Category Archives: Practices

Best management practices for woodland managagement

EQIP Establishes March 6 as the Next Cut-off Date

The Kentucky Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced that the 2020 sign-up cut-off date for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) will be March 6, 2020.

Applications received by March 6, 2020 will be evaluated for funding. Applications received after March 6, 2020, will be accepted, but will be held for funding consideration if a second evaluation cycle occurs in 2020. Unfortunately, a second application batching period for general EQIP is unlikely for year 2020 so this may be your only opportunity in 2020 to apply for financial assistance to implement forest conservation practices on your woodland.

Woodland owners interested in implementing forest conservation practices on their woodland should contact their local NRCS office to apply ASAP. If you are a woodland owner in central or northeast Kentucky who has been waiting to obtain a woodland management plan please inform the NRCS office staff that you are interested in participating in the “UK Forestry RCPP” project which is trying to service woodland owners who have been waiting to receive a forest management plan.

How local forestry organizations can address woodlands issues in your community

Is there a forestry issue in your county that needs to be addressed? You don’t have to go it alone. Several state and local agencies can provide professional guidance and education for a group of committed citizens who want to take action regarding a woodlands concern in their community.

The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service has developed three fact sheets to assist woodland owners in the:


operation and

program planning

for local forestry organizations.

LFOs are independent local organizations comprised of woodland owners, forest industry, local leaders, and anyone else interested in forestry issues. LFOs provide interested individuals an opportunity to increase their knowledge on forest management and respond to local and state forestry issues.

Forest Carbon: A Natural Solution for Climate Change

As a forest landowner, or as someone who helps to steward forests, you can have a significant impact on climate change through the land-use decisions you make.

Forest Carbon: An Essential Natural Solution for Climate Change

2019 University of Massachusetts Amherst

What role will your forest play?


  • the difference between carbon storage and sequestration
  • what is a carbon pool
  • the difference between individual tree and forest-wide growth rates
  • how forest succession and development affects carbon storage and sequestration
  • the role of forest products in the carbon story
  • the carbon trade-offs of passive and/or active approaches to forest management
  • carbon-informed forest management

In addition to keeping forests as forests, landowners’ decisions about the management of their forest and carbon should be made with an understanding of the trade-offs between maximizing carbon sequestration and storage and meeting their other goals (forest resiliency, wildlife, local wood products).

Read more…

Edge cutting woodlands for wildlife habitat

Creating new forest openings in successive strips can improve their hunting opportunities through a series of manageable projects while also allowing for forest regeneration through natural production of new seedlings. In fact, there are some clear advantages to gradually regenerating your woods in small stages as compared to a single, large cut.


Advantages of this technique include:

Creation of a transitional zone

Providing cover adjacent to forage

Flexible scheduling

Incremental testing

Tree Beekeeping

What if a beekeeper made a hive that suits the bees or they do not come; a hive that can last a hundred years or more and cost nothing? An old Eastern European traditional form of beekeeping called tree beekeeping does not depend on cane sugar, antibiotics, genetic dilution, migratory beekeeping and dense apiaries. Tree hives allow bees to build long term bonds and connections between the environment and other colonies.

Read more from the Beekeepers Quarterly Issue 123, 2016

Former federal strip-mine inspector leads decades-long effort to reforest mines in Eastern Ky

With the help of local volunteers and some bulldozers, Patrick Angel, retired strip-mine inspector and farm owner near London, KY, has spent the past two decades trying to reforest mined areas.

More than 187 million trees have been planted on about 275,000 acres of former mines, Gabriel Popkin reports for The Washington Post Magazine. (Popkin is science writer who was born and raised in Kentucky.) As the Obama administration was ending, it issued regulations “that all but required reforestation for surface-mine reclamation,” Popkin notes. “One of President Trump’s first acts, supposedly to reward the coal miners and industry leaders who supported him, was to kill the new rule.”

Read more…

Applications are currently being accepted for soil and water quality cost share programs

The Kentucky Soil Erosion and Water Quality Cost Share Program and the Kentucky Soil Stewardship Program helps landowners address existing soil erosion, water quality and other environmental problems associated with their farming or woodland operation. Funds are administered by local conservation districts and the Kentucky Soil and Water Conservation Commission with priority given to animal waste-related problems, agricultural district participants and to producers who have their Agriculture Water Quality plans on file with their local conservation districts.

If a landowner wants to apply for either State Cost Share or EQIP funding, the first step is to make a request to their local Conservation District office.

Practices eligible for cost share are:

agriculture and animal waste control facilities;

streambank stabilization;

animal waste utilization;

vegetative filter strips;

integrated crop management;

pesticide containment;

sinkhole protection;

pasture and hay land forage quality;

heavy use area protection;

rotational grazing system establishment;

water well protection;

forest land and cropland erosion control systems;

closure of agriculture waste impoundment;

on-farm fallen animal composting;

soil health management;

precision nutrient management;

strip intercropping system;

livestock stream crossing; and

riparian area protection.

For more information and applications for these programs…

See the Kentucky Soil & Water Quality State Cost Share Program Manual – pp. 35-41 for Forestland BMP.

Producers can complete their Agriculture Water Quality Plan at the UK College of Agriculture web page below using the “Producer’s Workbook” tab.  This webpage is linked from the Division of Conservation’s AWQA web page.