OUS to host free habitat workshop

Published 11:44 am Monday, April 17, 2017

Landowners can learn how to improve lands for wildlife, birds

The Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture will hold a free woodland landowners workshop from 6:30-9 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, from at the Collins Center, Lecture A, on the Ohio University Southern Campus in Ironton.

The workshop will cover management practices that can improve woodland habitats for turkey, grouse, forest birds, and other wildlife.

Todd Fearer, the coordinator for the Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture, said their group’s focus is to help with conservation for all types of creatures from the birds and the bees to deer.

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“A lot of forest birds, like warblers or a lot of the small birds you don’t necessarily see in the spring because they stay up in the canopy, are declining” Fearer said. “They aren’t endangered, but we are trying to stave things off before we even get close to that.”

He said a lot of the reason these birds are on the decline is because of poor forest quality.

“There is a perception by many that if the forest is there, that is all they need. That is not necessarily the case,” Fearer said. “You wouldn’t go in and just buy any house to live in. There are certain things you are looking for that make it appealing to you. Well, it’s the same for these forest birds. There are certain aspects of that forest habitat they are looking for and we can create that through good forest management.”

And there is a lot of interest in pollinators like butterflies and bees, since they help plants flourish.

“We’ll be touching on things that are important for them, too,” Fearer said.

He said a better forest habitat is good for game species like turkey, grouse and deer.

“So for anyone who hunts and has private land, this workshop will tell them how to do work on their property to provide better habitat for these game species and give them more opportunities to hunt them,” Fearer said.

The workshop will address how specific forest management practices can benefit wildlife, and includes discussions of landowner assistance and easement programs available to assist woodland landowners with implementing this type of management.

The workshop will also be in Athens from 6:30-9 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources District 4 office at 360 E. State St.

For more information or to register online, visit https://ironton_woodland_workshop.eventbrite.com, or contact Fearer at tfearer@abcbirds.org or 540-231-9519.

These workshops are a precursor to a longer workshop that will be in Athens on Saturday, June 24.

“In the morning, will be more in-depth discussions and presentations,” Fearer said. “And in the afternoon, we have field visits. There is a private landowner, she has done a lot of work on her property and we are going to visit those sites. And there are some sites in the Wayne National Forest around Athens we are also going to visit.”

This event is being held in partnership with the Wayne National Forest, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Divisions of Wildlife and Forestry, Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative, Ohio State University, National Wild Turkey Federation, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

For more on Wayne National Forest, visit website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/wayne. Follow the Wayne National Forest on Twitter: @waynenationalfs and also on Facebook.