Posts tagged ‘woodland’

Sign up for Conservation Stewardship Program by Sept. 30

ST. PAUL, Minn. (9/9/2009) —Registration for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is taking place now until Sept. 30, 2009. The CSP is a voluntary program through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service that encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by undertaking additional conservation activities; and improving, maintaining and managing existing conservation activities.

CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land in all 50 States. This program has a continuous sign up, however the first-round deadline is Sept. 30.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide financial and technical assistance to eligible producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air and related natural resources on their land. Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, prairie land, improved pastureland, rangeland, non-industrial private forest lands, agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe, and other private agricultural land (including cropped woodland, marshes, and agricultural land used for the production of livestock) on which resource concerns related to agricultural production could be addressed.

CSP encourages land stewards to improve their conservation performance by installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities on agricultural land and non-industrial private forest land. CSP is available nationwide on a continuous application basis.

The entire operation must be enrolled and must include all eligible land that will be under the applicant’s control for the term of the proposed contract (CSP is a five-year contract program) that is operated substantially separate from other operations.

CSP offers participants two possible types of payments:

  1. Annual payment for installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining and managing existing activities
  2. Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations

Estimated Range for Annual Payments
Cropland: $12 to $22 per acre
Non-industrial private forestland: $6 to $12 per acre
Pastureland: $7 to $14 per acre
Rangeland: $5 to $10 per acre

Estimated Range for Supplemental Payments
Resource-Conservation Crop Rotation: $12 to $16 per acre

Landowners should contact their County USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office for more information and pick up a copy of the “Producer Self-Screening Checklist.” More information is also found at the NRCS website.

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September 9, 2009 at 12:05 pm 2 comments

New book available: Woodland Stewardship, 2nd Edition

Woodland Stewardship: A Practical Guide for Midwestern Landowners, 2nd Edition was published by the University of Minnesota Extension for use by private woodland owners in the Upper Midwest.

This revised 2nd edition builds on the highly successful first edition in 1993, which was distributed to tens of thousands of landowners throughout the Midwest.  This new book is designed to help family forest landowners identify goals for their woodlands and work with professional foresters to choose management practices that will help meet those goals. The new book provides an overview of the field of forestry and includes new or expanded chapters on:

  • Managing important forest types.
  • Developing nontimber forest products.
  • Managing forests to benefit wildlife.
  • Designing and building recreational trails.
  • Handling the financial considerations of forest ownership.

Decisions by family forest landowners have the potential to affect a woodland for a century or more.  Reading Woodland Stewardship: A Practical Guide for Midwestern Landowners, 2nd Edition can help ensure their decisions are the right ones for the family and the woodland.

You can order the book here.  Volume discounts apply:  1 – 24 copies cost $16 + shipping.  25 – 999 copies: $10 + shipping, and 1,000 or more are only $7 each. Prices exclude shipping.

The University of Minnesota also was recently approved to receive a grant from the U.S. Forest Service, through the Minnesota DNR, to place this book on the Web, create a Web-based shortcourse around its content, and to evaluate the book and shortcourse.  Providing the book in alternative formats will help ensure that its content is available to landowners in a variety of formats that meet their different learning styles.  These other formats will be available in a year, but a printed book will meet the needs of most landowners.

Click here to order a copy now.

September 3, 2009 at 8:44 am 2 comments

MN Women’s Woodland Network

By Angela Gupta, University of Minnesota Extension, Rochester

There’s been some exciting activity around engaging female forest landowners in Minnesota. For years there’s been anecdotal information about the lack of women participants in forestry learning. Indeed far more men than women attend Woodland Advisor classes. Why? There are more women in the United States. Research tells us women live longer. During the Intergenerational Land Transfer class we learn about how important it is to get the whole family involved in forest management and ownership to ensure the desired long-term outcomes. So where are the ladies? Why aren’t they attending classes? Are they participating in forest management decisions?

Photo by Julie Miedtke

Photo by Julie Miedtke

The University of Minnesota Extension provided seed money to create a steering committee to address this issue. As a result of 15 engaged women learning about female forest landowner education programs in Maine and Oregon, studying what little research is available on forest landowners and gender, and reviewing the literature on how men and women learn different the Minnesota Women’s Woodland Network was born. As I type work is being done to get an informational brochure together, work on the Network’s new website, and plan eight kitchen-table-gatherings across the state to try and engage these elusive ladies. The mission of this network is sustaining privately owned woodlands through education.

So how, you ask, is the MN Women’s Woodland Network different from the Woodland Advisor program- the Extension program that teaches forest landowners about forest management? Excellent question. Network organizers plan to nurture this network of active forest landowners through women friendly, low-key, learning activities that increase their comfort level enough to join the traditional Woodland Advisor classes and participate completely. This Network will not parallel Woodland Advisor classes, but rather help feed ladies into those classes and help get a more equal gender representation (and equal lines for the bathrooms). Also, hopefully this network will form into active groups of women that regularly meet and discuss forestry topics together; the more synergy a group can form the more sustainable and active they’re likely to be.

Photo by Julie Miedtke

Photo by Julie Miedtke

Now you’re wondering: How can the University of Minnesota, an equal opportunity employer and provider, offer classes only for women? Another great question. First, anyone can attend these gatherings but they will be very women friendly. Organizers plan to create a safe environment for women to ask questions, explore topics they’ve never thought about before, and stretch their wings by flying through their forests.

