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Forest Matters
Stewardship News

Winter 2017

In This Issue
Home Welcome to the Winter 2017 edition of the Forest Matters Stewardship News!

Our lead story highlights collaborative efforts in Ohio's Appalachian Mountains to sustainably manage oaks. This vital resource not only contributes environmental benefits, but has historically supported a strong forest-based economy in this 17-county region.

Read about how the Coldwell family actively manages its certified Tree Farm in Ohio, including Jared Coldwell's unique live edge lumber operation. We have tax tips for the 2016 tax year, results from a national survey of woodland owners (spoiler alert: "family forest owners rule!"), stories of successful efforts in Maryland and West Virginia using grant funds from the U.S. Forest Service, links to informative publications, one man's struggle with Lyme disease, and more. 

We hope you enjoy this edition of
Forest Matters .

Mike Huneke
Forest Stewardship Program Manager
Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry 

Collaborative Oak Management in Ohio's Appalachian Mountains:
A Joint Chiefs' Landscape Restoration Partnership Project 

Karen Sykes, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

The Appalachians are part of the oldest and most biologically diverse forest systems in the United States. In Ohio's southeastern Appalachian region, data from the USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis has recently shown a decrease of oak in the understory and mid-canopy, and an increase in young maple (Widmann 2015). This has caused concern among forest managers about the long-term sustainability of the oak-hickory forests of this 17-county region. The forests provide hard mast and other critical habitats for both game and non-game species, such as the cerulean warbler and Indiana bat, in addition to fresh water for fish and mussel diversity as well as for human consumption.

Read the full Collaborative Oak Management in Ohio article.

Landowner Spotlight
The Coldwells
Foresters Keeping It in the Family
Glenn Rosenholm, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry 

A forester family in Ohio developed a Forest Stewardship plan through the Northeastern Area Forest Stewardship Program to help them better manage their woodlands. Today, their natural resource-based niche business is yielding a profit in the global economy while helping them sustainably manage their forest land.

Three generations of the Coldwell family pose in front of their Tree Farm sign. (Photo courtesy of Jared Coldwell)

Want to read about other forest land conservation efforts?
Stewardship News
2016 Tax Tips for Forest Landowners

Dr. Linda Wang, National Timber Tax Specialist with the U.S. Forest Service, has finalized Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for the 2016 Tax Year. This publication reviews the major Federal income tax laws to help you file your 2016 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.
We Need Your Help Spotting This Bug 

Look for signs of the Asian longhorned beetle using this guide.
If you see something, call your State Extension Office or the National ALB Hotline ( 866-702-9938) to report your sighting.

(Photo courtesy of Jennifer Forman-Orth, MA Dept. of Ag. Res.)

Your Family Land: Legacy or Memory?
An Introduction to the Family Land Protection Process
By popular demand, the Northeastern Area has updated and reprinted the publication, "Your Family Land: Legacy or Memory?" This small booklet serves as a great introduction to conservation-based estate planning and offers some options to consider for protecting your family forest land. Do you have a plan? Who will inherit your family woods?

You can either request a hard copy by sending an email to Forest Stewardship Program Manager Mike Huneke at or read this revised publication online. Artistic drawing of a lobed leaf with stem.
New Results from the U.S. Forest Service National Woodland Owner Survey

Brett J. Butler, U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station

The latest results from the U.S. Forest Service National Woodland Owner Survey show these things:
  • Family forest owners continued to dominate the forested landscape of the Northern U.S.
  • Size of holdings makes a big difference on what they can do with their land and is highly correlated with many landowner attitudes and behaviors
  • Beauty, wildlife, and nature are the top reasons why they own their land
  • They love their land, but are not engaged with traditional forestry programs and practices
  • They are old compared to the general population


Map of forest land ownership in the Northern U.S.

Map of forest ownership across the Northern U.S. (family forest land is in green)
National Forest Stewardship Program Webinar Series
forest stewardship theme art
Mike Huneke, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

In 2016, the U.S. Forest Service Forest Stewardship Program hosted a Webinar series featuring three presentations designed to inform forest landowners and forest practitioners about current issues facing the private forestry community. A description of each Webinar and links to their recordings follows. The Forest Service intends to continue the Webinar series with all new topics in 2017.
Read the full Webinar series article.

