Learn to manage your forestland

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2001

Forest landowners and others interested in managing our southern forests are invited to participate in a satellite-broadcast short course, "Master Tree Farmer 2001."

The program (MTF2001) will be broadcast live from Clemson University each Tuesday evening from 6-9 p.m. (CST) beginning February 6 and ending March 20,2001 at locations throughout the South. There are 15 such locations in Alabama, including the one in Butler County at the Extension System Office. Attendees present at six of the seven presentations will receive a Master Tree Farmer certificate, hat, decal and shoulder patch. Participants can also receive credit in the Forest Masters program. (Brochures will be available on site.)

The MTF2001 broadcasts will introduce landowners to stewardship considerations, best management practices for protecting the environment and planning for objectives. Topics will be taught by state, regional and national experts on a variety of topics. Two and a half to three hour sessions will cover the following topics: introduction to forest management and forestry concepts, pine and hardwood management, wildlife management, selling and harvesting timber, forestry finance, taxation, estate planning and forestry services available for the landowner.

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Education Committee of the Alabama Forestry Association and the Private Forest Management Team at Auburn University and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System are leading the effort in Alabama, along with county cooperators. The regional effort is supported by several natural resource affiliations including Clemson University, the Southern Regional Extension Forester, the USDA Forest Service-Southern Region, USDA-CSREES, the Southern Group of State Foresters, The American Tree Farm System, American Forest & Paper Association, state forestry associations and others at the local and state level.

In Alabama a professional consulting forester will be present at each session to answer questions and help explain concepts. The Association of Consulting Foresters is providing assistance at most sites.

In Butler County, The Forestry Planning Committee and the Butler County Extension System are sponsoring the series. For more information about the Master Tree Farmer 2001 broadcasts, contact Russty Parrish, at (334) 382-5111, or visit the website at www.pfmt.org/mtf2001. The cost is $50 per person or $70 per couple if paid by January 20; Included is a 1,000-page notebook covering the topics presented during the broadcasts. Registration after January 20 is $70 per person and $90 per couple. Early registration is encouraged to assist planning and to insure availability of a notebook.

Persons interested in signing up for the MTF2001 course that will be broadcast from the satellite site at the Butler County Extension Office may send or bring a check by the office. Checks should be made out to the above (Butler County Extension Office). The address is Butler Co. Ext. System, P.O. Box 338, Greenville, Ala. 36037, c/o Russty Parrish. Include name, address and phone number. A letter will be sent out to those who sign up a week prior to the first class.