Woodland Notes Spring 2020
Spring greetings from your Extension Forester!
Unfortunately, the news that dominates our world is that of the coronavirus health crisis. This has caused major disruption, including cancellation and postponement of all in-person OSU Extension events. But I am hopeful that this newsletter will provide a distraction from the bad news, along with useful information and resources for you with regard to your woodland management endeavors.
We are making good progress on the Oregon Extension Fire Program, a big new initiative for our Extension Fire Program team, funded by the Oregon Legislature last year. Our Extension team will accelerate statewide efforts to map forest and fuel conditions, predict fire behavior, and implement priority actions for communities at risk. We are finishing the interview process for a Fire Program Manager and a Fire Program Extension Specialist, which will be campus-based leadership positions. We have three excellent candidates for each of these positions and the new people should be on board this summer. Six more Regional Fire Specialists will also be recruited this summer. To expand the impact on the ground, our fire specialists will work to facilitate partnerships and projects across ownerships at the landscape level.
The recent biennial conference on Forest Health in Oregon State of the State 2020 (February 26-27, OSU Corvallis) provided a comprehensive update on issues affecting forest and tree health. The experts shed some light on many of the problems affecting trees in our area. (Take a look at the presentations from the conference, available for viewing on the conference website.) Consequences and implications of increasing heat and drought were an overarching forest health issue. For example, we finally have a likely explanation for the widespread decline of bigleaf maple in Oregon and Washington. A presentation by Beth Willhite (Entomologist, US Forest Service, Sandy, OR) concluded that exceptionally warm and dry conditions have favored an increase in a native leafhopper insect (Empoasca enlongata), which is causing significant dieback on drier exposed sites. Symptoms are referred to as “hopper burn.” For more on the forest health front, see the article on Managing for Healthy Forests in the Future in this newsletter.
Since we had to cancel Tree School and other in-person events due to the coronavirus health threat, we are focusing on distance learning alternatives for your reading and viewing pleasure. This also seems like a good time to work outdoors on your woodlands, with lots of fresh air between you and any co-workers. We are hoping conditions improve in time to host the Master Woodland Manager Training (August-November) and a Fall Field Day at Hopkins Demonstration Forest (September).
Best wishes for you and your forest to stay healthy this season.
OSU Extension Forester, Clackamas, Marion, Hood River Counties
In this Edition of Woodland Notes
Master Woodland Manager Training 2020: Clackamas and Marion Counties
We are planning to offer the Master Woodland Manager Training at Hopkins Demonstration Forest and other locations in Clackamas County. Dates were planned for August-November, but these are now tentative, pending developments with the coronavirus health threat. At this time, we would like to know if you are interested in taking the training and to be notified when our schedule is clear.
The Master Woodland Manager (MWM) program will help you gain important skills for tending your forest and provide you with opportunities to share your passion for stewardship with others while learning from topic experts from across the state. As this is an advanced program, prior woodland management experience and/or education (e.g. participation in the Basic Woodland Management course, other Introductory Forest Management courses or Tree School) is recommended.
The MWM training is offered by OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension, in collaboration with local partners and with support from Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI). This support allows us to offer the training at a low cost to participants ($100). In return, graduates commit to give an equivalent number of class hours (approximately 60) in volunteer service.
If you are interested in becoming a Master Woodland Manager, please contact Glenn Ahrens, your Extension Forester for Clackamas, Marion & Hood River counties.
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