Increasing Forest Resiliency for an Uncertain Future

Paul Catanzaro, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Our forests are facing many challenges, including land conversion; invasive plants, insects, and diseases; heavy deer browse; and climate change. Of course, these stressors do not act in isolation. Rather, they interact with one another, increasing their negative impact. While there is uncertainty as to how our forests will react to these stressors, we can be confident that our forests will change.

We are fortunate in New England to have naturally resilient forests, and we know that change in forests is natural and healthy. However, it is likely that we are at a time when the number of stressors facing our forests is greater than it has ever been. In addition, the pace at which the stressors are arising is increasing.

Read the full Increasing Forest Resiliency article.

Cover of a publication that shows a New England forested landscape in the autumn.
To request one or more free copies of this publication and/or poster, contact Paul Catanzaro at or by calling 413-545-4839. You can also download a PDF of the publication.

American Chestnut Trees at Summit Bechtel Reserve   

Ruth Gregory Goodridge, Director of Communications, The American Chestnut Foundation

Education and hands-on learning are integral to The American Chestnut Foundation's (TACF) mission. Since 1983, TACF has committed to returning the American chestnut to its former niche in the Appalachian hardwood forest ecosystem. This is a bold mission and a major restoration project, requiring a multifaceted effort that involves volunteers, research, sustained funding, and most importantly, a sense of the past and a hope for the future.

As part of TACF's ongoing commitment to education, its West Virginia Chapter works with the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve (SBR) located in Glen Jean, WV. The SBR is the national Scouting center dedicated to changing young people's lives through training, education, leadership, and high adventure.
Read the full Summit Bechtel Reserve and American chestnut trees article.

Sign by a bridge.
CONSOL suspension bridge at the SBR Scout Camp and TACF orchard sign. (Photo courtesy of Sam Muncy)

Back to Top
Ticked Off: Never, Never Say "I'm Healthy as a Horse!" A Cautionary Tale about Lyme Disease  

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

Anyone that knows me will agree that I'm not the hippest dude in town, but I've always thought of myself as being reasonably aware of what's going on in the world around me. That said, I had no idea that the detection and treatment of Lyme disease could be a highly contentious issue that pitted doctors against doctors and spawned rancorous blogs and support groups full of angry and confused sufferers, conspiracy theories, State legislative intervention directing how to treat Lyme disease, and more. Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease now reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) with around 30,000 reports annually. It is the sixth most Nationally Notifiable Disease.

Read the full Lyme disease article.
Longtime Extension Forester Recognized with UNH Faculty Excellence Award   

Sarah Schaier, Production Editor, University of New Hampshire (UNH) Cooperative Extension

Karen Bennett has received the prestigious 2016 UNH Faculty Excellence Award for Public Service -- the first Extension staff member to receive the honor. Her work as an educator and leader in forestry among landowners, natural resource professionals, youth, local decision-makers, and general audiences earned her this recognition.

Read the full UNH award article and view a video about Karen's work below.

Sentinel Landscape Designation for Minnesota's Camp Ripley 

Dennis McDougall, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

In 2016 Minnesota's Camp Ripley was designated as a Sentinel Landscape by the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, a joint collaboration of the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, and Agriculture. The partnership seeks to protect and enhance the mission of the Nation's military training installations by helping to preserve the rural nature of these landscapes through programs and partnerships that encourage farms, ranches, forests, and natural habitats in and around these facilities that are so crucial to our Nation's security.

Line drawing of Camp Ripley, The Warrior's Choice.
Read the full Sentinel Landscape designation article.

The Camp Ripley Landscape Stewardship Partnership: Planning for Success 

Dennis McDougall, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

The 2016 designation of Camp Ripley in Minnesota as a Sentinel Landscape will help ensure the conservation of thousands of acres of forest resources, protecting crucial wildlife habitat, water resources, and ecosystem services for generations. But the Sentinel Landscape designation is only the latest high-water mark in a conservation effort that spans decades, and the U.S. Forest Service, primarily through the Forest Stewardship Program, has been at the table either directly or through its State of Minnesota partners for much of that time.

Read the full Camp Ripley Landscape Stewardship Partnership article.

