Posts tagged ‘information’
The Minnesota Logger Education Program announced a new online mapping training this month. The new training is based on the Minnesota DNR’s Landview application. A basic version of Landview is already online, but this training introduces a newer, far more powerful version that can be downloaded to any PC running Windows.
The training has two components: Introduction and Advanced. The training is best suited to those comfortable with computing and working through a relatively high-speed internet connection. It may be of greatest interest to loggers, natural resource professionals, and advanced woodland owners. Beginners may be more comfortable with the more basic mapping options, as well as links and tutorials, on our Maps & Airphotos page.
Why is MLEP’s new training worth the time? The version of Landview covered in the training offers excellent quality airphoto imagery as well as numerous data layers not available through other sources. It also has other important features, notably the ability to transfer GPS data to or from your GPS receiver. This version is far more powerful than most online mapping applications.
Best of all, there’s no charge and the presentation is excellent. Check out MLEP’s new Landview training now.
Friday, April 24 marks the beginning of an entire month of celebrating trees. For Arbor Month 2009, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is asking you to share a photo, drawing, or story about your favorite tree.
Get involved: share your favorite tree!
Go outside to take a picture, make a drawing, or tell the story of your favorite tree, then post it here.
State champions needed for Minnesota’s big tree registry!
While you’re at it, the DNR is also looking for state champion trees of the following species. Learn more or submit your champion trees at the DNR’s Big Tree Registry.
- Red Pine, Pinus resinosa
- Northern Mountain Ash, Sorbus decora
- American Hornbeam (also called blue beech), Carpinus caroliniana
- Mountain Maple, Acer spicatum
- Chinkapin Oak (also called yellow chestnut oak), Quercus muehlenbergii
Yesterday, Wisconsin State Forester Paul DeLong announced the results of an important study on the future of Wisconsin’s 16 million acres of woodland. As noted in DeLong’s letter, 60% of the individuals who own Wisconsin’s forests are 55 years of age or older, and 10% of Wisconsin’s private woodland is expected to change ownership in the next 5 years.
The Pinchot Institute‘s Catherine Mater led the study, which interviewed 260 children of current Wisconsin family forest owners. The findings clearly point to a need for innovation to engage and meet the needs of new woodland owners.
Here are some highlights from the study’s Key Findings page:
- Male and female offspring interact differently in the Wisconsin family structure when it comes to participation in the management of family forests.
- No matter the gender, Wisconsin offspring expect to inherit the family forestlands and they expect that they will be required to manage the lands jointly with their siblings.
- Depending on gender, income generation may or may not be important for the next generation.
- Sibling disagreement may already be more advanced than one might think. Fifty percent or more families with multiple children had siblings who disagreed in three critical areas: wanting to be involved in the management of the family forest, knowing how the family forestlands will be transferred, and identifying what conditions would force them to sell the family forest.
- Forest health and human health: no longer disconnected.
- If you want to really connect with the next generation of landowners, figure out what they tune into and what they tune out.
- Offspring look to the DNR and extension.
The study’s website includes much more detail about study background, methods, results, and how to talk to your family about the future of your land. (An additional, excellent resource on this topic is the Oregon State University Ties to the Land program.) This is required reading for not only woodland owners, but also Extension and other professionals serving them.
Two months ago, we asked MyMinnesotaWoods.org readers to help us write this story. Thank you to all who responded! Based on our readers’ suggestions, here’s our list:
1. Know what you – and your family – love most about your land. What’s your vision for the future of your land? Do you want more wildlife, more big trees, a quiet refuge, ski trails, a source of income, or something else? All of the above?
Developing a vision for the future of your land is an important step. This vision needs to be based in reality, both in terms of local ecology and also your family’s long-term interest in owning and caring for the land.
What to do: It may seem overly formal, but writing down your vision and talking to your family is a crucial step in achieving it.
2. Understand how your woods are changing. Woodlands are constantly changing. Trees grow, trees die, wind and ice take trees down, insects come and go, climate changes…. All of these changes can affect not only the future of your woodland, but the value of your land and timber.
Sustainable forest management harnesses the natural processes in your woods to match your vision. Thinning your woods, planting trees well suited to the site, and cleaning out insect and disease problems are three simple things you can do to improve the health and productivity of your woods.
What to do: Get to know your woods well. Watch carefully for which trees are dying, which trees are taking their place, what insects are present, which stands are overcrowded, and so on. Not sure how to interpret the changes? Talk to a professional forester.
3. Get a free Forest Stewardship Plan for your property. Forest Stewardship Plans are prepared by local professional foresters. Your plan will include a detailed inventory of your wooded property, including species, ages, stand histories, and more. You’ll also get information about the ecology of your landscape.
Your plan will include specific recommendations for each wooded stand based on your unique objectives. Every plan is specific to the property and the landowner. Whether your focus is wildlife, recreation, big trees, timber, or something else, the plan will recommend ways to get more of it, faster.
Your plan is not binding, but will be helpful as you plan for the future of your land. A current Forest Stewardship Plan is also a requirement for many cost-share and incentive payment programs
What to do: To sign up, contact your local Minnesota DNR Forestry Area Office. The best part? It’s FREE.
4. Know where to find financial and professional help. Local professionals can tell you about cost-share opportunities (to help pay for wildlife habitat improvement, tree planting, woodland improvement, and more). They can help you interpret changes in your land, tell you how wood products markets are changing, and more.
A local professional forester can plug you in to programs like the Sustainable Forests Incentive Act (SFIA), which provides incentive payments to promote sound forest stewardship and keeping land forested. A local professional can also help you enroll in Minnesota’s new (2008) 2c Managed Forest Land tax class, which has a 35% lower property tax rate than 2b timberland.
Finally, if you choose to sell timber, a professional forester can help ensure that you receive top dollar, and also that you’re happy with your woods after the harvest.
5. Get to know other local landowners. Minnesota has at least 20 local private woodland committees, councils, forest landowner co-operatives, and local chapters of the Minnesota Forestry Association (MFA).
You should also know about the Woodland Advisor program. The program offers between 50 and 75 classroom and field workshops every year for family forest owners. The program is managed by Extension, the Minnesota DNR, MFA, and numerous other private and public partners.
Workshops are offered in partnership with local organizations. These events can be an excellent opportunities to meet local landowners and professionals and get answers to your questions.
What to do: For a list of local woodland organizations, visit MFA’s website and click “chapters” on the left.
Add your thoughts: What resources have you found most helpful? What have we missed? Leave a comment to help others learn from your experience.
Bruce ZumBahlen wrote a guest post yesterday on the Vital Forests / Vital Communities blog describing changes to Minnesota’s property tax. These are exciting changes, favoring active sustainable management through consultation with a professional forester.
Every Minnesota woodland owner should know about these changes! An excerpt:
For the first time, MN has a law that provides the opportunity for woodland owners who are managing their property under a forest stewardship plan to receive a reduction in their property taxes payable in 2009 and thereafter.
Bruce and the Minnesota Forestry Association deserve great credit for their work to advance this issue.
Just a quick note about an excellent source of free, high quality woodland info:
Cornell University’s Forest Connect series is the source for monthly live web-based seminars on a wide variety of woodland topics. The presentations are designed for woodland owners, and are typically offered at both noon and 7pm on the third Wednesday of each month. Even though the seminars tend to focus on eastern forests, many topics would be highly relevant to Minnesota woodland owners. And they’re completely free.
What have you got to lose? See a list of past presentations, or register to receive announcements of future events.
Have you attended one of these seminars? What was your take? Leave a comment below.