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Forest Landowners Conference slated for State College on March 24-25

By Alexandra McLaughlin

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Hundreds of landowners, natural resources and forestry professionals, and conservationists interested in forests will gather at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College March 24-25 to learn how to better care for their woodlands.

The attraction will be the fifth biennial Forest Landowners Conference, hosted by Penn State’s James C. Finley Center for Private Forests, Penn State Extension and partners. This educational and networking opportunity brings together people who want to know more about forests.

“Whether you own forested land, hope to one day, or serve as a woodland advocate, join others who share your interests and get the knowledge and tools you need to care well for your woods and elevate your stewardship,” said Allyson Brownlee Muth, director of the Finley Center for Private Forests and assistant research professor of private forests management in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

During the nearly 100 presentations scheduled Friday and Saturday, attendees can choose from a broad range of topics aimed at growing knowledge, building skills and increasing the enjoyment of their woods. Presenters will discuss healthy forests, managing wildlife, tending trees, legacy planning, pollinators, nuisance plants and pests, mushrooms, and other issues important to landowners.

Muth pointed out that these presentations — plus engaging tours and workshops, speakers, and exhibits — offer valuable educational programming and opportunities for networking and support.

An opening session with Jennie Stephens, executive director of the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation, will kick off the conference on Friday.

Scott Weidensaul, an ornithologist and author, will offer the Friday night banquet keynote address. Weidensaul has written more than 30 books, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist “Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere With Migratory Birds.”

Akiva Silver, owner and operator of Twisted Tree Farm, will close out the conference with a presentation. His nursery specializes in organic and low maintenance fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, and useful perennials.

Registration and conference details are available online at the conference website.

The vision of the James C. Finley Center for Private Forests at Penn State is a world where stewardship practices sustain healthy and resilient private forests that contribute to the social, ecological and economic well-being of society. The Finley Center focuses on applied research, education and outreach to students, forest landowners, the forest-products industry, loggers, conservation districts, agencies, land trusts, nongovernmental organizations and the public.

Penn State Extension is a modern educational organization dedicated to delivering science-based information to people, businesses and communities.

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