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Concurrent Sessions

Interested in hosting an educational concurrent session at the 2014 National Tree Farmer Convention?  If so, contact Sara Anrrich at sanrrich@forestfoundation.org for more information.

Concurrent sessions will be posted here as they become confirmed and available.  Check back often!
Last Updated: April 8, 2014

 

ATFS Standards Review Listening Session
(Pre-Convention Session, July 17, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.)

Sarah Crow, Director of Certification, ATFS
Steven Sinclair, Vermont State Forester, ISRP Chairman
The ATFS Standards of Sustainability are at the root of the ATFS program.  In order to ensure that these Standards remain a good match for family forests while incorporating new science and comment from the ATFS community, the Standards undergo periodic review.  Over the course of 2014, these Standards are being reviewed by an Independent Standards Review Panel (ISRP), and you have a chance to get involved.  Join us for this interactive listening session to provide feedback directly into the Standards review process. Supported by a trained facilitator, members of the ISRP, as well as ATFS Certification Program staff, will be on hand to actively engage and receive perspectives from Tree Farmers, foresters, partners and others. 

As the Director of Certification with the American Tree Farm System, Sarah works with Tree Farmers, State Committees and Inspecting Foresters across the ATFS network to implement ATFS Certification on the ground. Sarah holds a BS in Forestry from the University of Montana and a MS in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. A former Fulbright Scholar to Ukraine, Sarah enjoys all things culinary, including growing, cooking and eating food!

 

15 Reasons Why Every Tree Farmer Should Consider Sugaring
Michael Farrell, The Uihlein Forest at Cornell University
Maple sugaring is one of the fastest growing agricultural industries in the U.S. and there are many reasons why Tree Farmers should consider utilizing their land for syrup production.  This presentation will address all of the options forest owners have developing a sugaring enterprise, including direct syrup production, leasing taps, and buying/selling sap.  Participants will learn about the costs and benefits of these different options in order to determine what makes the most sense for their land. It will also cover the different types of trees that can be tapped for sap and syrup production, including various species of maple, birch, and walnut.

Michael Farrell serves as the Director of The Uihlein Forest, Cornell Universityís maple syrup research and extension field station in Lake Placid, NY.  There he taps approximately 5,000 maples, 600 birch trees, and a couple dozen black walnut and butternut trees every year. Michael earned his bachelors in economics from Hamilton College, his Masters in forestry from SUNY-ESF, and his Ph.D. in natural resources from Cornell University.  He recently published The Sugarmakers Companion: An integrated approach to producing syrup from maple, birch, and walnut trees.  

 

Benefiting Wildlife Through Young Forest Habitat
Tammy Colt, Pennsylvania Game Commission
Young forests, with their mix of shrubs, saplings, vines, and herbaceous plants, provide abundant food and cover for wildlife.  Many wildlife speciesó game and nongame, songbirds and mammalsó benefit from the management of young forest habitat.  Some species require this habitat type for breeding and foraging.  Meanwhile, as open space is lost to development and existing forests advance in age, we lose critical young forest.  Pennsylvania, for example, has 50% less of this habitat type than it had in 1960.  There are 89 North American species (birds, mammals, and reptiles) that are declining in numbers due to the loss of young forest habitat.  Learn what young forest is, what wildlife lives there, and what you can do to benefit wildlife while simultaneously improving long term health and value of your forest.

Since becoming the wildlife diversity biologist for the PA Game Commission Southwest Region in 2005, Tammy Colt has written over 150 wildlife management plans focusing on species of greatest conservation need.  She assists with PGC wildlife research, primarily with bats and nongame birds.  Tammy attended Pennsylvania State University (B.S., Animal Bioscience) and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (M.S., Biology).  She spent five years as an environmental educator at Powdermill Nature Reserve and has also worked for the PGC as a GIS technician and habitat biologist.  Her graduate research focused on amphibian and reptile declines.

 

Biocontrol of Tree-of-Heaven Using Native Fungus
Dr. Donald D. Davis, Pennsylvania State University
Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is a highly invasive plant, originally from China, which has become naturalized across most of the U.S.  Since 2005, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has been studying the effectiveness of using a soil-borne fungus, Verticillium nonalfalfae, to control this nuisance species. In this session, Dr. Davis will discuss this innovative research project and its results to date. 

Dr. Davis is currently a professor of Plant Pathology at Penn State University, where he teaches classes on tree diseases and conducts forest pathology research with several graduate students.  He holds a PhD in Forest Pathology from Penn State University, served as a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in The Netherlands and Australia, and is a former employee of the US Forest Service in Louisiana and North Carolina.

 

Charcoal: Past, Present and Future
Gary Gilmore, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources 
Charcoal is the fuel that brought us out of the stone age and started the industrial revolution.  This amazing product is still used today but mostly as a fuel for cooking.  Recent discoveries of how charcoal enhances soil productivity are pointing to a large role this product can play by increasing crop yields.  The presentation will cover the history and future of charcoal along with methods of making it on your Tree Farm.

