Information on forest policy, property management to be offered at Southern Woodland Owners Conference & Solutions Fair, Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at University of Georgia

Lorena Madrigal

Lorena Madrigal

Oct 21, 2011 – Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

ATHENS, Georgia , September 22, 2011 (press release) – The 2011 Southern Woodland Owners Conference & Solutions Fair will take place in Tifton from October 31 to November 2 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. The event will provide forest policy and practical property management information to timberland owners, particularly small non-industrial private landowners. The conference theme is ‘Practicing and Preserving Your Passion for Your Land.’

According to the Georgia Forestry Commission, there are more than 5,000 owners of private timberland in Georgia, 30,000 of which own more than 50 acres.

Harris Sherman, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment for the U. S. Department of Agriculture, will keynote the opening session of the conference on November 1. He is expected to address the prospects for the 2012 Farm Bill and his department’s new initiative promoting wood as a preferred building material.

A diverse speaker corps from throughout the South will address topics such as intergenerational land transfer, timberland value trends, reforestation, timber theft, seedling development, forest certification and conservation easement designs.

A special ‘Forestry Night School’ will feature roundtable small group discussions. Topics for the tables will include the challenge of invasive species, the federal BCAP program, managing for bobwhite quail, federal cost share programs, the 2012 Farm Bill and longleaf/wiregrass restoration.

A panel of active tree farmers will discuss their experiences and respond to questions from the attendees. Exhibitors offering woodland management solutions will play a major role in the conference. Continuing education credits for foresters will be earned by those attending the conference.

A highlight of the event will be two pre-conference field trips on Monday, October 31. Early arrivals can select between a tour of Norbord’s oriented strand board (OSB) manufacturing facility in Cordele and a visit to Oakridge Farms in Sumner, a 3200-acre farm known for outstanding work in restoring the longleaf/wiregrass ecosystem.

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