Get tips on keeping forests healthy at Sept. 24 workshop

BRISTOL — How can private landowners enhance the wild functions and values of their forests while harvesting trees and maple sap? On Sept. 24, several local conservation organizations will team up to explain and demonstrate tools and techniques of ecologically beneficial forest care in a free, one-day workshop in New Haven and Monkton.
In this seven-hour workshop, “Family Forestry 101: Woodlot Rewilding and Cropping,” participants will learn how to work in the forest in ways that conserve forest health, wildlife habitat, water quality and flood resilience.
“People don’t tend to think about forest rewilding and cropping in the same breath,” says David Brynn, executive director of Vermont Family Forests, one of the event co-sponsors. “As a rapidly changing climate exposes forests to many stressors, it’s more important than ever to use conservation practices that build forest health and resilience.”
David is one of the workshop’s presenters, and will introduce participants to some of the core concepts of forest ecology and rewilding.
“Rewilding is about mutualism — it’s about acting in ways that benefit all forest community members,” Brynn explains. “We need to move from forest resource management to forest ecosystem conservation.”
From that starting point, participants will learn about crop tree release, optimal conservation practices, wildlife habitat enhancement, sustainable maple sap production and safe and eco-friendly tree felling, as well as how to remove wood from the forest in ways that protect soil and water quality.
The workshop will kick off at the New Haven town hall, then participants will carpool to Little Hogback Community Forest in Monkton, where they’ll see conservation practices in action. 
Presenters include Lisa Sausville, executive director of Vermont Coverts; Mark Isselhardt, UVM Extension maple specialist; Dave Birdsall, Northeast Woodland Training woods educator; Kristen Underwood, hydrogeologist with South Mountain Research and Hydrology; and John McNerney, family forest owner.
To learn more about the workshop and register for the event, please visit the Vermont Family Forests website events page http://familyforests.org/public-education/events.shtml.

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