The Kentucky Forest Industry Association’s 54th Annual Meeting has some excellent speakers lined up to discuss the current issues related to Chinese markets, weather, product demand and exciting news about market developments.
On Wednesday, April 3 the exhibit area will be open all day long for networking. Speakers are also on tap to discuss bourbon demand, the White Oak Initiative and improving management on Kentucky Fish and Wildlife lands. Following lunch the Communications/SFI committee meeting will have an open discussion on certification issues and funding of current projects by SFI members.
Thursday’s General Session will cover recent issues with hardwood market exports and tariffs and the weather effects on the wood products and forestry community throughout the region. The final topic will look at recent research and developments related to sawdust utilization that is taking place at the University of Kentucky.
The Kentucky Forest Leadership Program is a hands-on-learning residential program in the great outdoors designed for high school students completing their sophomore and junior years.
KFLP offers three educational tracks*: Forestry, Entomology and Wildlife that work together throughout the week just as real-life natural resources experts.
The instructors and advisors are trained forestry and natural resource professionals from the University of Kentucky’s Departments of Forestry, Entomology and Natural Resource and Environmental Sciences as well as the Kentucky Division of Forestry, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the Kentucky Division of Conservation.
The 2019 program will be held June 2 – 7 in Jabez, KY
Please click here KWOA Advertising Space Application for printable PDF application and guidelines.
You can complete the PDF and mail in with your check. You can also email us a copy of your PDF application to let us know sooner that you want space and allow us to review.
This one-day workshop will be held at Clifty Falls State Park between Louisville and Cincinnati in Madison, Indiana. It is directly across the river from northern Kentucky (Trimble County). Lodging is available at the park.
Forestry and wildlife experts from Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio will address the questions and concerns woodland owners have regarding the management of their properties.
From the Woods Kentucky is a weekly radio show broadcast by the University of Kentucky Department of Forestry and Natural Resources on WRFL 88.1 FM Lexington. The show airs spring semester 2019 on Mondays from 11 am until noon on 88.1 FM in Lexington.
UK Forestry Extension is partnering with some of our sister Forestry Extension programs in nearby states such as Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina to offer a webinar series targeting “beginning woodland owners”; however, there is sure to be something for even the most seasoned woodland owner as well. The series will feature forestry and wildlife experts from around the region. So far, 34 County Extension Offices have signed on to host one or more of the webinars. Click here < http://forestry.ca.uky.edu/webinars_upcoming > to find the closest hosting counties and make plans to join us for this informative and educational series.
The webinars will run from 7- 9P EST (6P – 8P CST).
Feb. 21 – Getting to Know Your Woodlands How has past land use shaped our forests? Why are your woodlands important? Learn what you need to know about management plans.
Feb. 28 – Managing Your Woodlands What should you do with neglected woodlands? Pine and hardwood management
Mar. 7 – Identifying and Managing Woodland Threats Invasive plants, insects (native and exotic), diseases (native and exotic) and wildfire.
Mar. 14 – Wildlife and Woodlands Wildlife habitat requirements and enhancing habitat for game and non-game wildlife.
Mar. 21 – Forestry and Wildlife Assistance in Kentucky Learn about the forestry and wildlife assistance available in Kentucky to help you care for and get the most from your woodlands.
The committee responsible for the annual meeting would like to thank our members for their input into the topics you are interested in. After consideration, we have taken a themed approach. Most, if not all of you, are aware of the American Tree Farm System. The four tenets of the ATFS are Wood, Wildlife, Water, and Recreation. So, for at least the next four years we will be using each of these as the theme for the annual meeting. Starting with Water in 2019. Clean water plays a major role in our lives. We will be looking at the importance of streams and their health, and how proper forest management contributes to the clean water we all need. It is our hope you will find this informative and fun.
Morning topics include management of Pennyrile State Forest, state of its watersheds, biology and field chemistry, habitat and riparian issues, and streams and timber harvesting.
Tuesday evening’s events include a social hour, silent auction, banquet and speakers.
Wednesday morning’s agenda addresses the state Watershed Watch program, the American Chestnut Foundation, cooperators’ reports and the annual business meeting.
Meeting registration includes Tuesday lunch and evening banquet. Lodging consists of lakeside rooms and cottages.
Rex Mann, is a 40 year veteran of the US Forest service and a smoke jumper many of those years and a member of the American Chestnut Foundation. He talks about the American Chestnut, restoration and more.
The KWOA/F board met May 17th at the KFIA office in Frankfort to discuss a range of issues and to get updates from our cooperators.
Communications. The quarterly newsletter going to electronic format for member recipients. Due to higher postage rates and efforts to cut costs, the board discussed distributing the quarterly newsletter in electronic (pdf file) format only to members via email. It also discussed charging a higher membership fee for those who do not have internet access and would still like to receive a hard copy via USPS. Membership renewal notifications and the fall newsletter will have further information about this change.
The new Mail Chimp is up and running with a couple of emails sent to members thus far. This format and the website will become the primary social media platforms for the association. The Facebook page will refer viewers to those platforms.
2019 annual meeting. The board discussed holding the next annual meeting in western Kentucky. A committee was formed to consider site locations and program content for that meeting.
Emerald ash borer disaster. Several board members and other forestry stakeholders met with Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles on April 24th regarding economic disaster assistance for tree farms related to ash tree damage from the emerald ash borer. Commissioner Quarles also visited Joe Ball’s tree farm to see firsthand the damage he has experienced from EAB invasion. Work is continuing on this issue at the state and federal levels.
Strategic plan. A committee was formed to develop a concise (5-7 words) description of KWOA’s mission and to look at updating its logo and brochure.
The next board meeting is scheduled for August 16, 2018 at the KFIA office in Frankfort.
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.
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
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.
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.