Category Archives: Practices

Best management practices for woodland managagement

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?

Learn:

  • 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.

https://www.uky.edu/bae/awqp

USDA Invites Input on Environmental Quality Incentives Program Rule

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) seeks public comments on its interim rule for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), USDA’s flagship program that helps producers plan and implement 150-plus conservation practices on working lands. The rule – now available on the Federal Register takes effect upon publication and includes changes to the program prescribed by the 2018 Farm Bill.

Submit comments on or before February 17, 2020.

Changes to EQIP include creating incentive contracts and payments for incentive practices to better support locally led conservation needs.

Ranking criteria for the Kentucky program are available at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/ky/home/

Editor’s note:  Below are excerpts from the federal notice of interest to woodland owners and watershed areas.

Nonindustrial private forest land (NIPF) means rural land, as determined by NRCS, that has existing tree cover or is suitable for growing trees; and is owned by any nonindustrial private individual, group, association, corporation, Indian Tribe, or other private legal entity that has definitive decision-making authority over the land.

The statutory changes made by the 2018 Farm Bill include introducing new EQIP Incentive Contracts, which can address up to three priority resource concerns for each of the relevant land uses within state-identified watersheds or other areas of high priority. NRCS may also enter into EQIP contracts under a streamlined contracting process with “water management entities” to implement water conservation or irrigation practices under a watershed-wide project that will effectively conserve water, provide fish and wildlife habitat, or provide for drought-related environmental mitigation.

NRCS received comments focusing on increased payments for high-priority practices, most of which underlined the inclusion of practices that address the goals of state wildlife action plans and other state and local plans involving watershed rehabilitation and drought management.

Sections in new Subpart D – EQIP Incentive Contracts

Subpart D is a new subpart and addresses the new enrollment option, EQIP incentive contracts, as created by section 2304 of the 2018 Farm Bill. This new subpart has the following sections:

  •  1466.41 Incentive Contract Selection

Incentive practices that qualify will depend on future determinations by a state conservationist with input from the state technical committees as to what the high priority areas are and what the (up to) three priority resource concerns are for each land use within each high priority area.

Eligible land means land on which agricultural commodities, livestock, or forest-related products are produced, and specifically includes nonindustrial private forest land and cropped woodland.

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? Learn:

  • 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

Read more…

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).

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