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Forest Matters

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Winter 2015

In This Issue

Stewardship News
Forest Landowners


Forest Threats

Outreach/Technology Transfer

Get Involved

Landscape Stewardship

Landowner Spotlight

Forest Land Conservation Spotlight

Naturalist's Corner
Welcome to the Winter 2015 edition of the Forest Matters Stewardship News! 

In 2015 we will commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the 1990 Farm Bill that established the U.S. Forest Service's Cooperative Forestry programs, including Forest Legacy, Urban and Community Forestry, and the Forest Stewardship Program. Over the years, the Forest Stewardship Program has provided technical assistance to countless landowners representing millions of acres of private forest land--helping ensure that these lands produce values for landowners while continuing to provide clean air, clean water, and other vital public benefits.  

In this issue of Forest Matters, we will feature some of the recent activities and success stories that are products of the Forest Stewardship Program. Do you have a Forest Stewardship Program success story that you would like to share? If so, we would like to know about it! Please send us your stories, and enjoy this edition of Forest Matters.

forest stewardship theme art
Mike Huneke
Forest Stewardship Program Manager
Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry
leadnumber1A Promised Future of Stewardship: Family and Human Legacies with the Land


Robert "Fitz" Fitzhenry, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry

All photos by the author


Conversation with Ecologist Kyle Jones about forest management at

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park comes easy, submerging into topics at any depth and surfacing to link or change course to the next one. There's the big-picture story that mixes the traditions, legacy, legislation, and legalities of how this park in Vermont became the only National Park site with forest management in its mission. There's finer detail, too, about family histories, stand inventories, beginning work with consulting forester Ben Machin, and about logging with horses to offer visitors a memorable experience.


Kyle Jones snowshoes in Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont.
Kyle Jones snowshoes in Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in February 2015.

It's a clear, cold day in February 2015 with 30 or more inches of snow settled on the fields, carriage paths, and woods of the park. Six years have passed since the first Federal harvest here, and it will be a year until the next. It's been 130 years since the Billings family made stewardship the mission and future of this property by turning farmland into a plantation of Norway spruce, white and red pine, Scotch pine, European larch, and Vermont's signature sugar maple. 

Read the full Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park story.





Stewardship News
Forest Landowners
taxtips2014Revised 2014 Tax Tips Available


Linda Wang, National Timber Tax Specialist with the U.S. Forest Service, has revised  Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for the 2014 Tax Year. The revisions reflect changes in law as of December 2014.
tax images

This publication reviews the major Federal income tax laws to help you file your 2014 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. 
fsplandownerstoryForest Stewardship Program: A Landowner's Story out of Michigan


Mike Smalligan, Forest Stewardship Coordinator, Michigan Department of Natural Resources


Rick and Kim Heuvelman, along with Rick's brother Randy, own a 160-acre forest in Newaygo County. They bought 80 acres 11 years ago and added another 80 acres 3 years ago. And while they have been actively managing their land on their own, this year they decided that they needed some professional help. 


The Heuvelmans were interested in the Qualified Forest program to help lower their property taxes, and they knew that they needed a forest management plan to enroll.  Rick said, "The reduced property taxes are nice, but we really want to be able to pass on a healthy forest to our children and grandchildren.  Wood is a renewable resource and I want to manage it well, even if I don't see all of the results in my lifetime."

Read the full Heuvelman story.


The Heuvelmans post with a wood pile in Michigan.
Rick and Kim Heuvelman (right) pose with Rick's brother Randy on their forest property in Newaygo County, Michigan. (Photo: Mike Smalligan, Michigan DNR)
stewsignsNew Forest Stewardship Signs are Available!


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


State forestry agencies can now purchase a new-style Forest Stewardship sign. The sign declares the property as a Stewardship Forest and includes the Forest Stewardship Program theme art that depicts the four primary values produced by private forests (forest products, watershed protection, recreation, and wildlife habitat).  


