USDA logo. Forest Service shield.
  U.S. Department of Agriculture
  Forest Service
  Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry forest stewardship theme art

Forest Matters
Stewardship News

Winter 2016

In This Issue
Home Welcome to the Winter 2016 edition of the Forest Matters Stewardship News! In this issue we congratulate Roger Monthey, Durham Field Office Forest Stewardship Coordinator, who retired from the U.S. Forest Service in December after 38 years of exceptional Federal service. Roger's final Naturalist's Corner featuring native mushrooms is one of his best. Roger, we wish you well!  

We also discuss newly released northern long-eared bat conservation measures, Tax Tips for 2015, and several interesting Forest Stewardship stories from across the Northeastern Area.  

We hope you enjoy this edition of
Forest Matters .

Mike Huneke
Forest Stewardship Program Manager
Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry
Listening to the Woods  
Sunlight shines through woods.
Robert "Fitz" Fitzhenry, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

I didn't grow up on a lot of land. Our six acres made more of a base camp. The outbuildings, over-mature yews, and trees around our house drew the neighborhood for hide-and-seek and other games, while the flat acres of lawn saw their share of football, baseball, and soccer matches. We never lost a kid, just a lot of balls for the evening when they flew over the cliff into the dormant gravel pit that scalloped the back half of our property.
Read the full Listening to the Woods article.

Photo above: Sandy Clark, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry
Landowner Spotlight
Eric Dahlberg
Enterprising Landowner Making a Living Using Wits, Hard Work, and Available Resources
Glenn Rosenholm, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry 
Eric Dahlberg knows a thing or two about making a buck off his land.

The New York native has several businesses in place that are helping him to earn a living from his properties. His plots are located in the southeastern part of the State, on the edge of Schoharie County where it joins Albany and Greene Countie s . All told, he owns, rents, and manages well over 300 acres. 

An elk with a large rack stands in a field of snow.
An elk on Eric Dahlberg's property. (Photo: Heather Hilson, New York Watershed Agricultural Council)
Stewardship News
Beetles of Mass Destruction  Mountain pine beetle damage.
How the Mountain Pine Beetle Could Take Out Minnesota's Forests

Sara Specht, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, University of Minnesota

You hear the term "outbreak" and you picture a disease, a tiny virus flaring up and spreading uncontrolled through a population. The word "epidemic" conjures images of scientists struggling to contain the bug as it expands and jumps to new locations and hosts.

It turns out those expressions apply just as well when the bugs are winged and the victims are trees. 

Now try this word on for size: hyper-epidemic. 
Photo above: Mountain pine beetle damage. (Daniel Miller, USDA Forest Service, 
Adult northern long-eared bat is resting on a wall.
Final Northern Long-Eared Bat 4(d) Rule Published 

Mike Huneke, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

On January 14, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published in the Federal Register the final 4(d) rule for northern long-eared bat conservation under the Endangered Species Act. This species' population has been decimated in recent years from white-nose syndrome disease. The 4(d) rule prohibits purposeful take of the bat throughout the species' range. It also provides provisions for incidental take associated with harvesting timber and other forest management activities.

Under t he rule, incidental take associated with tree removal is prohibited if it occurs within ¼ mile of a known bat hibernacula or if the activity cuts or destroys known occupied maternity roost trees or any other trees within a 150-foot radius of the known maternity tree during the pup season (June 1 through July 31). Incidental take of northern long-eared bats that results from the removal of hazardous trees for the protection of human life and property is not prohibited.

The rule will become effective February 16, 2016, 30 days after being published.

View the full text of the 4(d) rule and a frequently asked questions document on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Web site.

Photo above: Adult northern long-eared bat. (Jill Utrup, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) 
2015 Tax Tips Bulletin Available

Dr. Linda Wang, National Timber Tax Specialist with the U.S. Forest Service, has finalized  Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for the 2015 Tax Year.
This publication reviews the major Federal income tax laws to help you file your 2015 income tax return. Although tax laws on timber transactions are not common knowledge, they are an important part of the ongoing cost of owning and managing timber, engaging in forest stewardship activities, and complying with tax law.
American ginseng plant with red berries.
Agroforestry Information

Interested in agroforestry? Check out these articles.

