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Forest Matters

Stewardship Newsorange leaf

 

May 2012

In This Issue

 

New Optional Forest Stewardship Reporting Measures Available
 

Stewardship News

 

Join Our Monthly Landscape Stewardship Webinars!

 

SMART is Coming!

 

Natural Gas Drilling and Its Effects on Forestry: The Pennsylvania Example

 

Is the Forest Legacy Program for the Private Woodland Owner?

 

"Hey! Wood comes from trees!"  Delivering a Local Wood Message to Massachusetts Consumers

 

Forest Stewardship Program Theme Art Now Approved for Use

 

Update on Stewardship Grant Projects:

 

Kennebec Woodland Partnership: Landscape Stewardship in Kennebec County, Maine

 

Monitoring Protocol for Forest Ecosystem Health: Connecticut Highlands Pilot Project

 

Landowner Spotlight

 

One Landwoner's Experience with a Traditional Gas Well

 

Success Stories from the Field

 

New Book on Stewardship in the Highlands Region

 

State Roundup

 

Michigan Welcomes New Forest Stewardship Coordinator

 

Naturalist's Corner

 

A Colorful Display in Your Springtime Woodlot


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Welcome to the Forest Matters Stewardship News. We are proud to deliver this first fully electronic version of our Forest Matters newsletter. In this edition we discuss current news and events related to the Northeastern Area's Forest Stewardship Program, and we share success stories from some of our competitive grants.  Additionally, we take a look at one landowner's experience with gas drilling and some related Best Management Practices information from Pennsylvania, and offer many other interesting articles. Enjoy!

 
Mike Huneke
Forest Stewardship Program Manager
Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

New Optional Forest Stewardship Reporting Measures Available

 

Telling the Full Forest Stewardship Story

 
A rainbow colored red maple leaf

States now have the option of

using new performance measures to report their Forest Stewardship Program accomplishments. 

 

Historically, the U.S. Forest Service has annually required States to document their accomplishments for 11 Forest Stewardship Program elements. These include the number and acres of Forest Stewardship Plans completed during the year, the number of forest landowners assisted by the program, and the number of landowners educated during the year.

 

While these 11 measures do capture the primary focus of the Forest Stewardship Program, State partners have noted that there are other significant accomplishments that result from the Forest Stewardship Program that often go unreported. States can now use the new suite of optional measures to report nontraditional program impacts.

Read more. 

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Stewardship News
  

SNjoinourwebinarsJoin Our Monthly

Landscape Stewardship Webinars!

 

The Northeastern Area is currently sponsoring a Webinar Series dedicated to sharing information about a variety of approaches to landscape stewardship and using the Forest Stewardship Program to carry out elements of State Forest Action Plans in priority landscapes.

 

We have hosted three Webinars to date, and recordings of these Webinars are being posted online here. Have a question or suggestion for future Webinars? Please contact Mike Huneke, Forest Stewardship Program Manager, at mhuneke@fs.fed.us.

Read more.

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SNSMARTSMART is Coming!

 

The following information is based on "The Stewardship Mapping and Reporting Tool: What to Expect - A Guide for States."

 

On October 1, 2012, the U.S. Forest Service Stewardship Program is scheduled to release its new Stewardship Mapping and Reporting Tool, or SMART. This signals a new era in Stewardship accomplishment reporting capability and responsibility.

 

SMART will fill the need for a national repository of Stewardship geospatial data that supports consistent and accurate reporting of accomplishments across the landscape. And for States that need it, SMART will be a user-friendly, feature-rich Stewardship Plan creation and activity management tool that is available on the Web and comes with a supplemental desktop tool.

Read more.

 

SMART guide graphic

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SNnaturalgasNatural Gas Drilling and Its Effects on Forestry: The Pennsylvania Example 

 

Today, oil and gas companies are drilling in numerous shale plays in the East and face many new challenges as they often drill more than a mile into the earth. They are using a technology called hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking or hydrofracking. This process uses pressurized fluids to create fractures in a rock layer to release petroleum, natural gas, or other substances that can then be extracted. Millions of gallons of water mixed with chemicals, sand, and other substances are used to release the gas from the rock layers.

 

Shale gas plays in the East have proven very profitable, and companies have been actively seeking both public and private leases to develop gas wells. Hundreds of hydrofracking wells are being developed, and as a result, landscapes are now marked with new openings and an infrastructure of roads and pipelines. Small and large continuous tracts of forest land have been impacted, and issues over subsurface and surface ownership of mineral rights have caused conflicts among oil and gas companies, private citizens, and lawmakers.