A statement at the bottom of the sign reads, "This forestland is being managed sustainably under a written forest management plan that meets Forest Stewardship Program standards in accordance with the state forestry agency and the USDA Forest Service."  The USDA logo and U.S. Forest Service shield are at the bottom of the sign with extra room for States to affix a sticker with their logo if desired. State agencies can contact Voss Signs, the sign vendor, directly for pricing and ordering information. 


Three men pose with a Forest Stewardship sign. 

A redesigned Forest Stewardship sign is presented to forest landowner Mr. Charles Ruszala (center) by Chris Smith of the Maryland DNR Forest Service (left) and Mike Huneke of the U.S. Forest Service (right). (Photo: Matt Tansey, U.S. Forest Service) 

rampsGot Ramps?
There May Be a Market for That


Interested in marketing ramps (known as wild leeks farther north) from your woods? Explore this agroforestry option in the article Forest Farming Ramps written by Jim Chamberlain, Dana Beegle, and Katie Lajeunesse Connette in the December 2014 issue of Agroforestry Notes.

rule4DU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Special Rule to Focus Protections for Northern Long-Eared Bat

Rule Would Apply if Species is Listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act

Georgia Parham, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Photo of a northern long-eared bat.
Northern long-eared bat. (Photo: Steven Thomas, National Park Service)

In response to the rapid and severe decline of the northern long-eared bat--a species important for crop pest control--the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a special rule under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that would provide the maximum benefit to the species while limiting the regulatory burden on the public.

If finalized, the rule, under section 4(d) of the ESA, would apply only in the event the Service lists the bat as "threatened." The Service's proposal will appear in the Federal Register Jan. 16, 2015, opening a 60-day public comment period.

"White-nose syndrome is having a devastating effect on the nation's bat populations, which play a vital role in sustaining a healthy environment and save billions of dollars by controlling forest and agricultural pests," said Service Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius. "We need to do what we can to make sure we are putting commonsense protections in place that support vulnerable bat species but are targeted to minimize impact on human activities. Through this proposed 4(d) rule, we are seeking public comment on how we can use the flexibilities inherent in the ESA to protect the bat and economic activity."

Read the full U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service press release.

woodstoveregsEPA Released Updated Performance Standards for Residential Wood Heaters February 3rd


[Editor's Note: In the Winter 2014 issue of Forest Matters, Al Steele penned an article (Wood Burners: Change is in the Air) about proposed changes in wood-heating equipment emission standards from the EPA. This agency has now issued these standards as announced on their Web site below.]

Wood is stacked in a pile.  

On February 3, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strengthened its clean air standards for residential wood heaters to make new heaters significantly cleaner and improve air quality in communities where people burn wood for heat. The updates, which are based on improved wood heater technology, strengthen the emissions standards for new woodstoves, while establishing the first ever federal air standards for several types of previously unregulated new wood heaters, including outdoor and indoor wood-fired boilers (also known as hydronic heaters), and indoor wood-burning forced air furnaces. The rule will not affect existing woodstoves and other wood-burning heaters currently in use in people's homes. The EPA also issued a factsheet that summarizes requirements for new residential woodstoves and pellet stoves.

perkeytreefarmSeeding and Tubing for Deer Browse Protection at Perkey Tree Farm 



Arlyn Perkey, U.S. Forest Service (retired)


Northern red oaks are growing inside tree tubes in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Northern red oaks grow in tree tubes in northern West Virginia. (Photo: Arlyn Perkey)

Locally gathered red oak acorns and backcross 1 (BC1) chestnuts from Robert and Ann Leffel were direct seeded on a generally north-facing slope at elevations varying from 1,150 to 1,700 feet on the 60-acre Perkey Tree Farm, Catherine's Knob, near Daybrook, WV. All sites discussed are south of the unnamed primary drainage that passes through the property. Seeding occurred over five growing seasons from 2009 to 2013. Weed control, tube maintenance, and monitoring were continued through 2014, and will continue for at least an additional year.

Read the full seeding and tubing article.

newstewcoordILMeet Chris Whittom, New Forest Stewardship Coordinator in Illinois


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


Photo of Chris Whittom, new IL forest stewardship coordinator.
New Illinois Forest Stewardship Coordinator Chris Whittom.

