Forester teaches tree owners management

Chris Schnepf, University of Idaho Extension area educator in forestry, will offer a course in forest management starting in November.

A six-week course from the University of Idaho is aimed at helping people who are new to managing forests.

The course will be held on one Thursday and five Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The dates are Nov. 7, 12 and 19 and Dec. 3, 10 and 17 at the University of Idaho Extension Office in Kootenai County, at 1808 N. Third St. in Coeur d’Alene.

The course is open to new forest owners or those who have owned forest land for a long time but not done very much with it, said Chris Schnepf, University of Idaho Extension forestry educator.

“Some life event happens, either major insect disease issues or high prices or often people retire and decide they want to do something that improves their forest,” he said.

The course used to come with a 4-inch binder with many UI publications. Participants will now receive a 2-inch binder with a thumb drive loaded with even more publications, Schnepf said. The $38 fee covers the cost of the drive.

Schnepf expects 25 to 30 people. Class size is limited. Recent sessions of the course have filled, he said.

Master forest stewards have also considered offering the course over three days in the future, Schnepf said.

More than 1,000 people participated in forest stewardship programs last year in Idaho, Schnepf said.

Forestry is in a different context compared to farmers, where families make decisions each day.

“Some people may only do a timber harvest once in their lives, and try to keep up with insects and diseases here and there,” he said. “Typically with forest lands, people don’t depend on it for their sole source of income. It’s usually part of a larger mix of things.”

Idaho offers significantly reduced property tax rates on forest land if it is actively managed for wood products. Many counties require an active management plan to receive the reduction.

“That’s a pretty powerful incentive,” Schnepf said.

Pre-register for the course by Nov. 1. The contact number is 208-446-1680.

The course will also be offered in Sandpoint on Wednesday mornings next June and July.

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