TRAVERSE CITY — Chances are if you are a landowner in Northern Michigan, you have a woodlot to manage.
The Leelanau Conservation District recently hired Kama Ross to work as the Forestry Assistance Program forester to encourage and enable landowners in Leelanau, Benzie and Grand Traverse counties to more actively manage their woodlands. Under an agreement with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development awards grants to conservation districts across the state to provide education and one-on-one technical assistance to private land owners and to communities regarding local forest health issues. The purpose of the Forestry Assistance Program is to help Michigan citizens better understand, plan, manage, protect and utilize their forest resources.
FAP foresters offer in-office and on-site assistance to all county landowners at no charge. That assistance can include the identification of forest diseases and insects and their control options, advice on the selection and planting of trees and shrubs for reforestation, windbreaks, wildlife habitat enhancement, and recommendations for improving woodlots for timber production, wildlife habitat or recreation. The district foresters can also provide you with information on state and federal forestry cost-share and tax incentive programs. District foresters offer referrals to qualified forestry consultants, industry foresters and other natural resource professionals to help landowners.
A survey conducted by Michigan State University of non-industrial private forest landowners concluded that only 20 percent of the 11 million-acre resource is actively managed. The Forestry Assistance Program will work with local conservation districts to increase the number of landowners and acres that are managed under a sustainable forest management plan.
A Timber and Taxes workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 28, from 6:30 to 9:00 at the Grand Traverse Conservation District at 1450 Cass Road in Traverse City. This workshop will cover a range of topics from programs that provide substantial tax benefits to landowners practicing wise forest management to services that your local forester can provide you. Cost is $15 a person if paid by Jan. 24 or $20 a person at the door.
To learn more about the Forestry Assistance Program in the Traverse City area or to register for this workshop, contact Kama Ross at the Leelanau Conservation District at (231) 256-9783 ext. 15 or email at email@example.com.