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Forest Matters
Stewardship News

Summer 2017

In This Issue

Forest Stewardship Program Manager Mike Huneke received the prestigious William T. Hornaday Gold Medal this summer at the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree. This lifetime achievement award given to adult Scouters recognizes unusual and distinguished service in natural resource conservation and environmental improvement at the regional, national, or international level. As only the 49th recipient of this award, he joins a select group that includes Aldo Leopold. We are grateful for his leadership and conservation efforts!

Our Partners 

Logo for the National Association of State Foresters.
Home Welcome to the Summer 2017 edition of the Forest Matters Stewardship News!

Our lead article explores wildlife conservation efforts made by a group of outdoorsmen more than 100 years
ago who are still managing their land to ensure a healthy and diversified forest. Read about Susan Benedict's journey as a private landowner to keep land in her family, landscape-scale restoration efforts in Indiana, the massive gypsy moth outbreak in southern New England this summer, the history of apples in America, and Mother Nature's winter forecasting folklore, among other stories.

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

A Campfire Tale: 
Outdoor Group Rooted in America's Conservation Movement Still Improving the Land

Glenn Rosenholm, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

More than a century after one prominent social group's founders helped to launch and advance America's conservation movement, its members are still advocating for wildlife conservation and improving their own neck of the woods.

The Camp-Fire Club of America was established in 1897. Made up primarily of hunters and fishermen, it was originally formed as a sportsmen's social gathering club to share members' stories of adventure and explorations into the wilderness.

The group came into being at a time when the demand to join outdoorsmen groups far exceeded supply. Other organizations, including the Boone and Crockett Club, enjoyed years-long waiting lists at that time.
Read the full Campfire-Club article.

A group of men pose for a photo circa 1910.
A Camp-Fire Club group outing in 1910. (Courtesy photo by Camp-Fire Club of America)
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Landowner Spotlight
Susan Benedict
Keys to Keeping Land in the Family--Reaching Consensus, Diversifying Revenue 
Glenn Rosenholm, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry 

Most forest landowners are not certified accountants; Susan Benedict is. She can do the math, and that gives her a huge advantage in keeping their Pennsylvania land in the family for generations to come.
Read Susan's story.

A young girl stands next to a sign.
The littlest Benedict Family tree farmer, one of Susan's granddaughters, poses in the woods. (Courtesy photo by Susan Benedict)
Want to read about other forest land conservation efforts?
Stewardship Across the Landscape 
Indiana's Landscape Restoration Project Shows Progress 
Restoring Indiana's Forests and Wildlife Habitat Through Local Partnerships

Bedford, IN (February 8, 2017) - In less than a year, the Hoosier Hills and Highlands Oak Community Restoration Partnership is reporting significant progress in their efforts to regenerate hardwoods and improve water quality efforts in the region.

This three-year project is part of the National Joint Chiefs' Landscape Restoration Initiative, a partnership between two USDA agencies, the Forest Service (USFS) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). These agencies, plus a large group of public and private partners, are focusing on oak tree regeneration and other conservation practices that lead to improved water quality, reduced wildfire risk, and enhanced at-risk habitat on public and private lands in 18 southern Indiana counties.
Read the entire press release from the Hoosier National Forest.

A mule pulls equipment for repairing a trail in the woods.
Belle the mule helps in the reconstruction of a trail. (U.S. Forest Service photo by volunteer Martha Fox)
Stewardship News
Gypsy Moth in Southern New England 
Summer 2017 Update

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

It is late summer in southern New England and the hardwood forests look different than normal. The large, broad leaves that usually soak up the August sun are small and wispy, more reminiscent of the leaves that are present right after buds break open in the spring.

Caterpillar with rows of red and blue dots on its back. These forests are recovering from a massive outbreak of gypsy moth, the largest defoliation event caused by the caterpillar since the early 1980s. The gypsy moth has been a pest of hardwoods in the United States since its introduction in 1869. It mostly feeds on oaks but defoliates many other species when populations get this large.
Read the full gypsy moth in southern New England story.

(U.S. Forest Service photo by Karen Felton)

Back to Top
We Need Your Help Spotting This Fungus!   

Look for signs of the Diplodia corticola fungus in your oak trees using this guide. Contact your local forest health specialist, State Extension Service, and State Departments of Agriculture and Forestry if you see its signs or symptoms. Read this Pest Alert for more in-depth information about this fungus.

Black, sooty area on an oak stem.
Black, sooty region on oak bark caused by the
Diplodia canker. (U.S. Forest Service photo by Danielle Martin) 
Stewardship Network Builds Bridges with New Hampshire Landowners and Volunteer Groups
New Hampshire is the second most forested State with 84 percent forest cover. Much of that forest is privately owned. According to the U.S. Forest Service, the State's Merrimack watershed ranks first in the country for loss of private forest lands due to housing pressures, fourth for threats to water quality, and seventh for loss of habitat for species-at-risk. Stewardship programs exist to help forest landowners manage their land for diverse benefits, such as forest health, wildlife and timber management, recreation, and water quality. However, too few people are available to provide direct "hands on" support. There is a growing need in the Granite State-and throughout much of New England-for potential force multipliers, such as increased stewardship volunteer capacity.
Read the full Northeastern Area Forest Stewardship success story.