Gary Gilmore is a service forester for the State of Pennsylvania.  Before being hired as a forester 18 years ago, he was self-employed as a blacksmith. He utilizes firewood from his Tree Farm for heat, charcoal and is developing a wood gasification system to run an engine and create electricity.  Gilmore sees the forest as a store-house that can be managed for energy and food production.   As a private forest landowner and a public forester working with other landowners, he is in a unique position to understand and encourage better management of forest land.

 

Forest Legacy Planning: What's Your Plan?
Jim Finley, Pennsylvania State University
Allyson Muth, Pennsylvania State University
Nationwide woodland owner demographics tell a story pending change. Current owners have invested love and resources into their land and share a stewardship ethic extending to the next generation. A will directs the distribution of assets; a legacy plan ensures woodlands are managed in the future as you intend, and not converted, developed, or sold when transfer occurs. In this session, we provide tools and approaches for initiating the forest legacy conversation and creating a shared vision with future owners. These are difficult conversation and include decisions involving fairness and equity. If you love your land, you need a plan. 

 

A Forest Policy Agenda for the Future
Christine Cadigan, American Forest Foundation
Join us for a brief overview of the U.S. Forest Service's research (sponsored by AFF) on family forests. For the first time, we have research and data on the threats affecting family-owned forests, the greatest benefits family forests provide, and how this data can help us build a strong, effective forest policy agenda. With Congressional elections looming, we can use this new data to educate our candidates and begin to get them engaged on forestry issues.

Christine Cadigan is a Public Affairs Manager at the American Forest Foundation. She first joined AFF in 2011 as the Public Affairs and Conservation Coordinator and then moved into the Manager role shortly thereafter. Prior to AFF, Christine completed masterís degrees in both Forestry and Environmental Management from Duke University, concentrating her studies on woody biomass supply and demand in the Southeast.  Christine has brief experiences working with the USFS Southern Research Station, the Southern Environmental Law Center, and the Virginia Department of Forestry. She is originally from Richmond, Virginia and completed her undergraduate studies in biology at the University of Virginia. 

 

Golden Eagles, Ghosts of the Eastern North American Forests
Tricia Miller, West Virginia University
Golden Eagles in the east are very secretive, and little was known about their behavior and ecology until recently. Members of the Eastern Golden Eagle Working Group, an international collaborative of managers and researchers, have been tracking Golden Eagles in eastern North America since 2006. In this presentation, attendees will discover information that the working group has learned about this enigmatic bird focusing on the relationship between Golden Eagles and eastern forests. 

Trish Miller has a long-standing interest in bird conservation and spatial ecology. During her career she has worked for several state and private conservation organizations where she studied eagles and other birds. Trish currently works as a Wildlife Biologist at West Virginia University where she studies movement ecology and conservation of eagles with a focus on the small population of eastern North American golden eagles. Her research integrates telemetry and spatial modeling to address conflicts with human development. She received her B.S. in biology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, her M.S. and Ph.D. in ecology from Penn State.

 

Growing Your Peer Learning Network: Tools and Tips from the Women Owning Woodlands Network
Allyson Muth
Across the country, more women are taking the reins of forest management. At the same time, our culture is in transition from one of learning by receiving information to one of engagement. These educators of the Women Owning Woodlands Network came together to create simple and relevant tools to facilitate peer-learning education for women woodland owners. This presentation will introduce participants to the curriculum and provide resources for creating and supporting peer learning networks in your own communities.

 

I Have Timber to Sell: Profitable Timber Marketing and Harvesting 
Dave Jackson, Pennsylvania State University Extension
Timber harvesting may be the single most important tool forest landowners use to achieve their objectives. Done properly, harvesting trees can improve wildlife habitat, establish a new forest, allow for future harvests, and enhance forest health all while also generating income. Harvesting is not a process to be taken lightly as it has both long and short term consequences for the land and the landowner.  This presentation will assist you in understanding the timber sale process and how you can ensure a successful outcome.  

Dave is currently employed by Penn State Extension as a Regional Forest Resources Educator in Central Pennsylvania. He has been with Penn State in his current position since January 2002. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from The College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse, NY in 1988 and completed a Masterís of Forest Resources at The Pennsylvania State University in 2007. Dave has worked in various positions with the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Industry, State Forestry, and Private Forestry Consulting before coming to Penn State.

 

Planning for the Successful Transfer of Your Forest: Strengthening the Process
Dr. Tamara Cushing, Clemson University
Keeping the family forest intact through generational transfer requires proper planning. This presentation will focus on activities that forest landowners should engage in to transfer the maximum amount of assets to heirs. While this is ultimately about planning to avoid taxes, it is also about keeping the family forest intact and allowing management to continue. 

Dr. Cushing is an Assistant Professor & Extension Forestry Specialist at Clemson University.  Her area of expertise is in taxation of private forest land.  Previous research has looked at the impact of the estate tax on forest landowners and the cumulative impact of property, severance and income taxes on land value.

