With clean water and forest management as its theme, the 2019 KWOA annual meeting explored the many ways in which forests impact water quality and quantity. Forestry and water quality professionals conducted presentations and streamside demonstrations on the ways in which the Pennyrile forest contributes to the excellent quality water supply of the park’s lake,
how citizens can participate in testing for water quality in their watersheds and efforts to strengthen the propagation of tree species such as white oak and American chestnut.
Not all of the expertise was at the podium. Attendees exhibited their depth and range of expertise by contributing concepts, experiences and challenges to consider additional perspectives in the complex relationships among the natural and human environments.
KWOA President Doug McLaren alerted members to the need to cultivate new champions for sustainable forests. We need to share what we’ve learned with our neighbors and communities. Members noted many additional sectors with which woodland interests intersect such as beekeepers, hunters, mushroom growers, maple syrup producers and the wives/widows/daughters of timber property owners.
KWOA has already launched a vigorous initiative to improve its internal coordination and communication while bringing onboard new faces and perspectives. As it enters its 25th year the association has a great opportunity to “pave the way forward” for the next generation of woodlands and the owners who care so much about them.
State of the Watersheds – Amanda Gumbert, UK Extension, Water Quality
.01% of earth’s water is drinking water.
If it’s on the ground, it’s in our water.
Kentucky has seven river basins and 90,000 miles of rivers and streams.
Kentucky Woodland Owners Gather for Annual Meeting
Kentucky Woodland Owners Association hosted their 25th Annual Meeting at Pennyrile Forest State Park
The Kentucky Woodland Owners Association (KWOA) members, University of Kentucky Department of Forestry and Natural Resources staff and students, industry representatives and other state and local officials gathered for the 2019 KWOA Annual Meeting at Pennyrile Forest State Park on March 26-27.
Clean water and forest management was the theme for this year’s congregation of more than 50 attendees. With a presentation from Jim Bryon, Kentucky Division of Forestry, as well as, hands-on learning with the University of Kentucky Extension Service’s Dr. Amanda Gumbert and Sarah Yount, attendees learned about habitat and riparian issues, streams, and timber harvesting. The conference also heard updates from Dr. Gregory Kuhns, MD about the Water Watch in Kentucky, Rick Caldwell with the American Chestnut Foundation, and Warren Beeler with the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy.
“Members of the KWOA enjoy sharing their passion of their woodlands. Kentucky’s land base is half forested, some of the world’s most valuable hardwoods. Woodland owners have a strong desire to see the land continue in their family as a legacy – where all the generations of family – present and future -benefit from the various values of the resource, water, timber, wildlife, recreation, and so many more. Woodland owners are one of the few communities within natural resources that actually grow a legacy that benefits individuals today as well tomorrow”, said Doug McLaren, president of KWOA.
In addition to educational opportunities, the KWO(F)oundation presented UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources senior, Sarah Hays with their $1000 scholarship at the awards dinner on Tuesday night. This award is given to a UK Forestry and Natural Resource senior annually. The award is granted on the basis of leadership potential, connection with the forest community and insight for the forest profession.
The 2019 Service Forester’s Award was presented to Rick Harrel from the Kentucky Division of Forestry’s Western Region for his dedicated and enthusiastic service to promoting proper forest management to all his woodland land owners. The keynote speaker for the dinner was State Senator Robbie Mills, who addressed the economic opportunity and impact of forested land in Kentucky.
A “nugget” of information that many attendees mentioned at the end of the field day of the water quality and forest management demonstrations was, “…..forest management and water quality are directly related. By following proper management guidelines the water quality downstream is better maintained.”, said Doug McLaren.
For more information on KWOA, please contact Doug McLaren at (859) 881.8583 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their webpage at https://kwoa.net
The 2018 KWOA annual meeting challenged and delighted members in many ways with flavors, weather and rural roads. The adventure started on Tuesday morning, March 20th in Frankfort with a guided tour of Buffalo Trace Distillery.
Participants gained an understanding of the complexities of the bourbon making process through history, barrel house inspections and, yes, sampling several types of bourbon mid-morning at the tourism center’s bar.
