Michael Blazier, Coolman, Denise | 7/29/2005 2:32:45 AM
SHREVEPORT – Forest landowners and professionals will get a better understanding of managing their forests to increase productivity and sustainability during the first Western Gulf Silvicultural Technology Exchange slated for Sept. 1 here.
The conference, hosted by the LSU AgCenter, Louisiana Tech University School of Forestry and Texas A&M University Cooperative Extension Service, will be held at the Louisiana Tech University Technology Transfer Center at 8028 ShrevePark Drive in Shreveport.
Activities begin at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 1 with a presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Michael Blazier, a researcher at the LSU AgCenter’s Hill Farm Research Station in Homer. Blazier will speak about "Early Rotation Management Schemes."
"This is important because the trees we plant today will come to maturity at a time when there will be an extra 4 billion to 6 billion people on the earth," Blazier explained. "The planting decisions we make today will determine forest resource availability for that generation. We want to be sure forest managers are basing their planting strategies on the best available information."
Other morning sessions include presentations on pine planting decisions and hardwood regeneration decisions.
Following lunch, sessions and activities will center around such topics as small acreage management options, landowner outreach, expanding business to meet change and Web-based databases to aid in management decision-making.
According to organizers, the goals of the conference are to increase awareness of state-of-the-art, research-based forest management practices that enhance environmental sustainability and economic viability of forest management systems in the Western Gulf Coast Region and to train professional foresters to implement and apply these practices.
Professional foresters working in the Western Gulf Coast Region of Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas are encouraged to attend, as are forest landowners with an intermediate understanding of silviculture – otherwise known as "the care and cultivation of forest trees or forestry."
Blazier said conference organizers hope it will grow to be an annual event.
"We’re planning to move it (the conference) around to the four different states of the Western Gulf Coast region," Blazier said. "There’s a need for this type of conference in the Western Gulf region. By improving the silvicultural knowledge of forestry consultants, we can improve the productivity and health of the vast nonindustrial forest land base of our region."
Members of the Society of American Foresters and the Association for Consulting Foresters will get five hours of continuing education credit for attending this conference. Continuing education credits for International Society of Aboriculture members and for pesticide license holders also may be available.
Each session of the conference will incorporate a hands-on discussion and/or project to facilitate participation, learning and knowledge retention, according to the organizers.
The registration fee of $120 for the conference includes a conference book, refreshments, lunch and additional instructional materials.
To register online, go to www.peopleware.net/1542a. Interested participants, who are asked to register at least four days prior to the event, also can register by phone by calling (903) 834-6191.
More details can be found by visiting http://extensionforestry.tamu.edu/.