Are you getting excited about this Network? Do you know of women who might be interested in joining? I hope so! Extension has provided funds to start the ball rolling. We plan to offer gatherings and get folks energized in three to four regions across the state in the next few months. The Network will be involved in the Minnesota Forestry Association’s annual meeting January 8th and 9th in Cloquet. We will be advertising these meetings but if you would like to get involved or know someone we should contact directly, please get a hold of either me: Angela Gupta, 507-280-2869, agupta@umn.edu or Julie Miedtke, 218-327-7365, miedt001@umn.edu.  We’d love to hear from you!

August 28, 2009 at 10:23 am 1 comment

Updated content on Minnesota Land Economics

[I thought this message might be of interest to some of our readers:]

Dear Colleague:

Three new things at Minnesota Land Economics:

1. 2009 assessor estimates of land values. Please be careful. From the site:
“In 2009, the Minnesota Legislature created several new classifications for agricultural and timber land in the state. On Minnesota Land Economics, the reclassifications are handled by treating post-2008 land valuation data in a separate section. If you select “2009 and onward” on the attributes page, you will be presented with the new valuation classifications. These changes resulted in valuation data that is not directly comparable for that reported in previous years. In some counties, the currently reported numbers aren’t even close to the previous year. Many of the inconsistencies are expected to be resolved by the time the final 2009 Mini Abstract is posted here in December. In the meantime, please be careful with the 2009 numbers!”

2. Forest Productivity Index (FPI) now available for twenty counties. Details by clicking “Read more” on the Soils Data section.

3. Graphs! On most data report pages, you’ll see a “chart-it” or “plot-it” link. Histograms, scatter plots. On the fly!

As always, please let me know if you experience any problems with Minnesota Land Economics–and thanks for your continued kind words about the service we provide.


Steven J. Taff, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota

Check out the updated content at Minnesota Land Economics now.

August 17, 2009 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

MyMinnesotaWoods is on Facebook

Last week we created a new MyMinnesotaWoods Facebook page.  If you’re on Facebook, and if you like what we do, visit the page and become a fan.

Why Facebook?  One of our primary goals is to reach and engage new people interested in the care and management of Minnesota woodlands.

In Minnesota and nationally, the woodland owner population is aging.  A new, younger generation will soon assume control of much of the woodlands on which rural wood products industry depends. When new landowners go looking for information, we want them to find reliable, accurate information through MyMinnesotaWoods.umn.edu.

So check us out on Facebook! New MyMinnesotaWoods Facebook page.

August 5, 2009 at 9:28 am Leave a comment

Minnesota forest insect & disease updates

Just a quick post in case you missed it: The Minnesota DNR, Division of Forestry has published the June 2009 Forest Insect & Disease Newsletter (PDF).  This is by far the best source of timely, quality information on insect and disease issues in the Minnesota woods. This summer’s issue includes a play-by-play of the discovery of emerald ash borer in the Twin Cities this spring.

The list of articles from the June 2009 issue is below.

  • Emerald ash borer found in Minnesota
    • Play-by-play
    • Updated firewood restrictions in on state land
  • Another cool and protracted spring
    • Winter injury of Colorado blue spruce
    • Two-lined chestnut borers
    • Forest tent caterpillars are at it again
    • Oak anthracnose
    • Ash plant bug and ash anthracnose
    • Bumper crop of seeds
    • Summer shorts
  • Heads-up
    • Approved firewood vendor applications now
      need to be renewed
    • Tick-borne diseases
  • Publications
    • Trees and Shrubs of Minnesota
    • IPM for Home Apple Growers
  • Feature Article
    • Wolves in sheep’s clothing: Outbreaks of
      previously obscure native forest
      insects
  • Handy and helpful websites for Forest Health

Read it now: June 2009 Forest Insect & Disease Newsletter (PDF)

July 23, 2009 at 8:41 am 2 comments

CVal: Carbon credit valuation tool for foresters and landowners

This announcement is reprinted from the March 12, 2009 Community Forestry Resource Center weekly news and event summary.

CVal: A Carbon Valuation Tool for Foresters and Private Forest Landowners
The CVal spreadsheet is a powerful tool that will help foresters, managers, and project developers work with private forest landowners to assess the economic profitability of participating in carbon markets. CVal provides a discounted cash flow analysis based on a full accounting of variables, including tract size, carbon sequestration rate, carbon price, and enrollment and trading costs. Automated, financial break-even analyses in the macros version quickly assess threshold values of key variables for profitable projects, and the program readily performs “what if” calculations after storing starting values.

CVal was designed to evaluate managed forest and afforestation projects traded on the Chicago Climate Exchange, but its methodology could be adapted for other trading mechanisms and agricultural sequestration projects. Documentation is provided in the program itself and in GTR-180. CVal was developed by Ted Bilek (USFS Forest Products Lab), Peter Becker (Eastern Ozarks Forestry Council), and Tim McAbee (LandMark Systems), and is available at no cost.

Download CVal and GTR-180 here.

March 16, 2009 at 9:06 am Leave a comment

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News and information of interest to Minnesota woodland owners. Sister site to MyMinnesotaWoods.org.

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