRCommission by November 30, 2016. The LRC has authority to alternatively assign the issues identified in the Resolution to interim joint committees or subcommittees.

Sponsored in the House by representatives Combs, Denham, Howard, Montell, Nelson, Osborne and Riggs, the resolution passed 95-0 in February. It is now in the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee.

KWOA voted at its annual meeting to support the resolution with a letter from President Frank Hicks. In addition, Keith Argow, President, National Woodland Owners Association submitted a letter of support to the senate committee. In his letter Argow notes that “…Kentucky has one of the weakest positions against timber theft of any state.” He argues that, in addition to inherent flaws, Kentucky’s current statute with respect to timber theft, KRS 364.130, is a civil statute that requires timber theft victims to file civil suits, an action that is out of reach for many landowners. The result, Argow concludes, is that “logging theft is an almost risk-free crime.”

KWOA members are encouraged to call and/or write their senators on the Natural Resources and Energy Committee in support of HCR 29. The 2016 legislative session adjourns April 12.

Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee
• Sen. Jared Carpenter [Chair]
• Sen. Brandon Smith [Vice Chair]
• Sen. C.B. Embry Jr.
• Sen. Chris Girdler
• Sen. Ernie Harris
• Sen. Paul Hornback
• Sen. Ray S. Jones II
• Sen. John Schickel
• Sen. Johnny Ray Turner
• Sen. Robin L. Webb
• Sen. Whitney Westerfield

Foresters obtain tree farm inspector certification

On April 14, 2009, 15 industry and consultant foresters underwent American Tree Farm Inspector Training. This training provides the background needed to inspect and re-inspect Kentucky forested land which can then be certified in the American Tree Farm System (ATFS). All Tree Farm inspectors volunteer their time to work with and inspect Kentucky Tree Farm lands. Training was held at Domtar Paper Company, LLC-Hawesville, KY. The training facilitator was Pam Snyder, Forest Management Chief, Kentucky Division of Forestry. The training was sponsored by the Kentucky SIC (Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee).

Fifteen industry & consultant foresters graduated from the American Tree Farm System Inspector Training held at Domtar Paper Company, LLC-Hawesville, KY Mill on April 14th, 2009. Pictured are from left to right (front):  David James, John Williams, Steve Rogier, Pam Snyder KDF instructor, Ken Negray, Tom Broadfoot, Dan Allard.  Back:  Scott Shouse, Melvin Hack, Cary Perkins, Tim Arnzen, Justin Law, Mike Ladd, Darrel Fulghum, Larry Mahler, and Chris Fry.
Fifteen industry & consultant foresters graduated from the American Tree Farm System Inspector Training held at Domtar Paper Company, LLC-Hawesville, KY Mill on April 14th, 2009. Pictured are from left to right (front): David James, John Williams, Steve Rogier, Pam Snyder KDF instructor, Ken Negray, Tom Broadfoot, Dan Allard. Back: Scott Shouse, Melvin Hack, Cary Perkins, Tim Arnzen, Justin Law, Mike Ladd, Darrel Fulghum, Larry Mahler, and Chris Fry.

In August, 2008, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) endorsed the American Tree Farm System. As a result of this endorsement Kentucky tree farms are now third party certified, and are recognized by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) as meeting the standards to qualify tree farms to provide SFI certified wood. The ATFS supports recognized requirements that assure sustainably managed forests. The mission of ATFS is to promote the growing of renewable forest resources on private lands while protecting environmental benefits and increasing public understanding of all benefits of productive forestry.

The ATFS is sponsored nationally by the American Forest Foundation, a 501c3 non profit organization promoting the sustainable management of forests through education and outreach to private forest landowners. Kentucky currently has 801 certified tree farms covering 270,729 acres. Kentucky’s Tree Farms are dedicated to producing wood products, maintaining wildlife habitat, improving water quality, and providing outdoor recreational opportunities. To be eligible for tree farm certification, a landowner must have a minimum of 10 forested acres, have a commitment to practice sustainable, long-term forest management , and demonstrate proactive forest management involvement.

To obtain more information on Kentucky’s Tree Farm Program, contact the Kentucky Division of Forestry at 502-564-4496, or any of the newly trained ATFS inspectors, or visit www.treefarmsystem.org or www.kytreefarm.org.