Woodland property owners provide learning opportunity for forestry management
Landowners from a six-county radius gathered at the Ehlen property to attend two hay ride tours covering forest harvests and wildlife dimensions of forest management and a classroom session.
A Forestry Field Day event Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Charles Ehlen property in Randall attracted about 100 people.
Ehlen is a historic winner of the American Tree Farm System’s “Tree Farmer of the Year” award in 1996. He has also enrolled his property in a conservation easement through the Army Compatible Use Buffer or ACUB program. Ehlen regularly opens his property to Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other educational groups. He graciously provided the perfect setting for the field day event, the Morrison County Soil and Water Conservation District reported.
This event was made possible by a wide variety of partnerships and sponsors, with 14 organizations, including, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Morrison Soil and Water Conservation District, Central Lakes College Ag. & Energy Center, Camp Ripley, Central Minnesota Small Woodlot Owners Association, Natural Resource Conservation Service, American Tree Farm System, National Association of Conservation Districts, PotlachDeltic, American Forest Foundation, Camp Ripley Sentinel Landscape, Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District, Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment, Lily’s Wings and Things, the Ehlen Family.
The landowners were divided into three groups and rotated through three different sessions, with a lunch catered by Lily’s Wings and Things between the second and third rotations.
The wildlife session consisted of a tractor-pulled hay ride where the attendees we able to see what small operation harvests might look like, and hear from the operator of Midstate Wood Products, Dana Thomsen. This tour also included a visit to the Boy Scout cabin, and included presentations on wildlife dimensions in forest management from Tim Stai, DNR Forestry, Destiny Mankowski, Pheasants Forever/ Morrison SWCD, and Jeremy Maslowski, DNR Wildlife.
The forestry session consisted of a tour in horse-drawn carts where landowners got the opportunity to observe a larger scale harvesting operation performed by Hennen Enterprises. The tour also featured presentations on timber sales by Bob Perleberg, Private Forest Consultant, the Family Forest Carbon Credit program by Chrissy Shaw, American Forest Foundation, and easement programs by Christine Ostern, DNR.
The programs session consisted of an outdoor classroom style presentation where attendees learned about programs available to private landowners through the Natural Resources Conservation Service from Josh Hanson, NRCS, Forest health, diseases, and pests from Brian Schwingle, DNR, private lands forestry, and cost share programs from Tony Miller, DNR, and local program availability through the Soil and Water Conservation District from Shannon Wettstein, manager of the Morrison SWCD.
Each attendee was given a grab bag filled with resources from a variety of organizations.