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Forest Education And Conservation Workshop Coming To Greenville

RALEIGH, NC (MARCH 16, 2010) – In keeping with the tradition started several years ago with the first Forestry Summit established by the North Carolina Division of Forest Resources and numerous partners, the Forest Education and Conservation Foundation is sponsoring four regional workshops for forest landowners this year, including Greenville NC.

The workshops will provide practical information about conservation easement opportunities for private forest landowners. Mark Megalos with Extension Forestry at North Carolina State University will moderate the sessions.

April 13, 2010
Dennis Wicker Center, Sanford, NC
1801 Nash Street, Sanford, NC 27330-6412
(919) 776-0345

April 15, 2010
City Hotel & Bistro, Greenville, NC
203 Greenville Blvd SW, Greenville, NC 27834
(252) 355-8300

May 11, 2010
Statesville Civic Center, Statesville, NC
300 South Center Street, Statesville, NC 28677
(704) 878-3493

May 12, 2010
Crowne Plaza, Asheville, NC
One Resort Drive, Asheville, NC 28806
(828) 254-3211

The workshops start at 9am and conclude by 3pm. Registration fees are $15 per person or $25 for a family. The cost for participants seeking Continuing Forestry Education Units (CFE) credits is $40. The workshop has been approved for 3.5 contacts of CFE Category 1 credits. Registration fees cover refreshments, lunch and handouts.

Landowners and others can register for the seminar by clicking HERE or contacting Kelley McCarter at N.C. State University at 919-515-9563.

Sponsors of these workshops are: Conservation Trust for North Carolina, Forest Education and Conservation Foundation, NC Agriculture Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, NC DENR - Office of Conservation & Community Affairs, NC DENR - Division of Forest Resources, NC Division of the Society of American Foresters, NC Farm Bureau Federation, N.C. Forestry Association, NC Cooperative Extension Service, NC Tree Farm Program, ATFS, NC Association of Consulting Foresters, NC Woodlands, Southern Appalachian Multiple-Use Council, and the Triangle Land Conservancy.

Background Information
The Forest Education and Conservation Foundation is a non-profit organization affiliated with the North Carolina Forestry Association (NCFA). The original idea for the upcoming workshops came from a discussion that took place during the NCFA’s Forest Management Committee on what more could be done in forest landowner education.

While many ideas were discussed, the working forest easement became a leading topic, especially with committee member Larry Tombaugh, Dean Emeritus of North Carolina State University.

“There are plenty of options out there for landowners when it comes to conservation easements,” stated Tombaugh, who is also a member of a local land trust, “But how many options are out there for the landowner who wants to continue to actively manage his timber? We know they are out there, but do landowners? We truly need to raise the profile of these working forest easements among North Carolina landowners.”

Tombaugh’s curiosity led the NCFA’s Forest Management Committee to pursue a grant through the North Carolina’s Agriculture Development and Farmland Preservations Trust Fund to research and develop a set of tools that landowners could employ to pursue working forest conservation easements.

The grant request was made through the FECF, which is a non-profit foundation established by the NCFA several years ago to address education and conservation initiatives. The FECF also can serve as a holding and administrative entity of conservation easements, if needed.

The grant of $228,000.00 was awarded in 2009 with a completion date of June of 2010, detailing three main objectives for the project.
• A polished, readable illustrated reference manual for working forest protection written expressly for private landowners.
• A DVD on forestry and land conservation programs and options.
• 3 regional “forestry summits” dealing with voluntary working forest protection options and programs.

To direct this endeavor, the FECF enlisted the services of Steve Henson with the Southern Appalachian Multiple-Use Council (Council). Henson, a forester and executive director of the Council, has been a fixture in the forestry community in North Carolina for decades.

Henson’s first move was to assemble an advisory committee to represent a broad spectrum of interests such as state and federal agencies; local, state and national land trusts; consulting foresters, Tree Farmers and other forest landowners.

“We wanted to bring all perspectives to the table,” stated Henson. “We have such a diverse group of people in North Carolina who are passionate about forests and their countless benefits. We knew for this program to be successful, we needed everyone to be on board.”


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