Long-time Forest Stewardship and Forest Legacy Program Coordinator Paul Diezman is changing gears as he moves on to a leadership role in wood utilization and State lands management with the IL Division of Forestry. Assuming Paul's old duties will be Chris Whittom, who joined the Division of Forestry back in November 2014 as Paul's replacement.

Read the full Chris Whittom article.


Forest Threats
spottedlanternflyNew Invasive Insect Discovered in
Southeastern Pennsylvania


Devin Wanner, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry


Spotted Lanternfly Lawrence Barringer
Adult spotted lanternfly. (Photo: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture,


It's called the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula). This Asian native was first confirmed in the United States in September 2014 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania Game Commission jointly made the positive identification.


"Since Pennsylvania is the first known home to spotted lanternfly in North America, we're taking every possible precaution to stop its spread and eliminate this threat to agriculture," said State Agriculture Secretary George Greig in a press release.

Read the full article about the spotted lanternfly.


whitetaileddeerWhite-tailed Deer in Northeastern Forests: Online Pub Now Available


Botanist Tom Rawinski of the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry Durham Field Office recently published an online report that provides guidance and perspective on assessing deer impacts in northeastern forests. Read White-tailed Deer in Northeastern Forests: Understanding and Assessing Impacts.


White-tailed deer in Upstate New York.
White-tailed deer in Upstate New York. (Photo: Sandy Clark)



Outreach/Technology Transfer
forestconnectConnecting Owners to the Forest


Peter Smallidge, New York State Extension Forester, Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University


Forest Connect banner.  

Imagine a State, such as New York, with more than 650,000 woodlot owners. These owners are each unique as people, their lands differ, and they are at a different point in their lives and their knowledge of the woods. In general, these owners want to do the right thing but may not know how to proceed. Some are trusting and eager; others are more reserved and need to gain comfort with the topics of the woods. Further imagine that a significant number of them are poised to take actions in their woods but they don't know what to do or even who to call. This is the context and basis for the educational and applied research program ForestConnect.
fivetipsclimatechangeFive Tips for Talking About Climate Change in Land Management


Maria Janowiak, Kristen Schmitt, and Chris Swanston, U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science


Natural resource professionals work with diverse groups of stakeholders to set and achieve management goals. And let's face it--climate change can be a difficult subject to bring to the table. The volume and complexity of new climate information increases continually and can easily feel overwhelming, even for those who want to stay on top of the latest research. Moreover, many people want exact answers about how and when climate change will affect the areas they care about.


But there is built-in uncertainty in future climate, which means that even the perfect climate model could only provide us with a range of alternate futures--but not the future. Finally, there's the issue that there are still many people out there--1 in 4 according to recent polls by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication--that don't think climate change is happening at all. Read the full guest essay.


Sun shines through trees in the spring.  

Get Involved
NEstewnetMobilizing Volunteers to Care for and Study Our Lands and Waters

Ellen Snyder, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, Partnership Coordinator, Stewardship Network: New England

Across New Hampshire and in neighboring States, people of all ages are volunteering for land stewardship and citizen science. The 
Stewardship Network: New England, based at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Cooperative Extension, is making these opportunities more accessible and easier to find.


Funding from the U.S. Forest Service and the National Science Foundation helped start the Network in July 2013. Last spring the Network launched the Web site where organizations and communities post nature-based volunteer projects and training opportunities, and volunteers find events that match their interests.


Active link to Join the Network video.

"We want to make it easier for people to volunteer on behalf of nature and ensure that when they do, the projects are well organized, inspiring, and fun," says Malin Clyde, Program Manager for the Stewardship Network: New England

Read the full Stewardship Network: New England story.  


NHenvirothon2014 New Hampshire Envirothon Training Day at Sanborn Mills Farm


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


Editor's Note: The Envirothon is just one way natural resource professionals can get involved in their community and help teach environmental concepts to the next generation.


Just as spring arrives each year (or is it mud season?), the Envirothon Competition begins anew in our respective Northeastern States. In New Hampshire, the 2014 Envirothon training day was held April 5 at Sanborn Mills Farm in Loudon, NH. Approximately 100 high school students from around New Hampshire attended. The four Envirothon training subject areas were forestry, soils, wildlife, and aquatics as well as a current issue.


