The NACD Forestry Resource Policy Group‘s (RPG) summer meeting in New Hampshire was canceled due to COVID-19 (coronavirus). To replace it, the Forestry RPG has organized a two-day virtual meeting to explore relevant forestry topics and conduct annual RPG business.
A series of seven webinars will be held on Aug. 11. Each 50-minute Zoom session will feature multiple presenters and a Q&A with attendees. Sessions are open to all conservation district staff and forestry partners interested in attending.
Information for each session and how to register can be found below:
A closer look at American Tree Farm System (ATFS) standards
August 11 – 10 a.m. ET
The American Forest Foundation has proposed changes to American Tree Farm System standards. This session will explore how those changes affect small woodland owners, particularly in the northeast region.
Presenter: Jasen Stock, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association
Since 2000, Jasen has been the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association where he works with forestry professionals, forest products businesses, and rural community members from across the State. He received his B.S. in agriculture from Cornell University.
Presenter: Leigh Peters, Certification Manager for the American Forest Foundation
Leigh works with the American Tree Farm System to ensure the credibility of the program. She is a graduate of Auburn University and a registered forester in Alabama. She has 20 years of experience in the forest industry, with a background in procurement, harvesting and forest land management.
Presenter: Kayti Brinkman, Northern Regional Manager for the American Tree Farm System
As Northern Regional Manager, Kayti covers states from Minnesota to Maine, Maryland to Missouri. She has been with the American Forest Foundation since April of 2019 and was previously a Tree Farm inspector and vice chair for the Michigan Tree Farm Committee.
This session will be moderated by Linda Brownson, NACD Forestry RPG Northeast Region Representative.
Supporting the NWTF National Forestry Initiative
August 11 – 11 a.m. ET
In a number of states, National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) foresters are part of multi-partner efforts that include conservation districts. In recent years, with funding from NRCS, the number of NWTF foresters has grown, and with it a need for support and collaboration.
Presenter: Mike Mitchener, NWTF National Forestry Initiative Coordinator
Mike worked for 35 years for Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism for 35 years. After retirement he held a position with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies as a Regional Biologist. In 2019, Mike accepted a position with the National Wild Turkey Federation to implement and coordinate forestry programs delivery with NRCS. He is a graduate of Purdue University with a B.S. in forestry, specializing in wildlife management.
Presenter: Mark Hatfield, NWTF National Director of Conservation Services
Mark is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and is currently the National Director of Conservation Services for the National Wild Turkey Federation. Prior to his 15-year tenure with NWTF he received his B.S. in wildlife biology and his M.S. in biology from Murray State University. He has also worked for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bureau of Land Management and Ducks Unlimited.
This session will be moderated by Gary Blair, NACD Executive Board Member.
Making the case for strong forest economies
August 11 – 12 noon ET
A healthy wood products market helps allow for healthy forests. Conservation districts and state associations are well positioned to educate legislators and community leaders on how the two are linked.
Presenter: Joe Fox, Arkansas State Forester
Joe directs the Forestry Division of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. He previously served as Director of Conservation Forestry for the Arkansas Field Office of The Nature Conservancy. He is a former president of the Arkansas Forestry Association and former chairman of the Arkansas Forestry Commission. Joe currently serves as the Vice President of the National Association of State Foresters and is the Chair of its Forest Resource Management Committee. He holds two bachelor’s degrees from North Carolina State University in forestry and agricultural economics.
Presenter: Kyle Fredrickson, District Technician- Forester for Aitkin County Soil and Water Conservation District
As district forester, Kyle helps landowners reach their land management goals by writing forest stewardship plans, linking long-term land management protection and forest certification. Before his current position, he worked in fisheries sampling and invasive species outreach. He has a Master’s degree in forest ecology and management.
This session will be moderated by John McAlpine, NACD Forestry RPG South Central Region Representative.
Mastering the message
August 11 – 2 p.m. ET
How conservation districts connect with landowners and communicate with community leaders is critical in their ability to have an impact on the land. This session will explore what has worked (and not worked) and how to better prepare conservation district professionals for those conversations.
Presenter: Brittany VanderWall, District Forester with the Presque Isle Conservation District
Brittany works with landowners Presque Isle and Cheboygan counties. A graduate of Michigan Tech University with a B.S. in forestry and an ecology minor, Brittany is part of a statewide landowner assistance program called the Forestry Assistance Program, which was created to help Michigan landowners navigate a wide array of forest land management options.
