University of Idaho Extension offers a one-day program to help owners of small rural acreages manage their land.
“Ten Acres and a Dream” will be March 16 in Sandpoint and March 17 in Hayden.
Topics to be covered include: living on the land — a great American tradition; homesteading infrastructure; growing fruits, vegetables and other crops on small acreages; working with county government; raising large and small livestock and managing pastures on small acreages and Idaho panhandle forestry fundamentals. Three UI master volunteers will share their Idaho rural living experiences.
The new program was the idea of the Master Forest Stewards, according to UI Extension.
The stewards were interacting with many landowners new to a rural setting, said Chris Schnepf, extension educator for forestry with UI Extension in Coeur d’Alene.
“Even simple things like, ‘How do you make contact with your neighbors?’” he said. “Sometimes you live in a rural area and someone pulls up in a pickup, some landowners are a little suspicious ... or when you get out of the car and there’s nobody there, kind of shout something out. Basically the idea is making your presence known, not just surprising somebody in their backyard. People move out to rural settings for a variety of reasons. One of them often is privacy.”
Program enrollment is limited to 75 participants per session. Pre-registration is encouraged, no later than March 9. A $15 registration fee includes resource materials and refreshments.
“My gut instinct is we’re probably going to go to max capacity and end up repeating it down the road in different locations,” Schnepf said.
Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai and Benewah counties collectively have more than 1.5 million acres of private lands, 47.5 percent of all lands in those counties, according to UI Extension.
Schnepf said the program will emphasize how to do right by the land, managing weeds and creeks, and addressing a wide variety of different visions for landowners.
“Giving them a little bit of traction for making those things a reality,” he said.
For registration questions on the Sandpoint session, contact the University of Idaho Extension office in Bonner County at (208) 263-8511. For registration questions on the Hayden session, contact the University of Idaho Extension in Kootenai County at (208) 446-1680. Registration forms can also be downloaded at www.uidaho.edu/extension/forestry/calendar
The program is co-sponsored by UI Extension and the Idaho Department of Lands.