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Healthy forest help provided

In Ohio, 87 percent of the state’s forest acreage is privately owned, according to the state’s Division of Forestry.

“And everyone benefits from a healthy forest–there are both economic and ecological benefits,” said forester Jordan Thompson, of Somerset.

Thompson is one of the two featured speakers at next week’s free workshop to take place at Frontier High School.

The workshop’s focus is on woodland management, a proactive approach to not only timbering private woodlands, but also managing a diverse wildlife population–explained Thompson, who works for the National Wild Turkey Federation.

“But our trees are not typically a crop people think of,” he added. “Species that are both high value for their lumber and also for wildlife are the Red Oak, White Oak, Yellow Poplar and the hard Maples.”

But as a landowner, learning how to both diversify the species taking root on one’s property and when to harvest are crucial to profit sustainably from private forests.

“Proper timber management is very important,” said Jack Haessly, co-owner of Haessly Hardwood Lumber Company in Newport. “You have to approach it, not in a hurry, but learning about timber vales and especially the different maturities to know when trees are ready and not ready to be harvested.”

Haessly is the other featured speaker of the workshop, hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Getting in some expert guidance as you manage that land, helps you harvest on a 20-30 year cycle,” added Haessly.

Dave Bauerbach, the district conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington County, explained that next week’s free gathering will cover not only best practices for private forest management but also share the buyer perspective landowners may keep in mind.

“We’re trying to host this primarily for education, to help landowners and land managers understand that their forests aren’t there only to be harvested every 100 years,” Bauerbach noted. “But to foster both better lumber and wildlife, learning how to knock out some of the invasive species that can crowd out the native species is imperative for high-quality timber to grow.”

The conservationist said harvesting practices like varying forest age and eliminating Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) may help local landowners see better returns on their Oak-Hickory stands.

“And this office does have some (federal) Farm Bill Program funds through our incentive program to help landowners take on some management practices without absorbing all of the cost,” he continued. “Next week, we’re hoping to educate on how to grow and inform (attendees) what options are open to them to lessen financial impact.”

The workshop is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., Nov. 14, at Frontier High School, 44870 State Route 7, New Matamoras.

Light refreshments will be provided.

For more information, contact Bauerbach at 740-373-4857 ext. 3309 or via email at david.bauerbach@usda.gov.

Janelle Patterson can be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

If you go:

• What: Free Woodland Management workshop.

• When: 7 p.m. Nov. 14.

• Where: Frontier High School, 44870 State Route 7, New Matamoras.

• Light refreshments will be provided.

• For more information, contact Dave Bauerbach, district conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington County, at 740-373-4857 ext. 3309 or via email at david.bauerbach@usda.gov.

Source: Dave Bauerbach, district conservationist for the USDA in Washington County.

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