Non-timber Forest Products and Forest Stewardship Plans, Agroforestry Notes #48, USDA National Agroforestry Center, July 2015
To many woodland owners "harvesting" typically means the removal of timber from forests. In recent years many landowners have become aware of the role non-timber forest products can play in supplemental management strategies to produce income while preserving other forest qualities.

Working Trees for Pollinators, USDA National Agroforestry Center, January 2016
Over 100 agricultural crop species in North America need a pollinator to be most productive. Agroforestry practices can be designed to support these pollinators.

Forest Farming, Catherine Bukowski, Inside Agroforestry, Vol. 23, Issue 3, USDA National Agroforestry Center
The author recognizes those who have made major contributions to developing forest farming as an agroforestry practice over the past 25 years.
Saving Special Places 2016 

Light from a sunset spills across a field. Text includes Saving Special Places 2016 New Hampshire's Annual Land Conservation Conference.

Be part of the 15th annual Saving Special Places Land Conservation Conference on Saturday April 9, 2016, in Alton, NH! This is the largest land conservation training, education, and networking event in New Hampshire, attracting 300 participants in 2015!

Join us in a conference experience that past attendees have described as "highly informative," "inspirational," and "the best land conservation conference around." The conference will feature 30 workshops and 45 presenters covering a range of topics from communicating climate change to agritourism, conserving farmland, wildlife, photography, conservation easements, and more!

Saving Special Places is presented by UNH Cooperative Extension together with its partners: NH Land Trust Coalition, Society for the Protection of NH Forests, Southeast Land Trust, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, The Nature Conservancy, and Natural Resources Conservation Service.

For more information, visit the conference Web site. Registration will open mid-February 2016. (
Prescribed fire burns through the understory of the Concord Pine Barrens in New Hampshire.
Controlled Burns on Rise in New Hampshire Thanks to New Council

Andy Fast, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

New Hampshire's forests, known for their fall foliage, sweeping landscapes, and recreational opportunities, have experienced both natural and man-made change. Many may have heard about (or remember) the 1938 hurricane that blew down vast swaths of the State's forests, evidence of which can still be seen today.

Somewhat lesser known are the impacts that fire has had on the landscape. Historically, fires were lit intentionally by Native American communities and European settlers, or they occurred naturally. Today, fire remains an important way to control flammable vegetation, maintain species diversity, manage forests, and support wildlife species that depend on habitats created by fire.
Read the full New Hampshire prescribed fire article.

Photo above: Prescribed burn in the Concord Pine Barrens of New Hampshire (Andy Fast, UNH Cooperative Extension)
Sapling red oak growing in a field.
New Jersey Highlands Restoration Initiative:
South Branch of the Raritan River

Barbara Heskins Davis, The Land Conservancy of New Jersey

The New Jersey Highlands is a 1,343-square-mile area in the northwest corner of New Jersey stretching to New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. This region is significant to over 5 million New Jersey residents because it yields 379 million gallons of drinking water daily. The New Jersey Highlands are at risk of being developed. Loss of forest land, farmland, and growth pressure continue to consume about 3,000 acres per year. Development is threatening significant natural resources and the drinking water supply. Protecting this land resource and restoring it to native forests ensures plentiful and clean drinking water, provides recreational opportunities, and ensures habitat for wildlife and native plant species.

To maintain this vital resource, the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act established planning boundaries for the Highlands to protect the State's drinking water for future economic viability. The New Jersey Highlands Restoration Initiative was created to restore 37 acres of natural forest, which was lost to nonproductive agricultural purposes, to riparian forest for protection of drinking water. Located at the headwaters of the South Branch of the Raritan River, the restoration helped ensure clean and plentiful water to over 1.5 million residents supported by this watershed. The project included planting native trees and shrubs, adding fences to exclude deer, reforesting 37 acres, and identifying and removing invasive species.
Read the full New Jersey Highlands Restoration Initiative article.

Photo above: Planted tree along the South Branch of the Raritan River. (The Land Conservancy of New Jersey)

New Forest Stewardship Program National Standards and Guidelines Released

In October 2015, the revised Forest Stewardship Program National Standards and Guidelines were officially released. The revised information updates the required resource elements that are incorporated into Forest Stewardship Plans. The new standards and guidelines also provide updated information related to State Forest Action Plans, new program measures and metrics, plan monitoring, program authorities, and other updates. View the full text of the 2015 National Forest Stewardship Standards and Guidelines.
Laurie Schoonhoven.
New National Forest Stewardship Program Manager Takes the Helm 

Laurie Schoonhoven is the new national Forest Stewardship Program manager in WO-Cooperative Forestry. Laurie is assuming this role after serving as the Sustainability Specialist for 2 years where she primarily focused on increasing synergy among internal and external sustainability efforts, engaging new partners, and promoting program integration across landscapes.

