2012-02-23 / Local & State

Forestry And Wildlife Conference

Woodland Owners of the Southern Alleghenies (WOSA) will hold its 15th annual Forestry and Wildlife Conference on March 10 at the Breezewood Firehall from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The conference is open to the public for a nominal fee. Doors open at 7:15 p.m.

Invasive insects and tree diseases that could lead to the demise of certain species of trees have been major areas of concern to Pennsylvania’s private woodland owners. Also of importance is the white-nose syndrome leading to the death of millions of bats in Pennsylvania and through the Northeast.

Many experts will address those problems. D. Don Eggen, forest health manager of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Forest Pest Division, will share the latest findings regarding emerald ash borer, hemlock wooly adelgid, sirex woodwasp, Asian longhorned beetle, gypsy moth and several other insects.

Mayrann Fajvan of the U.S. Forest Service will present the agency’s silvicultural practices designed to try to slow the spread of hemlock woolly adelgid. In addition there will be a presentation about Thousand Cankers disease on walnut and butternut, elm yellows, oak wilt, sudden oak death and other diseases.

Cal Butchkoski, wildlife biologist with the PA Game Commission, will provide an update on the white-nose syndrome of bats.

Jim Filey, Ph.D. of Penn State Extension and professor in Penn State’s School of Forest Resources, will discuss the restoration of highgrade forests, a logging practice that leaves mostly genetically inferior trees; a commons situation in Pennsylvania.

Participants will also hear about the new U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service program for costshare projects to be used for forest and/or land management planning as well as a large array of projects to improve or restore forests, wetlands, grasslands and wildlife habitats.

Continuing education credits will be available for certified foresters, certified arborists, restricted-use pesticide applicators, as well as loggers and others taking part in the sustainable forestry initiative.

Materal available for free. Refreshments and a hot lunch will be served. There will also be exhibits, handouts from the speakers, door prizes, raffles and a silent auction.

Registration deadline is March 2. Fee for WOSA members is $20; for nonmembers, $30. Membership applications will be available at the door. Checks made payable to WOSA may be sent to PO Box 29, Bedford, PA 15522. For information contact Ben Tresselt Jr. at 814- 652- 9150 or btresseltjr@centurylink.net.

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