 

Reducing the Impact of Income Taxes on Forestry Income
Dr. Tamara Cushing, Clemson University
While many of us donít want to think about taxes after the April 15th deadline (until the next year), there is still information out there that can be helpful for planning to reduce the tax liability. Planning should take place before operations occur. This presentation will focus on determination and allocation of basis, capital gains, and the reforestation incentive.  

Dr. Cushing is an Assistant Professor & Extension Forestry Specialist at Clemson University.  Her area of expertise is in taxation of private forest land.  Previous research has looked at the impact of the estate tax on forest landowners and the cumulative impact of property, severance and income taxes on land value.

 

Restoring the American Chestnut:  Considerations on the Reintroduction of a Species Effectively Removed for Over a Century
Sara Fern Fitzsimmons, The American Chestnut Foundation
Once the mighty giants of the eastern forests, American chestnuts (Castanea dentata) stood up to 100 feet tall, and numbered in the billions. In the late 1800s, an imported fungal pathogen spread rapidly through the American chestnut population. By 1950 it had killed virtually all the mature trees in the US. Current efforts to breed blight-resistance into American chestnut appear to be successful and studies on the reintroduction of the species have now started.  Though many challenges lie ahead, there are some reachable milestones that, when combined, can make restoration a more conceivable goal.  

Sara Fitzsimmons started working with the American chestnut as a Duke Stanback Intern in the summer of 2000.  Hired full-time at Penn State University in 2003, Sara has worked as a contact for chestnut growers and researchers throughout the Appalachians.  Born and raised in southern West Virginia, Sara obtained her Bachelorís degree in Biology from Drew University in Madison, NJ.  She then received a Masterís degree in forest ecology and resource management from Duke Universityís NSOE.  After a short stint as an editorial assistant for All About Beer Magazine, Sara returned to the forestry field, where she has been ever since. 

 

Solar Kilns and Wood Drying
Scott Weikert, Pennsylvania State University Extension
Join us to learn about hardwood drying theory, wood/moisture relations, and basic solar kiln design and operations.

Scott Weikert has been with Penn State Extension since 2006 and prior to that worked for a large hardwood lumber manufacturer in southwest Pennsylvania.  He has an Associate degree in Forest Technology from Penn State - Mont Alto, as well as a Bachelor's degree in Wood Products from Penn State University and a Master's degree in Forest Biomaterials from NC State.  

 

Stateís Voice, Stateís Choice: Overview and Considerations
Sarah Crow, American Tree Farm System
The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) is a diverse network of landowners and state programs. United in our efforts to promote stewardship on Americaís family woodlands, we have learned that one size does not fit all as it relates to certification. Stateís Voice, Stateís Choice is designed to embrace our inherent diversity with creative, multifaceted solutions and asks each state's Tree Farm Program to engage in a collaborative discussion to make an informed decision and select a pathway relative to third-party certification. This session will provide an overview of the Stateís Voice, State's Choice process, highlighting various considerations of state Tree Farm Programs, partners and landowners. 

As the Director of Certification with the American Tree Farm System, Sarah works with Tree Farmers, State Committees and Inspecting Foresters across the ATFS network to implement ATFS Certification on the ground. Sarah holds a BS in Forestry from the University of Montana and a MS in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. A former Fulbright Scholar to Ukraine, Sarah enjoys all things culinary, including growing, cooking and eating food!


Using Herbicides to Manage Vegetation in Appalachian Hardwoods
Dave Jackson, Pennsylvania State University Extension
Forestry labeled herbicides are a low-risk and effective means of controlling undesirable forest vegetation in Appalachian hardwood forestry. They are used for achieving many objectives including: establishing desirable regeneration, increasing tree growth and timber production, creating and enhancing wildlife habitat, and controlling non-native/invasive plants. This presentation will highlight forestry herbicide application methods, products, and treatment guidelines for controlling competing and invasive vegetation.

Dave is currently employed by Penn State Extension as a Regional Forest Resources Educator in Central Pennsylvania. He has been with Penn State in his current position since January 2002. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from The College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse, NY in 1988 and completed a Masterís of Forest Resources at The Pennsylvania State University in 2007. Dave has worked in various positions with the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Industry, State Forestry, and Private Forestry Consulting before coming to Penn State.

 

Using Trail Cameras to Capture Wildlife
Gene Odato, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Your Tree Farm is your own little slice of heaven, but you are probably not the only one enjoying it!  Are you wondering what else inhabits the forest? Are those crabappletrees or clover fields really drawing wildlife into them? Is that early successional habitat really drawing a crowd? This session will discuss the use of trail cameras and other techniques to capture evidence of wildlife on your property. Now that you've built the pond, planted the flood plots, and hung up the bird boxes, learn tips and tricks to find out if all of your hard work has paid off.

Gene Odato, originally from Pittsburgh, graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Forest Science.  In his 39 year career in conservation work, he has held several positions in Pennsylvania's DCNR-Bureau of Forestry including his current role as the District Forester, Tuscarora State Forest, in Blain, PA.  He is the former Chief of Rural and Community Forestry where he directed the PA Forest Stewardship Program and was a member of the State Tree Farm and SFI committees. Gene brings thirty-five years of experience documenting wildlife activity in the field and forest.