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MSU to Host Sustainable Forest Harvesting Virtual Field Day
Michigan Ag Connection - 09/29/2020

Michigan State University Extension and MSU AgBioResearch will host a Sustainable Forest Harvesting Virtual Field Day on Oct. 14 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

The virtual event, relayed via Zoom, will feature a walkthrough of a managed 40-acre forest in Emmet County. MSU Extension Specialist Georgia Peterson will host the event featuring talks on various topics, including:

- Dean Reid, a consulting forester with D&S Forestry Service Company, will discuss harvesting methods in pine plantations and northern hardwood forests.

- Nia Becker, a Forestry Assistance Program forester with the Clare County Conservation District, will discuss harvesting aspen forests.

- Bill Botti, retired Michigan Forest Association Executive Director, will explain the goals of the 40-acre property featured in the walkthrough.

- Katie Grzesiak, the Invasive Species Network Coordinator for Grand Traverse Conservation District, and Vicki Sawicki, the Program Coordinator at North Country Invasive Species Management Area, will discuss how to prevent and control woody invasive species during and after forest harvests.

"Forest owners will learn about the value of having a management plan and professional assistance when considering a forest harvest. They will also have a chance to see what a forest looks like directly after a harvest -- when it's conducted properly," Peterson said.

The event will be beneficial to farmers with a "back 40" woodlot, and other family forest owners, Peterson said.

"Many family forest owners are reluctant to harvest timber because they're afraid it will cause permanent damage to their woods," she said. "Forest owners are often not aware that a harvest, conducted responsibly with a professional forester, can actually enhance the overall condition and health of their woods over the long-term."

Forest owners can expect to gain knowledge about the importance of clarifying their own goals for their forest; understanding the important role professional foresters play in forest management; discovering what a forest can look like after a harvest is conducted responsibly; and gaining viable tips on how to encourage desired forest regeneration.

A link for the virtual event will be sent to participants after registering online at

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