Forestry Training Workshop
A forestry training workshop was held on September, 2013 at the Gorman Creek Farm near Kellogg, Minnesota. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) employees received classroom and hands-on-training from NRCS employees, James Fritz, Area Resource Conservationist (ARC); Will Bomier, ARC; Valiree Green, DNR Forester and Mike Wacholz, MN Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forester.
The morning session included class-room instruction on the topics of Forestry From the Ground up; Planning tips for incorporating forestry into a conservation plan; Conservation program discussion; and Tree identification. Networking at this workshop was an important part of this event. Now because of this training, NRCS and SWCD employees have people and resources they can reach out to for more information regarding forestry in Minnesota.
Green, MN DNR Forester spends most of her time with private landowners providing technical advice on how to manage forestry resources. “Forestry is an integral part of Minnesota,” said Green. “Producers may ask NRCS or SWCD employees what they can do with the woods. This workshop adds additional skill-set to the conservation partnership for delivering conservation technical assistance to landowners and operators.
“$1,000,000 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Forestry Initiative was a major breath of fresh air as dollars were available for landowners/operators that wanted to improve their forestry resource,” Green said. “This program has made a difference in Minnesota.”
Don Baloun, Minnesota NRCS State Conservationist thanked Mike Greenheck for hosting this important Forestry Workshop. “Detailed training such as this keeps NRCS employees up to pace,” Baloun said. “NRCS employees are encouraged to practice these new learned forestry skills. Be thinking about what might work in your county, such as what type of forestry practices could be planned and applied to the land.”
Following lunch the Forestry workshop participants participated in 3 forestry training sessions. Topics covered included Direct seeding of hardwoods; tree measurement and inventory; tree planting and thinning along with the removal of invasive species on a SW facing goat prairie. Walking throughout the Gorman Creek Farm provided employees with on-the-job training.
Questions regarding the Forestry Training Workshop should be directed to James Fritz, Area Resource Conservationist in Rochester, Minnesota. Fritz can be reached at (507)-289-7454.