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SWCD Forestry Field Day Is April 21 in LaGrange

Published: Friday, April 13, 2018

The LaGrange County Soil and Water Conservation District, LaGrange County Extension and USDA-NRCS are working together to present a Forestry Field Day on April 21. The host for this year's event is John Knepper, a district associate supervisor, who lives and owns farm property west of LaGrange. John has a nice hardwood lot of around 23 acres in extent that was logged in November 2017.

The theme for this year's field day will address how a responsibly harvested forest should look "after the fact." With the removal of many large trees from the heart of a woodlot, the area may look to the untrained eye like a disaster area. However, tree harvesting can be done well or poorly, and how a harvest is carried out, and how the landowner manages forest land after a harvest, can greatly influence how well and how quickly the woods recovers from this process.

Forestry professionals on hand to help interpret John's woods will include Tom Crowe from Crowe Forest Management; Amanda Smith, IDNR district forester; Lenny Farlee, Purdue University Extension forester; and Eric Greider, Quality Hardwoods Inc. They will all explain the harvest process, what was done well, what improvements could be made, and how Mr. Knepper can manage his forest for rapid recovery. Landowners considering logging operations of their own in the near future are invited to this event.

This year's Forestry Field Day will be held on April 21 beginning at 9 a.m. Participants will meet at the neighboring farm of the Andrew Burkholder family at 1685 W. 050 N. LaGrange. After a brief introduction, the group will take a wagon ride back to the woodlot. The group will spend an hour or two in the woods, fielding questions regarding tree harvest, forest management, log quality and market values. Participants should be aware that walking conditions in a recently harvested forest can be challenging. Everyone is welcome, but participation in the event is "at your own risk."

After the forest tour, the group will adjourn back to the Burkholder farm, where organizers will recap the field day and enjoy lunch together, compliments of the LaGrange County SWCD.

To RSVP, call the LaGrange County Soil and Water Conservation District office at 260/463-3471, ext. 3.

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