Last year's training event was very special because it took place for the first time at Sanborn Mills Farm. This farm is a traditional New Hampshire diversified working farm with agricultural fields, managed forests, a sawmill and grist mill (both water powered), and a blacksmith shop, all dating from the 1830s. The farm offers training classes for traditional crafts and educational programs on sustainability in the context of community. 

Read the full New Hampshire Envirothon article.

Two draft horses pull a log in the snowy woods.
Percheron draft horses pull a log to a landing at Sanborn Mills Farm. (Photo: Roger Monthey)
Competitive Grant Success Story
indiananextgenState and Private Forestry Redesign Grant Helps Propel Indiana Private Lands Foresters into the 21st Century


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


Generic image of an I-pad.

The competitive grant process has enabled States to explore novel methods and opportunities to enhance delivery of the Forest Stewardship Program.  The "Next Generation" grant to Indiana sought to use state-of-the-art technology to increase forester efficiency and effectiveness while meeting the changing needs of the forest landowner. 

Landscape Stewardship
chiefsjointprojectsChiefs' Joint Landscape Restoration Partnership Projects Underway in the Northeastern Area


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


Initiated in 2014, the Chiefs' Joint Landscape Restoration Partnership is a national partnership between the U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and State agencies to improve the health and resiliency of forest ecosystems where public and private lands meet.


In FY2014, the initiative invested $30 million in 13 projects across the country to help mitigate wildfire threats to communities and landowners, protect water quality, and supply and improve wildlife habitat for at-risk species. Included in these investments is a State and Private Forestry contribution of technical assistance for private lands in the selected project locations. In many cases, these projects will build on existing projects with local partnerships already in place.
treesfortribsTrees for Tribs Success in New York State


Beth Roessler, Trees for Tribs Coordinator, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation


Trees for Tribs is a program of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Saratoga Tree Nursery that provides free trees and shrubs for planting next to tributary streams. Program staff members help applicants select plants and design a planting plan, and provide other technical assistance during and after planting events.

Before and after photos of a planting effort along Schoharie Creek in New York State.

Planting efforts in the Schoharie Creek Riparian Buffer Restoration project in 2012 (left) paid off 2 years later with abundant tree and shrub growth in 2014 (right). (Photo: Beth Roessler, New York State DEC)



smithislandForesters Get a Taste of the Bay on
Smith Island


Payton Brown, Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer


People are ferried to Smith Island, Maryland.

Partners of the Chesapeake Bay Program Forestry Workgroup leave Crisfield, MD, for Smith Island. (Photo: Will Parson)


Early on the morning of October 26, 2014, a group of foresters from four of the Bay states--some who had never seen the Bay's open water nor its most charismatic species, the blue crab--began their trek to Smith Island. Here a unique perspective on the Bay was waiting for them.


Some drove more than five hours to the meeting spot in Crisfield, Maryland also known as the "Seafood Capital of the World". From this small city said to be built on oyster shells, the group was ferried the 12 miles across the Tangier Sound to Smith Island.

Read the full Smith Island article here.

yankeewoodlotYankee Woodlot Demonstration Forest Dedicated


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


It's always great to see a new Forest Stewardship Demonstration site come on line to help educate the general public and woodland owners about sound forest stewardship practices. A number of these sites are formally dedicated each year in the Northeast. 


On September 30, 2014, the Yankee Woodlot Demonstration Forest was dedicated at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve in Wells, ME. The dedication included remarks given by Laudholm Trust President Nik Charov; Reserve Director Paul Dest; Stewardship Coordinator Tin Smith; and Education Director Suzanne Kahn. 
A wooden bench inscribed with the words Made with wood from the Yankee Woodlot.
A wooden bench made with wood harvested from the Yankee Woodlot Demonstration Forest offers visitors a rest along the interpretive trail. (Photo: Roger Monthey)
Landowner Spotlight
leestoverLee Stover, Waldo, ME 


Roger Monthey, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry; Andy Shultz, Maine Forest Service; Lee Stover, Woodland Owner


All photos by Roger Monthey


Woodland owner Lee Stover lives in a balsam fir log cabin his father built in 1954 in Waldo, Maine. His strong attachment to the land comes from being a third-generation landowner and from working and improving the land. One of Stover's early memories of the land is as a 9-year-old helping his father peel the balsam fir poles to build the cabin.

