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Woodland workshop draws bead on emerald ash borer

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Written Monday, September 20, 2004  

The emerald ash borer is wiping out ash trees in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Ontario. Find out whether yours are next -- and what can be done to help them -- at the Tri-State Woodland and Wildlife Workshop on Saturday, Nov. 6, 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Bryan Middle School in northwest Ohio.

Featuring more than a dozen sessions on forest health, wildlife management and related topics -- including "Emerald Ash Borer: Is it Time to Kiss Your Ash Good-bye?" -- the program offers Midwestern landowners a variety of up-to-date, practical information.

Registration, which includes lunch, is $15 per person by Oct. 29 and $20 after that date. Preregistration is required. Call (614) 688-3421 or go to http://woodlandstewards.osu.edu .

Sponsoring the program are Ohio State University Extension; Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service; Michigan State University Extension; the Maumee, Potawatomi, Wood-Land-Lakes and Sauk Trails resource conservation and development councils; the Natural Resources Conservation Service; and the Williams County (Ohio) Soil and Water Conservation District.

"An advantage of the workshop is that landowners can hear a little about a whole lot and thereby decide what they want to learn more about," said William Hoover, a Purdue forestry professor who, besides being a speaker, is helping plan the program. "It helps them to use their land to maximize its benefit to their family and to their community."

"The Tri-State meeting started two years ago in Coldwater, Mich., and will continue to rotate around the three states," said Kathy Smith, a forestry associate with OSU Extension and also a program planner. "While the first meeting was more of a field day, this one has been turned into a workshop that offers a variety of speakers on a wide range of topics, many of which were suggested by the participants in the Michigan field day."

Among those topics: the emerald ash borer (EAB), an accidentally introduced Asian insect that has killed more than 6 million ash trees in greater Detroit, the epicenter of the infestation. Smaller, isolated outbreaks -- caused by infested nursery stock and firewood -- are in central and northwestern Ohio, northeastern Indiana and several other places. State and federal agencies are working aggressively to eradicate the pest, in part by cutting down ash trees in and around hot spots.

Speaking on EAB and the efforts to combat it will be Deb McCullough, a forest entomologist with MSU Extension.

"What we know up to this point in time about EAB and how the states are dealing with it will be the key elements of the talk for most folks, since how each state approaches EAB will directly impact the options a landowner has in dealing with infested trees," Smith said.

A workshop schedule, which offers both indoor and outdoor sessions, includes:

* 9:15-10 a.m., general session -- "Overview of Forest Health: What's Bugging My Trees?" McCullough.

* 10:15-11 a.m., concurrent sessions -- "Managing Woodlands for Wildlife: Principles and Practices," Stan Gehrt, state wildlife specialist, OSU Extension; "Marketing Timber: Getting the Mo$t From Your Woodlot," Dean Solomon, natural-resources agent, MSU Extension; "The Secrets of Tree ID" (inside); and "Practical Woodland Management" (outside).

* 11:15 a.m. to noon, concurrent sessions -- "Managing a Fee-access Enterprise For Your Property," Brian MacGowan, wildlife specialist, Purdue Extension; "Timber Taxes," Hoover; "Hunting Wild Mushrooms," Janet Sweigart, Ohio Tree Farmer; and "The Secrets to Tree ID" (outside).

* 1:15-2 p.m., concurrent sessions -- "Seeing the Forest Beyond the Trees: Finding and Identifying Woodland Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians," Amanda Beheler, Purdue; "Your Woodland: Where Did it Come From and How Does it Work?" George Parker, Purdue; "Emerald Ash Borer: Is it Time to Kiss Your Ash Good-bye?" McCullough; "Landowner Mapping Technologies Explored," Nathan Watermeier, OSU Extension; and "Practical Woodland Management" (outside).

* 2:15 to 3 p.m., concurrent sessions -- "Managing Woodlands for Wildlife: Principles and Practices," Gehrt; "How to Establish a Successful Hardwood Plantation," Jack Seifert, forester, Purdue Extension; "Marketing Timber: Getting the Mo$t From Your Woodlot," Solomon; and "Intro to GPS" (outside), Watermeier.

* 3:15-4 p.m. -- Questions and feedback.

Available at the workshop will be the Woodland Management Resource Book ($10), a special packet of information compiled from the participating states; and the Woodland Management Resource CD ($5), which has all of the Resource Book information and more.

Bryan Middle School is at 1301 Center St. in Bryan, Ohio. Bryan is in Williams County in the northwest corner of Ohio at U.S. 127 and State Route 2, two miles north of U.S. 6 and close to both Michigan and Indiana.

The tri-state approach "serves our clients more efficiently," Hoover explained. "We're literally trying to do more with less. No state can afford to have specialists in all the fields of expertise, so we share across state lines."

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