Past forestry workshop photos by David Levin and Kate Wilcox.

MMRG and Branch Hill Farm/the Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust (BHF/CSFCT) are teaming up to offer two free outdoor forestry workshops. The first, ‘Attributes of a Northern Hardwood Forest on an Enriched Soil,’ from 9 am to 12 pm on Saturday, October 7, will be led by forester Dan Stepanauskas; the second, ‘Restoration of a Forest,’  taught by forester Charlie Moreno, has been re-scheduled for 10 am to 12 pm on Saturday, November 4.

Daniel Stepanauskas has been a consulting forester in New Hampshire for well over thirty years.  He works on the sustainable management of private and municipal forest lands, using light-touch management techniques and imitating nature’s design to achieve the desired results. In his Hardwood Ecology workshop, Stepanauskas will take participants through hardwood forests owned by Branch Hill Farm in Wakefield and point out the wide array of bird and wildlife habitats in a mature hardwood stand and show how soils determine forest composition. He’ll discuss how to decide which sites to manage and what to preserve by using your mind’s eye to watch a forest grow. Implicit in that process is our understanding of the ability of different tree species to tolerate a changing climate. Dan also plans to talk about soil chemistry and nutrients, fungus, and carbon sequestration, but nevertheless promises unlimited time for questions and discussion.

With over thirty years as consulting forester under his belt, Charlie Moreno has managed over 30,000 acres of forests for private landowners, conservation organizations, and communities in southern New Hampshire and Maine, including the forests of Branch Hill Farm and the BHF Jones Brook East forest site of this workshop. The Jones Brook forest was severely ‘high–graded’ before BHF purchased it, meaning that nearly all the high value trees had been removed, a common problem in NH. Charlie will show how various forestry practices implemented over the last nine years have begun to improve the forest’s health and its value for timber. He’ll also discuss the economics of doing nothing versus active restoration practices and talk about how to deal with the problem of beech taking over after high-grading. The workshop will entail less than a mile of walking with several stops for discussion, and is appropriate for woodlot owners, forestry students and professionals, and anyone interested in the health of our forests.

Both workshops are free and open to the public but pre-registration is required. For more information and to pre-register, please call MMRG’s Education Coordinator Kari Lygren at (603) 978-7125 or email info@mmrg.info.

Branch Hill Farm/the Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust works to protect open space and working forests and to educate the public about sound forestry, conservation and agricultural practices; see www.branchillfarm.org.