Presenter: Crystal Kellebrew, Education Coordinator for Campbell County Conservation District
Crystal has worked for Campbell County Conservation District in Wyoming for 14 years. She holds the conservation district seat on the Wyoming Project Learning Tree Steering Committee and is also a workshop facilitator for PLT, WET, WILD and Flying WILD.
This session will be moderated by Tom Crowe, NACD Forestry RPG North Central Region Representative.
Is biochar a growth area for conservation districts?
August 11 – 3 p.m. ET
A number of conservation districts have been involved in the production and use of biochar, which is believed to enhance soil health. This session will provide insight on the product and its uses and how conservation districts may become involved.
Presenter: Kelpie Wilson, Wilson Biochar Associates
Kelpie is an engineer and analyst with 30 years of experience in renewable energy, sustainable forestry and resource conservation. As a consultant, Kelpie works directly with forest managers, the wood products industry, farmers and conservationists to develop systems for making biochar from waste biomass. She researches and teaches techniques for using biochar in compost and manure management, and presents many biochar workshops each year. See more about her work at www.WilsonBiochar.com
Presenter: Charlotte Trowbridge, Conservation Education Program Manager for Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District
Charlotte coordinates educational opportunities to raise awareness of natural resource issues and solutions across the Washington County’s rural, urban and forested lands.
This session will be moderated by Mike Beacom, NACD Forestry RPG Staff.
Conservation districts provide a boost to pre-fire efforts
August 11 – 4 p.m. ET
This session will demonstrate how conservation districts are helping communities reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire through planning, partnering and implementation.
Presenter: Robb Sgroi, Land Resources Specialist for Teton Conservation District
Robb is a certified wildfire mitigation specialist. His work for Teton Conservation District includes range management and monitoring, irrigation improvements, wildfire risk reduction, and providing support in soils and erosion control. He previously served as trail supervisor with the Bridger-Teton National Forest, and as a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Forest Service. Robb holds a Masters Certificate in natural resources management from Virginia Polytechnic and State University, and a B.S. in biology from the University of Richmond.
Presenter: Azalie Welsh, Forest Health Project Coordinator for Trinity County Resource Conservation District
Azalie’s work for Trinity County RCD involves coordinating a fuel reduction and forestry program that implements on-the-ground wildfire effects mitigation treatments on both private and public lands. With experience in forest and fire ecology, fire modeling, silviculture, and other aspects of forestry and fire science, Azalie holds both a Master of Forestry and a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and Natural Resources from the University of California, Berkeley. She has previously done forestry, fire, and natural resources-related work for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the University of California, California State Parks, and others.
Presenter: Kelly Sheen, District Manager for Trinity County Resource Conservation District
Kelly began working for Trinity County RCD 25 years ago doing data entry and information technology (IT) management. His interest in computers and geography led him to build a geographic information systems (GIS) department that is regionally recognized. He has served as district manager for three years.
This session will be moderated by Jennifer Hart, NACD Forestry RPG Southwest Region Representative.
How conservation districts can support female forest landowners
August 11 – 5 p.m. ET
Data suggests women are a growing demographic among forest landowners. Groups like Women Owning Woodlands (WOW) aim to support female forest landowners. This session will examine ways conservation districts may help.
Presenter: Linda Brownson, NACD Executive Board
Linda is a forest landowner in Wentworth, New Hampshire, where she manages a mixed hardwood and conifer forest of 200 acres in the western foothills of the White Mountains. She represents the Northeast Region on the NACD Executive Board, is Past President of the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Districts, and Vice Chair of the Grafton County Conservation District. Linda is also President of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, a non-profit statewide coalition of landowners, forest industry professionals, government officials, and supporters who work together to promote better forest management, conserve our working forests, and insure a strong forest products industry.
Presenter: Lynn Bahrych, Washington State Soil Health Committee co-chair
Lynn was appointed to the Washington State Conservation Commission by Governor Gary Locke in January of 2004, and for another two terms by Governor Chris Gregoire. She practiced maritime and admiralty law in Seattle for ten years before focusing exclusively on land use and environmental law. Lynn graduated with honors in humanities from Stanford University and received a M.S. in English education from the University of Texas. She received a Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance Literature and a law degree from the University of Washington Law School.
This session will be moderated by Doug Rushton, NACD Forestry RPG Pacific Region Representative.