Silviculture Institute to be offered to northeast foresters in 2017 and 2018
Through a grant from the USDA Forest Service, State and Private Forestry, the North East State Foresters Association (NEFA) is offering the Northeast Silviculture Institute for Foresters (Institute), a series of training workshops in graduate level silviculture, in 2017 and hopefully in 2018 as well. The training is delivered by an academic team coordinated by the Universities of New Hampshire and Vermont – drawing on the best experts from the other universities in the region as well as other experts.
NEFA chose to pursue this project given significant new knowledge needed by foresters to make silvicultural decisions on the ground. Threats to forests in the northeast United States from fragmentation, invasive plants and insects, high-grading, climate change and shifts in wood utilization and manufacturing capacity have revealed gaps in the knowledge of, and learning opportunities for, working forest managers – especially in silviculture. Field foresters need updated and accurate information regarding new and emerging forest science to assure their silvicultural decisions made are as informed as possible.
The Institute workshops are designed to provide northeast U.S. foresters with the appropriate knowledge to make sound, science-based decisions for forest ecosystem management, harvests and regeneration. This project is designed so it can be used in the USDA Forest Service’s National Advanced Silviculture Program (NASP) to provide landscape-specific materials for northeast forests. Such a curriculum does not exist at this time for the northeast under NASP. While good silviculture training has been available through state workshops and particularly through the Society of American Foresters (SAF) meetings, these have not been as in-depth and intensive as envisioned by the Institute. The Institute plans to offer a graduate program level of instruction.
The Institute workshops or five distinct modules, delivered once in 2017 and, hopefully, again in 2018, will cover the following:
- NASP New England and Northern New York Overview (2 days)
- Northern Hardwood Forest Type (2 days)
- Mixed Oak Hickory Forest Type (2 days)
- Pine, Oak and Hemlock Forest Type (2 days)
- Spruce – Fir Forest Type (2 days)
Each of the forest type workshops include at least:
- Silvics of individual species & Stand Dynamics including land use history
- Silvicultural Systems and Practices including growth, yield, quality and regeneration
- Economics, utilization & markets
- Forest Health
- Wildlife Considerations specific to forest type
- Site Quality and Productivity
- Sample prescriptions
- Legal, landowner objectives & carbon considerations
- Field Trip into forest type
Pre-requisites – pre-work will be required of attendees.
The Institute curriculum presented during training modules will also be posted as online resources through the Institute website via videos made of all the training in 2017. This will make the information available for all foresters in the region, whether they are able to attend the Institute training modules or not. There are limited attendee slots available for the Institute workshops and an application is required of foresters who are interested in participating in one or more of the Institute workshops. A modest workshop fee is charged of attendees.