 

This article highlights how Pennsylvania is proactively managing natural gas drilling activities on its State Forest lands.  Read more.

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SNFLPIs the Forest Legacy Program for the

Private Woodland Owner?

FLP logo 

Over 2 million acres of forest land have been protected nationwide through the Forest Legacy Program (FLP) since the program started in 1993. A large expanse of that protected forest land is owned by industry.

 

What might be discouraging to the private woodland owner is that only a fraction of the projects submitted for consideration each year make it through the FLP ranking process, and few of the finalists appear to be private woodland owners.

 

The good news is that private woodland has and continues to compete successfully in the FLP ranking process. However, some strategies that private woodland owners can use to compete against industrial forest landowners are more successful than others.

Read more.

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SNhey"Hey! Wood comes from trees!"

 

Delivering a Local Wood Message to

Massachusetts Consumers

 

Peter Grima, Outreach Service Forester, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

peter.grima@state.ma.us

 

In the spirit of building upon proven successes, Massachusetts recently began a U.S. Forest Service-funded project to deliver a "buy local" wood products message to consumers in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts residents have already demonstrated a marked interest in local agriculture, the success of which rests heavily on the attributes of taste and freshness, but also on the aesthetic of a working agricultural landscape and the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that a tractor kicking up dust in the distance is ultimately going to put something on your dinner table.

 

But what about the dinner table itself? In short, people have been primed by the local agricultural movement and are already receptive to the notion of a local product having superior, if sometimes intangible, qualities. Forestry and the wood products industry are thus poised to make the best of this potentially favorable environment.

 

So what is the best way to proceed in broaching the subject of local wood with consumers who are just as likely to be vehemently opposed to harvesting? As the embodiment of this grant initiative for the Massachusetts DCR's Service Forestry Program, I will describe some of the guiding principles I've devised to help me be more effective at reaching out to consumers. The intent is that such principles are easily adapted to help promote local wood products.

Read more.

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SNthemeartForest Stewardship Program Theme Art Now Approved for Use

FS theme art
The Forest Stewardship Program now has new theme art. As described in the program's national strategy, FSP 20twenty, The Forest Stewardship Program's Strategy for the Future, the new theme art will give the program a consistent image and highlight the partnership between the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) and the U.S. Forest Service. The theme art has four quadrants that effectively display forest products, water, wildlife habitat, and forest recreation-four elements that family woodland owners can enhance on their properties through sound forest stewardship.

 

Please note that this theme art is not an official logo of the Forest Stewardship Program. Use the theme art on Forest Stewardship Program-related brochures, presentations, and publications, but do not put the theme art on a document or publication next to official logos such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture logo or the U.S. Forest Service Shield.

 

When your State agency logo or the NASF logo appears, keep in mind it is the Forest Service Shield, not our program theme art, that should appear with it. When you have a line of logos, our program theme art cannot follow in line and shouldn't be the same size.

 

theme art illustration 

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Update on Stewardship Grant Projects

 

SNgrantupdatekennebecKennebec Woodland Partnership:

Landscape Stewardship in Kennebec County, Maine

  

What does landscape-level stewardship look like? The Kennebec Woodland Partnership (KWP) envisions woodland owners throughout the 374,000 forested acres of Kennebec County, Maine, engaging in conservation steps on their land that will keep the forest healthy for generations to come. The Kennebec Woodland Partnership was founded to ensure a sustainable future for the county's forests by providing tools and strategies to help landowners make informed decisions about their woodlands.

 

Woodland owners embody a broad spectrum of beliefs and values, challenging KWP to meet landowners where they are and communicate information effectively. Fortunately, the partnership itself represents a wide variety of interests that speak well to the county's woodland owners. KWP was launched in 2009 by the Maine Forest Service and Kennebec Land Trust and has since grown to 13 partner organizations.

Read more.

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SNgrantupdatehighlands2Monitoring Protocol for Forest Ecosystem Health: Connecticut Highlands Pilot Project

  

Naomi Heindel and Mary Tyrrell, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

 

The Connecticut Highlands Forest Health Project has three stages: collecting and sharing information about forest ecosystem health, identifying threats to forest health by monitoring key indicators, and increasing public awareness about the importance and status of healthy forest ecosystems.