Welcome Kristin Lambert, New Stewardship Coordinator for Wisconsin    
Head shot of a woman.
Kristin Lambert is the new Private Forestry Specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and will serve as the Stewardship Coordinator for Wisconsin. Kristin started her new role in October 2016. She works at the WDNR headquarters in Madison, WI.
Read the full welcome article.
Rob Clark, USFS Forest Management Group Leader, Has Retired   
Head shot of a man.

After a 40-year career with the U.S. Forest Service, Rob Clark, Forest Management Group Leader in Durham, NH, retired in January.

Rob joined the Forest Service in 1977 after working for the Michigan DNR as a park ranger and conservation officer. Rob's first Forest Service job was as Program Manager for a 50-person Young Adult Conservation Corps nonresidential camp. He worked on the Hiawatha National Forest, Sault Ste. Marie Ranger District, where his duty station was the Raco Work Center, a former CCC camp.

Rob's career took him from Michigan to Vermont, New York, and finally New Hampshire. Rob worked as a reforestation forester, silviculturist, timber staff officer, District Ranger, and then as Forest Management Group Leader in Durham for the last 16 years. Rob also held various firefighter positions over the years and spent a few weeks or more in almost every State west of the Mississippi during summer months.

In Rob's words, "There hasn't been a day in the 16 years I have been with State and Private Forestry that I didn't want to come to work. I loved my job and I enjoyed working with everyone in NA as well."

Good luck in retirement, Rob! We wish you well.

Competitive Grant Success Stories
Friends of Firewood: Building an Education Network among Commercial Harvesters, Dealers, Buyers, and Transporters of West Virginia Domestic Fuelwood 
Dr. Dave McGill, West Virginia University Extension
Friends of Firewood logo.
This article details the results of a landscape-scale restoration project funded by the Northeastern Area to develop an educational network among firewood dealers and the organizations and agencies involved in the production of domestic fuelwood in West Virginia.

Read the West Virginia Friends of Firewood article.

Chestnuts for Learning: Growing the Management Message and Science Skills through School Partnerships

Dr. Anne Hairston-Strang, Maryland Forest Service
Jim Peters, Carroll County Public Schools Science Supervisor

This article details how grant funds from the Northeastern Area were used to plant American chestnut/hybrids and other trees to expand a successful education program in the Carroll County Public School system in north-central Maryland.

Read the Chestnuts for Learning article.

American chestnut trees grow in an orchard.
American chestnut orchard at East Middle School. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Anne Hairston-Strang, Maryland Forest Service)
Forest Land Conservation Spotlight
The Forest Legacy Program For Now and Forever 
Celebration of the First 25 Years
More than 2,615,000 acres are protected through the Forest Legacy Program. This 27-year-old voluntary program has been crucial in helping 53 States and Territories meet their forest conservation goals. According to Forest Legacy Program Manager Scott Stewart , projects are selected for funding through a two-stage competitive process that identifies projects that are supported locally and are significant nationally. Projects are evaluated on a number of factors, including importance to forest products and resource-based jobs, protecting air and water quality, providing recreational opportunities, and protecting important fish and wildlife habitat, including those for threatened or endangered species. Funds are provided to State-lead agencies for project implementation through grants.

Kate Willard, Forest Legacy Program Manager out of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, produced this 27-minute video that celebrates the first 25 years of this program and its far-reaching impacts. Videography and editing credit goes to Vince Franke, Peregrine Productions LLC. Neil Hilt wrote the script that was narrated by Fran Stoddard.

The Forest Legacy Program 
Community Forest Program
Yellow Dog River Community Forest:
A River Runs Through It

Emily Whittaker, Special Projects Manager, Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve

I still have vivid memories of my first experience along the Yellow Dog River. During my freshman year at Northern Michigan University, a group of friends led me off the beaten path to a place with natural beauty like I had never seen. I had no clue where I was but I remember how the striking river captivated me. We camped a cold night near the base of a huge boulder and in the morning, we saw signs that a black bear had visited our campsite. The gravity of that moment sunk in for me when I saw claw marks on a stump a few yards away from the tent. And that was it; I was hooked on this place. And 16 years later, I would help coordinate an effort to create a Community Forest at that very spot, so that others could have similar experiences.
      The sun peaks through clouds as it rises over colorful trees in autumn.

Sunrise over Yellow Dog River Community Forest from atop Granite Bedrock Glade. (Photo ©LakeSuperiorPhoto/Shawn Malone)