Area Forestry and Natural Resources Report
Summer is nearing an end and now is the time to get ready to make our way into the fall and winter. We have had a busy summer in Extension as operations have returned to normal after the Covid outbreak. This summer I have hosted two forestry association meetings, hosted a Hardwood Regeneration Workshop, wrapped up Master Tree Farmer with three different field tours across the state and made numerous direct contacts through field visits, office visits, and phone calls.
In May, I hosted a Hardwood Regeneration Workshop in McConnells, South Carolina. In a state where pine is the number one timber crop, many times our hardwood stands get ignored. This program was geared towards both landowners and professionals. The program offered continuing education credits for professional foresters and those that needed pesticide credits. This was an eight-hour program that went in-depth about how to convert an existing hardwood stand into a hardwood stand with favorable species for timber and wildlife. The program had a classroom session and field tour that occurred at a demonstration site at Draper Wildlife Management Area. Participants learned about herbicide prescriptions to control and kill existing timber, the basal area that needed to be left to maintain an existing canopy, and planting techniques for species that would be desirable in this situation. We had 16 people attend this program, which included both landowners and professionals. We had seven surveys completed on the program. Of those seven, five were professionals and two were landowners. The survey participants represented 903 acres owned and 131,000 acres managed. Dr. Stephen Peairs (Clemson) and Dr. David Clabo (Georgia) provided the presentation based off of Dr. Peairs research and demonstration on the Draper WMA. This workshop provided a good example of how research from Clemson University can help our local landowners better manage their hardwood stands.
May was a busy month, as I also hosted a meeting for the Newberry Forestry Association and the Laurens Forest Landowners Association. The Newberry Forestry Association met for the first time since the Covid outbreak. We had 29 people in attendance and had a program on Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer presented by Charles Ruth from SC Department of Natural Resources. The Laurens Forest Landowners Association had 35 people in attendance and had a program on cost share available to landowners. This program was presented by Chisolm Beckham with the SC Forestry Commission and Lisa Good with the Natural Resource Conservation Service.
Both of these Association also met in August. The Newberry Forestry Association had 33 in attendance, and the Laurens Forest Landowners Association had 36 in attendance. Carla Carlos from the SC Forestry Commission presented at both of these meeting on pine genetics. These groups meet on a quarterly basis with their meetings typically being held in February, May, August, and November. If you would be interested in attending any of these meetings, please contact me, at email@example.com.
Master Tree Farmer was offered this year as a hybrid course. The majority of the course was virtual with presentations online for participants. Field tours at the end of the course were optional. We had 180 participants take the class, and roughly 130 participants took part in the field tours. Field tours were hosted in the Upstate, Midlands, and Coastal area to help reduce travel for the participants. Field tours were held on private lands where property owners were actively managing their timber. The property owners provided details on how they managed their property, mistakes they had made, and things that they had done right to help better educate participants in timber management.
I also serve on the Indian Creek Quail Restoration Committee. This committee puts out two newsletters a year. One was published in March, and the next will be published in September. These newsletters are great tools to get more information on managing for Quail. This committee also hosts two workshops a year. Our previous workshop was hosted in May, at the Belfast plantation owned by the SC Department of Natural Resources. Attendees were able to see how the staff at the Belfast Plantation manages the property for Quail. Participants visited sites that demonstrated timber thinning, beneficial native plant species, prescribed burn areas, and chemically treated areas to benefit habitat for Quail.
Lastly, I always enjoy the one-on-one site visits, phone calls, and office visits. One-on-one visits provide a personal education experience where landowners learn how to better manage their specific property or natural resources. This summer I have had 82 direct contacts that touched on subjects from timber management, wildlife management, invasive weed control, pond management and general horticultural/garden questions just to name a few. Through these methods of direct contact, I have reached at least 100 people and 725 acres of owned property.
It has been a busy summer, with many programs offered for forestry and natural resource education. If you would like more information on programs available for forestry and natural resource, please contact me, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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