 

The first stage, which ran from January 2009 to February 2011, involved identifying a simple set of key, easily measureable, broadly applicable indicators of trends in forest health; evaluating the effects of fragmentation on forest health; and creating recommendations for designing community-based forest health monitoring programs in Connecticut. This was done through extensive data collection in four watersheds in the Connecticut Highlands: Bantam, Shepaug, Leadmine, and Salmon Brook.

Read more.

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Landowner Spotlight

 

landownerspotlightOne Landowner's Experience with a

Traditional Gas Well

 

Editor's note: Arlyn Perkey, retired U.S. Forest Service silviculturist from the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry Field Office in Morgantown, WV, graciously shared the experiences he has had as a forest landowner who now has a traditional gas well operating on his forested property in Pennsylvania and has had coal extracted on his forested property in West Virginia.

 

Arlyn Perkey owns 77 acres in Greene County, Pennsylvania, and 60 acres in Monongalia County, West Virginia. He has carried out Forest Land Enhancement Program and Environmental Quality Incentives Program practices over the years, planted chestnuts and acorns, and managed for wildlife and timber. He owns the surface and oil and gas rights on his Pennsylvania property and the surface rights on his West Virginia property. The right to the Pittsburgh Coal Seam was severed on both properties in the early 1900s. He retains the rights to the other seams of coal.

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gas drilling access road on arlyns property
Success Stories from the Field
  

stewardshipbookreviewNew Book on Stewardship in the

Highlands Region

 

highlands book cover

In 2011, Rutgers University Press published a book about the Highlands region of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut--"The Highlands: Critical Resources, Treasured Landscapes" edited by Richard G. Lathrop, Jr. This excellent publication is the first book "to examine the natural and cultural landscape of this four-state region, showing how it is distinctive and why its conservation is vital."

 

This 352-page book is divided into four parts written by a variety of expert authors. The Geological Setting section covers bedrock geology, glaciation and landscape history, and major soils of the Highlands. Water and Watersheds discusses groundwater and surface water hydrology, and water supply resources. The Biodiversity section covers forest history, forest ecology, wetlands, vascular plants and threats to plant biodiversity, and wildlife. People and the Land includes information about ironworking, agriculture and urban development patterns, open space and recreation, land-use planning and policy, and a future vision of the Highlands.

 
The book is very well written, full of interesting details, and has a variety of maps, photographs, diagrams, and graphs, including color plates. This book will be of interest to a wide variety of lay persons and professionals such as foresters, hydrologists, wildlife biologists, naturalists, land use planners, and conservationists, to mention a few. It is very science based with engaging lists of excellent references.  Read more.
State Roundup

stateroundupMichigan Welcomes New Forest Stewardship Coordinator
shawna meyer photo
 
Shawna Patterson Meyer has joined the Michigan Department  of Natural Resources as the new Forest Stewardship Coordinator. Her educational background includes a Bachelor   of Science in Forestry (wildlife management) and a Master of Science in forest ecology from Purdue University. She also studied at Michigan State University where she earned a Master's degree in forest biometry in 2005. Her research has focused on population and community ecology, vegetative response to disturbance, and multidimensional spatial analysis of forest structure and composition. 

 

She has worked as a U.S. Forest Service timber cruiser in the Idaho Rockies, worked on research projects in the backwoods of Indiana, taught kids and adults of all ages about forest ecology and conservation, and supervised 250 passionate volunteers who restored and fully operated eight working fire lookouts in southern California. As Forest Care Director, she developed and carried out a large-scale effort to thin hazardous fuels on private lands in the fire-prone Southern California Mountains.

 

Shawna is married to forester Jason Meyer, Executive Director of Fenner Conservancy in Lansing. She and her three children love to play in the creeks and forests of Michigan. Welcome, Shawna!

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Naturalist's Corner
 

naturalistscornerA Colorful Display in Your

Springtime Woodlot

By Roger Monthey, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, Durham, NH

 

wildflower pic

Beautiful wildflowers, mosses, and lichens in a variety of colors inhabit every woodlot in the Northeast. Although mosses and lichens can be viewed throughout the year, springtime is a great time to view all three groups at one time. White, yellow, green, and gray are just a few of the colors you will see.

 

This article highlights a few of the intriguing species that are part of the biodiversity of a Northeast woodlot. The particular stand where these species were found has red maple (Acer rubrum), eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis), and white ash (Fraxinus americana) trees.

Read more.

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