Assessing the economic potential of a managed forest
Woodlots are a common feature of most farms in the eastern US, and are often overlooked for the value they might bring to the landowner and to farm enterprises. Farmers and woodland owners need to recognize the potential values of their woodland resource, be familiar with common ways a woodland can add value, and identify how the woodland will support the interests of the owner.
During this course, we will examine the methods to assess forest resources and discuss common woodland activities such as cutting firewood, harvesting logs for mushroom cultivation, and support for wildlife and long-term forest health.
As a result of this course you will be able to:
- Make informed decisions, knowing what actions you can pursue and what activities you should contract through a forester
- Describe the type, quality and potential of woodlands on a property
- Connect attributes of the land to your interests and needs for common woodland products of value
- Be able to select trees that can be grown for a future crop and remove trees useful for firewood
The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in Teachable, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course for 6 weeks each Fall to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from presenters and ask questions in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.
Peter Smallidge is the NYS Extension Forester and the Director of the Cornell University Arnot Teaching and Research Forest. He coordinates ForestConnect, Cornell’s Forest Resources Extension Program, by providing leadership for education to enhance the sustainability and stewardship of private forest lands in New York. His applied research addresses sugarbush management, forest production, and vegetation management of native and invasive plant species. Peter has a B.S. in Forestry from Purdue University (1986) and a M.S. (1989) and Ph.D. (1993) in forest ecology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse.
- All levels, specific geographic region: Farmers and landowners who manage (or seek to manage) woodlands.
- Participants should have an interest in working the woods to improve their financial outcome and to ensure healthy trees with long-term productivity. No prior forestry knowledge required.
- This course contains some information specific to the Northeastern US, though it contains content broad enough to be relevant to anyone living in a humid temperate climate.