WSU Extension offers classes

Washington State University Extension is offering classes on forest management.

Upcoming Washington State University Extension workshops will focus on forest health and wildlife.

"We give all the time needed for both of those topics," said Andy Perleberg, WSU Extension forester in Wenatchee. "Everything is so involved, you can't talk about silviculture without talking about insects and disease, and we don't talk about wildlife without talking about wildfire."

The Forest Owners Winter School is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 9 at Spokane Community College.

Cost is $30 per person and $40 per family in advance and $40 per person and $50 per family on the day of the school. 

The school is also designed for people who work with forest owners, Perleberg said. The school helps landowners connect with people, products and services to help them reach their management goals.

"They can talk to foresters or wildlife biologists and get signed up for some one-on-one assistance," he said.

The weekly "Coached Planning Short Course" is 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday evenings, Feb. 20 through April 17 in Valleyford, Wash. The course fee is $100 per family.

The course has not been held in Spokane County for five years.

Perleberg plans on 200 families at the winter school. The short course caps at 20 families.

Both programs are aimed at owners of forests ranging in size from 5 to 500 acres, Perleberg said.

Forest health and wildfire jeopardy are two of the most important topics in the state, Perleberg said. The classes help landowners improve their forests to be vigorous.

"The forest itself can be resilient to ... a fire, because fire is part of the way forests out here develop," Perleberg said. "We have to manage the fuels to reduce that hazard."

Thinning also helps improve the health of individual trees so they're not competing for light, water and nutrients.

The courses are designed for both new and long-time forest owners, Perleberg said.

"They can be successful forest stewards of the land and active management can help them accomplish their ownership needs," Perleberg said. "There's a lot of things they can do themselves, that don't involve outside contractors or buying a bunch of equipment. It just has to do with thinking things through and just taking it off in logical, bite-sized pieces."

Contact Perleberg at 509-667-6540 or andyp@wsu.edu.

Field Reporter, Spokane

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