Laurie brings over 20 years of collaborative and conservation leadership to this position. Her skills include identifying and evaluating local, regional, and national forest trends aimed at developing and carrying out policies and practices that promote long-term landscape restoration across all lands.

In previous positions, she has managed Federal grants; convened and coordinated diverse project teams; worked to integrate efforts with local, State, and Federal resource programs; and assessed and implemented program delivery across public and private ownerships and jurisdictions. Laurie also provided leadership for the design and implementation of a new Technical Service Provider training initiative (a significant Natural Resources Conservation Service program policy) on a regional and national scale. She holds a Master's of Science degree in Forest Resources from the Pennsylvania State University.
View looking up at tall buildings in new york city.
Will Mass Timber Construction Eat Concrete and Steel for Lunch?

Al Steele, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

In the last edition of Forest Matters, we shared with you news about new technologies emerging that will enable very tall buildings (nicknamed by some "plyscrapers") to be constructed mostly of wood and some of the implications for rural economies, forest management, carbon sequestration, and wood's broad use in architecture. In this edition, we'll take a little deeper look at the status of mass timber technology, some of the issues and efforts that proponents are working on to enable mass timber to more fully meet its potential, and a bit about an effort by mass timber's main competitors, the concrete and steel construction industries, to kill Godzilla before it grows.
Read the full mass timber construction article.
Forest Land Conservation Spotlight
forest legacy logo
Forest Legacy Program 
Due Diligence Compels Successful Transfer of Real Estate and Safeguards Long-Term Objectives

Bill Jones, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry 

Does everyone involved in a real estate transaction have the same understanding of what due diligence means? Brokers, buyers, sellers, lenders, and lawyers often use the term in a very nonspecific or generic context. Buyers need to be informed and educated about a property's history and restrictions within the due diligence phase. This includes land enrolled in the Forest Legacy Program.
Read the full Forest Legacy Program article.
A man wearing a bright orange shirt and protective eyewear clears trail brush with a weedeater.
Community Forest Program
U.S. Forest Service Program Creates Strong and Lasting Community Connections

Rebecca A. Brown, Executive Director, Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust

One great piece of property, four towns, one land trust, and Federal funding for Forest Land protection. Those were the basic elements that went into creating the 840-acre Cooley-Jericho Community Forest in northern New Hampshire. What brought it all together was the great energy and enthusiasm of numerous volunteers. 

Photo above: Adult volunteers clear trails on the Cooley-Jericho Community Forest. (Rebecca Brown, Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust)
Naturalist's Corner
Gilled polypore mushroom growing on a log in Maine.
Thirteen Intriguing Mushrooms
(But aren't they all intriguing?) 

Roger Monthey, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry (Retired)

In his final Naturalist's Corner article, Roger Monthey highlights 13 interesting mushrooms. Learn about the green-headed jelly baby mushroom, hedgehog mushroom, and more in the full Naturalist's Corner article.

Photo above: Gilled polypore mushroom. (Roger Monthey)
Roger Monthey Retires

Rob Clark, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

Roger Monthey stepped down as Durham's Forest Stewardship Coordinator at the close of 2015. His retirement brings to an end 38 years of exceptional Federal service -- the last 18 as Durham's Forest Stewardship Coordinator serving New England and New York. Roger is highly regarded as a natural resource professional by all of us in State and Private Forestry. His woodland stewardship work was guided by his strong conservation ethic, and he excelled at teaching others these values. Assisting with Envirothon Forestry and regularly contributing to the Forest Matters Newsletter were two of Roger's favorite assignments. When asked what's next, Roger said he hopes to use this time to travel, spend time with his wife, and recharge before figuring out what new opportunity to pursue. We all extend our best wishes to Roger as he starts a new chapter in his life. 
Photo montage of a man.
Photos of Roger Monthey clockwise from upper left: accepting a Wings Across the Americas conservation award, interacting with the public at the Grey Towers 2014 Festival of Wood, posing as a Cheese Head in Wisconsin, and enjoying his retirement in Thailand.