Landowners to gather in Pa. for forestry conference

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ALTOONA, Pa. — Hundreds of landowners, natural resource professionals and conservationists interested in forests will gather at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona March 24-25 to learn how to better care for their woodlands.

The attraction will be the third biennial Forest Landowners Conference, sponsored by Penn State’s Center for Private Forests.

“Enriching Woodland Values” will be the theme for this year’s conference, which will feature professional presentations, informative and inspirational keynote talks, field tours, and workshops on a variety of wildlife and woodland-related topics intended to equip landowners with information and resources to effectively steward their woods.

Topics covered

During the nearly 100 presentations, conference attendees will learn about improving wildlife habitat, getting invasive plants under control, ideas to generate supplemental income, tools and technology for the woods, restoring degraded woodlands, conservation strategies for the legacy of their woodland, tax tips and financial insights, and more.

In addition, the exhibit hall will showcase dozens of forest-related tools and services from vendors and service providers. Attendees can arrive early on Friday morning to attend one of the optional pre-conference field tours or in-depth workshops.

A keynote talk by Jeff Larkin, professor of wildlife ecology and conservation at Indiana University, of Pennsylvania, will kick off the conference. An expert in forestry, wildlife ecology and conservation implementation, Larkin has worked closely with the Natural Resources Conservation Service to deliver conservation programs to benefit forests, forest birds, and forest owners, and also serves as the Forest Birds Habitat Coordinator for the American Bird Conservancy.

Keynote speakers

Susan Morse, founder of Keeping Track, will offer the Friday night banquet keynote address, based on her years of tracking and photographing wildlife. Bern Sweeney, director, president and senior research scientist at the Stroud Water Research Center, will close out the conference with a presentation based on his years of applied research experience, explaining stream function, ecology and protection.

Registration and conference details are available online at ecosystems.psu.edu/forest-conference. Online registration closes March 17; participants may still register through March 20 by calling 877-778-2937; walk-in registrations will also be welcomed.

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