“Happiness is having a rare steak, a bottle of whisky, and a dog to eat the rare steak.” —Quote by Johnny Carson in the Single Oak Project exhibit
In the same area is the Single Oak Project exhibit, a recently completed experiment to test the effects of barrels made from 96 oak trees selected from as many different locations as well as ages. The resulting bourbons, all aged for eight years, are on display as is a list of sites from which the oak trees were harvested.
From the distillery the road warriors traveled to Elk Creek Vineyards in Owen County.
After a pizza buffet lunch and some post-St. Patrick’s Day iridescent green wine, the group went below ground to see another type of barrel used to age wines and learn about the cultivation and processing of grapes.
With snow definitely in the forecast, the tour headed to General Butler State Park to continue the agenda with the evening award banquet.
Members met this year’s forestry student scholarship recipient, Abigail Adams (see spring newsletter issue for full article about Abby).
The association’s Outstanding Service Forester award was presented to Floyd Willis, KDF northeast region.
Dr. Greg Kuhns, tree farmer in Bullitt County, was recognized for over 20 years of service to KWOA as a board member, vice president, annual meeting chair and representation at national and regional American Tree Farm meetings.
A substantial snowfall graced the park during the night. Some speakers were unable to travel to the park for Wednesday’s educational program and cooperators reports. But quick technology fixes on both ends enable presentations by Skype from several of those scheduled. Members learned about limited supplies of white oak timber to meet growing demands, timber exports and invasive species and insects affecting woodland owners’ properties.
After hearing updates from the forestry division, university, conservation committee and forest industries association, members elected officers and board for the coming year. KWOA welcomes new board members Scott Taylor (central zone) and James Vincent (western zone). By the time the meeting adjourned the snow had melted and members were able to return home safely.
KWOA/F thanks the many individuals who planned and managed the annual meeting. Special appreciation goes to Doug McLaren who took the lead on organizing the site visits and program. Preparations are already underway for the 2019 meeting. We hope you will plan to attend.
The Single Oak Project displays the culmination of an eight year study of, among other factors, the effect of different types of oak wood on the final bourbon product.
Started in 1999 the experiment individually selected 96 American oak trees that differed according to grain size (tight, average or coarse based on growth rings per inch) and growing location. A single barrel was constructed from the top and bottom each tree with various stave seasonings and charrings. These single oak barrels were then filled with different recipe whiskeys, at various entry proofs and aged in a variety of different warehouse styles. All of the single Oak Project bourbons were aged for eight years.
“Happiness is having a rare steak, a bottle of whisky, and a dog to eat the rare steak.” —Johnny Carson
This experiment allows whiskey connoisseurs to directly compare the impact of seven different critical variables across 192 bottles for a total of 1,396 taste combinations. The Single Oak Project is undoubtedly the most extensive bourbon experiment ever undertaken.
And the winner is …
The winning bourbon from Barrel #80 was a rye recipe bourbon, entered into a barrel made from oak harvested from the bottom half of the tree with staves seasoned for 12 months. The grain size of the wood was considered average and the barrel received a number four char inside. The whiskey entered the barrel at 125 proof and was aged in a concrete floor warehouse.
“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you” is the ultimate conversation stopper, says Steve Isaacs, UK extension coordinator for farm management, in the complex and often unpleasant and unproductive dialogue between family generations regarding what will happen to the family farm.
Family farm succession is about more than legal and tax implications according to Dr. Isaacs who is also director for the UK Tax Education Program. It is about the transfer of assets, management, leadership and, yes, debt in a cyclical process.
Isaacs stressed that the first priority in this cycle is assuring an adequate retirement income for the parents. The estate tax is a paper tiger for most people; “death taxes don’t destroy family farms… families do.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are only two categories of workers that are older than farmers – school crossing guards and Walmart greeters.
Isaacs recommended engaging a transition team familiar with farmland issues that could include an attorney, accountant, financial planner, lender, extension educator and/or business consultant. This team’s function is to identify and generate ideas, technical information, evaluation and suggestions.
Isaacs recommended conducting the transition discussion at a neutral location, not at the family kitchen table. He advised treating siblings fairly, not necessarily equally and include spouses in the discussion.
A facilitator and recorder will summarize and document the items on which the family has agreed.
With some guidance and a transition plan, Isaacs says the conversation by the entire family can become “Here’s how we’re going to take care of things.”
Steve will be conducting a full day session on this subject in the near future. Check our events page for that announcement.