  The Stewardship Network New England logo.  
American Tree Farm System Honors Michigan Forest Stewardship Coordinator with 2017 National Leadership Award

American Forest Foundation Press Release
March 15, 2017 
Head and shoulders photo of a man.
The American Tree Farm System® (ATFS) recognized Mike Smalligan (pictured right), a forester for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), with its 2017 National Leadership Award. Smalligan was presented this award on February 23 in front of 220 ATFS committee volunteer leaders from across the country at the 2017 ATFS National Leadership Conference in Greenville, SC. The award recognizes the efforts of extraordinary volunteers, the backbone of ATFS, who have been instrumental in motivating other volunteers, educating landowners and accomplishing his or her committee's on-the-ground goals.
Read the full National Leadership Award article
Daniels of Maryland Receives 2016 Cooperative Forest Management Forester of the Year Award
Head and shoulders photo of a man.
Michael Huneke, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

Scott Daniels (pictured right) received the Cooperative Forest Management Forester of the Year Award at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters (NAASF) Cooperative Forest Management Committee in Rehoboth Beach, DE, in April 2017. The award is presented annually to a service forester from one of the 20 States served by the Northeastern Area for outstanding efforts in cooperative forestry.
Read the full Forester of the Year Award article.
Resica Falls Boy Scout Camp and Partners Receive Wings Across the Americas Award

Michael Huneke, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry
A glass award.
Congratulations go to the Cradle of Liberty Council, Boy Scouts of America's Resica Falls Scout Reservation for being selected as the 2017 recipient of the Wings Across the Americas Habitat Conservation Partnership Award! Through the Wings Across the Americas Award Program, the U.S. Forest Service celebrates and honors excellence in bird, butterfly, bat, and dragonfly conservation throughout North America.
Read the full Resica Falls award story.
Healthy Forests Grow from Healthy Seedlings:
The Importance of Tree Nurseries for Land Managers and Family Forest Owners

Carrie Pike, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

Our Love of Trees
Humans love trees. In cities, trees are celebrated as icons of nature in our urban jungles. Cultivars (plant varieties that are often vegetatively propagated) are commonly used in urban spaces because they exhibit traits with visual appeal, such as a certain branch angle, leaf shape, or color.

In rural areas, trees are also valued for their wood and fiber, their ability to protect watersheds from erosion, and the habitat they provide for wildlife. Native species are generally favored for reforestation in woodlands because of their innate levels of genetic diversity, so these trees will have a myriad of traits to adapt to conditions at the site. Trees can be prolific seed producers, but sometimes planting is needed to supplement natural regeneration to afforest areas where trees have not recently existed or to control species make-up for specific management objectives.

The Role of the Family Forest Owner in State Tree Nurseries
A national survey conducted by the National Association of State Foresters in 2016 concluded that family forest owners were the most important customers of State tree nurseries. State nurseries grow seedlings speculatively, which means their buyers - mostly small, private woodland owners - can order from the available inventory on demand.
Read the full tree nurseries article.
How About Them Apples? 
A History of Apples in America 

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

Illustration of four varieties of apple. Remember that small grove of McIntosh apple trees in the back field of the family farm? It took a few thousand years, but ancestors of those trees survived getting swallowed by camels, hot days in the deserts, invading Romans, foggy nights in the West Counties of England, ocean voyages, and freezing nights in Quebec before coming to America. The amazing biodiversity of apples survived even Stalin's purges, but how will it fare with advancing technology, evolving commercial markets, and changing climates?

It's hard to believe, but when the Vikings were traversing our northern shores and when Europeans later made their first tentative explorations along our coasts, there was no such a thing as an apple tree. There were only a couple of indigenous apples then, mainly Malus coronaria, a small crab tree covered with thorns and little apples. Reports suggest that islands off the coast of New England were the first spots in North America during the 1500s where apples as we think of them appeared. Fishermen and other explorers from Portugal and other European countries brought apples along in barrels to eat as they worked. Stop by an island for a few days of R&R on solid land, eat a few apples, throw the cores away, and welcome to America, Mr. Apple ( Malus domestica).
Read the full history of apples article.
Forest Land Conservation Spotlight
Reviewing Proposed Community Forest Program Applications:
The First Five Years
Neal Bungard, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

In 2012, the first applications for the U.S. Forest Service Community Forest Program (CFP) were submitted for funding consideration. Over the last 5 years of application submissions, I have served on the National CFP review panel three times and have reviewed and scored 70 applications, 27 of which were selected for funding.

Given this multiyear perspective, I have noticed some specific things that make an application great, help it rise to the top of the list, and can lead to its selection for funding. As a point of clarification, the panel reviews project application write-ups rather than the technical aspects of the project for funding consideration. The panel has to review and rank the projects based on what is described in the application and not from actually seeing the project itself. Over the years I have seen great projects not receive funding because of a poor application.
Read the full Community Forest Program application article.
A pond and surrounding forests in the fall.
U.S. Forest Service-funded Page Pond Community Forest in Meredith, NH. (U.S. Forest Service photo by Neal Bungard)

Naturalist's Corner
Winter is Coming: 
Mother Nature's Weather Forecasting Folklore
Karen Sykes, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry 

Grey squirrel sits on a branch. This is not going to be a wrap up of the latest season of Ga me of Thrones, but a list of Mother Nature's ways of predicting the weather. Long before there were weather forecasters, our ancestors used signs from nature to help them predict the weather. Some of the more popular ways to predict an upcoming winter appear below.
Read the full Weather forecasting folklore article.