2010-02-18 / Local & State

Forestry And Wildlife Conference Planned

The 13th annual Forestry and Wildlife Conference of the Woodland Owners of the Southern Alleghenies (WOSA) will be held on March 6 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Breezewood Firehall, Municipal Road, Breezewood, Pa. Doors open at 7:15 a.m.

The theme is “Sound Stewardship and Dealing with Invasives.”

The program will begin with a presentation by Meghan Kerr, assistant director of natural biodiversity. She will tell the audience how to identify and where to look for many of the invasive grasses, vines, shrubs and trees that are invading our grass and woodlands.

Dr. Eric Burkhart will speak further about strategies for dealing with non-native invasive plants in your woods. Dr. Burkhart is program director, plant science, Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, The Pennsylvania State University.

Plants may be the invasives that we hear about most often, but they are not the only ones. Dr. Donald A. Eggen is the forest health manager, Bureau of Forestry, Division of Forest Pest Management for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). He will speak about the Emerald ash borer, Asian long-horned beetle, Sirex wood wasp, hemlock woolly adelgid, gypsy moth, beech bark disease and other such problems.

Animals can also be invasive. Kyle Van Why, Wildlife Disease Biologist with United State Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Service will talk about the status of the feral swine in Bedford and Fulton counties.

Did you know that the red fox is not a native? Chris Skipper, wildlife conservation officer for Bedford County, will tell us all about it.

Since many invasive plants were brought to America for use in landscapes, and are widely used, Liz McDowell from Elk Ridge NatureWorks in West Virginia will discuss landscaping with native plants.

Jim Stiehler from DCNR, Bureau of Forestry, will provide information about the U.S. Farm Bill and Forest Stewardship plans. There are programs available for financial assistance to carry out approved forestry practices.

Dave Schreffler, Pennsylvania game commissioner, will give a brief update on the commission’s activities.

Information will also be available on the pending PA House Bill 1390 and PA Senate bills 524 and 136. If passed in their present forms, forest and rural property owners could lose many of their rights of ownership.

The conference will feature refreshments, a hot family-style lunch, exhibits, raffles and more. Registration is $20 for WOSA members and $30 for nonmembers. A check payable to WOSA and mailed to be received by February 28 should be sent to Carole Tresselt, 110 Long Bend Beach Road, Hopewell, PA 16650. For information go to www.orgsites.com/pa/wosa or call 814 652-9150.

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