Highlights from August 16 quarterly board meeting

Change in board meeting dates in 2019. In 2019 board meetings will meet the SECOND Thursday of the month – Feb. 14, May 9, Aug. 8 and Nov. 14. This change will avoid conflicts with the Kentucky Agriculture Council’s meetings which convene on third Thursdays.

2019 Annual Meeting. Plans are underway for the KWOA annual meeting March 26-27 at Pennyrile Forest State Park. The tentative agenda calls for educational programs, including field stops at the park, from 10A – 4P on Tuesday led by the Kentucky Division of Forestry on  the topic of how water and water sheds influence and play into the management of our forests in Kentucky. KDF has done extensive forestry management in the park for several years. There will be a hospitality hour preceding the banquet and evening program at 6P. The meeting would resume Wednesday morning with presentations from cooperators and the annual business meeting. A meeting of the Kentucky Woodland Stewards is tentatively planned for the afternoon.

Mail Chimp has launched its first communications to more than 600 parties, both members and others with whom we want to stay in touch.

Health Task Force. The national Farm Service Agency’s Emergency Forest Restoration program may have some potential for financial compensation for trees lost to emerald ash borer. It would require submission of extensive data on wooded acres, ash trees, timeframe and projected loss by county. A key question is whether landowners can be compensated for non-timber losses such as water quality, habitat and soil quality degradation.

Strategic Plan. A new operational statement was approved by the board as well as a mission statement. A new logo is in the works.

Woodland owners with fewer than ten acres. Board members are developing program options geared to smaller land owners.

Kentucky Tree Farm System. ATF has decided NOT to charge fees to tree farms to maintain certification.

Natural Resources Conservation Service. Revisions to ranking criteria for EQIP applications will give additional points to landowners working to restore shortleaf pine forest communities as well as other rare and declining ecosystems. Additional ranking points in SEKESH (Southeast Kentucky Early Successional Habitat Initiative) will be given to those doing Forest Stand Improvement practices including mid-story removal and crop tree release as well as for prescribed burning.