Read Lee Stover's story.


A man stands beside a balsam fir cabin in Maine.
Lee Stover stands in front of the balsam fir log cabin his father built in 1954. (Photo: Roger Monthey)


Forest Land Conservation Spotlight
greenhorizonsDelaware Green Horizons Forest Legacy Project 


Michael Valenti, Delaware Forest Service


On October 22, 2014, the State of Delaware (Delaware Forest Service) closed on 372 acres of forest land as part of the long-running Green Horizons Forest Legacy project. This seventh and final project phase marked the culmination of a very successful and significant U.S. Forest Service Forest Legacy Program effort in Delaware. 

Read the full Green Horizons story.


Sunlight filters through pine trees in southern New Jersey.
Sunlight filters through the tall loblolly pines of Redden State Forest. (Photo: John Petersen, Delaware Forest Service)


pilgrimriverA Dream Realized: New Pilgrim River Community Forest


Neal Bungard, U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry


A stream runs through the Pilgrim River Community Forest.

A stream runs through the Pilgrim River Community Forest. (Photo courtesy of Keweenaw Land Trust)


The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program, more commonly referred to as the Community Forest Program (CFP), was authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. The CFP allows local governments, Indian tribes, or qualified nonprofit organizations to acquire private forests to create community forests that provide multiple community benefits and are managed by the community. Up to 50% of the acquisition cost can be funds from Federal sources. 

Since 2012, 14 community forests have been created across the country through the CFP that protect a total of 6,576 acres of forests for community benefits. One of the most recent projects is the 276-acre Pilgrim River Community Forest located in the Keweenaw Peninsula in northern Michigan.

Read the Pilgrim River Community Forest story courtesy of the Keweenaw Land Trust.


falmouthTown of Falmouth and Falmouth Land Trust Protect Community Woods


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


A beaver pond in the Town of Falmouth, ME.

A beaver pond lies in protected forest lands in the Town of Falmouth, Maine. (Photo: Roger Monthey)


For a town to protect 15 percent of the forest land in its community is an amazing feat, especially when it's located in the largest population center in Maine, the Portland Metro area, with its contingent high land costs and relentless development. But the Town of Falmouth, an inner-ring suburb adjacent to Portland, has accomplished just that by collaborating closely with the Falmouth Land Trust.


In its most recent achievement, the Town of Falmouth was awarded $231,800 in FY2014 funding through the U.S. Forest Service Open Space and Community Forest Program. This will protect a total of 96.5 acres that are adjacent to the existing 274-acre North Falmouth Community Forest. The Town and the Falmouth Land Trust have protected about 2,950 acres of the community's 18,607 acres. The Town owns about half of the conserved forest and the Land Trust owns the rest.

Read the entire Town of Falmouth story.


Naturalist's Corner
sweetvioletsThe Sweet Violets of Spring


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


Common blue violet (Viola sororia). (Photo: Roger Monthey)

As we emerge from winter's icy grip, let's look forward to the rebirth of spring. Violets are such a delight, are surprisingly diverse, and come with a variety of colors such as white, yellow, and lavender. Violets arise in spring as fresh, colorful, and dainty flowers that signal the end of a long winter season.


Violets are also edible--they are high in Vitamin A and C, and are cooked as greens or used to make tea or salads. The flowers can be candied, used in salads, or made into jellies. The ingredients for making 20 candied violets include 1 egg white, beaten until frothy, and 2 tablespoons powdered or confectioner's sugar. Preparation time is 10 minutes; it takes about 48 hours for the crystallized flowers to dry. They are used as a garnish on desserts such as ice cream, cakes, and custard.

Read the full sweet violets of spring article.