If you're like most woodland owners, you only have so much time to spend in your forest. Job, family, and other considerations must come first. This is not the case, however, with foresters, loggers, fuelwood cutters, and others who make their living in the woods. When it comes to managing their forests, most woodland owners are part time amateurs dealing in a world of full time professionals, and at some point in time they're likely to need some help.
There are several agencies and associations in Connecticut that offer help to woodland owners. Some provide information, some offer professional assistance, some even offer financial assistance. There are so many potential sources of help, in fact, that it's easy to confuse one with the other. Yet learning where these sources are and what each one can do for you is probaby the single most important step a woodland owner can take.
What follows are descriptions of a number of public and private sources of information and assistance for forest owners. Contact your local Cooperative Extension office or Connecticut Division of Forestry Service Forester for more details.
The University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System (CES) is an educational agency which is part of UConn's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. It is the link between University researchers and the people who stand to benefit from their work. The Extension System has an office in every county (addresses and phone numbers are at the bottom of this page) where professional educators are available to answer questions and provide information on a wide variety of topics. The Connecticut Forest Stewardship Program Forester (see also FSA) is housed in the Haddam office, and an Urban and Community Forestry Educator is housed in the West Hartford Office.
The Extension System also offers periodic workshops, field days and short courses, and produces a variety of educational publications. To obtain a list of publications available from the Cooperative Extension System, write to the Communications Resource Store, Unit 4035, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-4035, call at (860) 486-3336, or visit our publications page.
Connecticut Environmental Conditions On-line (CT ECO) provides a variety of tools for sharing and viewing natural resource and environmental information such as water resources, soils, open space and aerial imagery.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Division of Forestry has Service Foresters who can spend a limited amount of time on-the-ground with a landowner providing forestry advice and assistance. There is no fee. A visit from your Service Forester is a wise first step in any forest stewardship program. They can provide you with:
- A basic Forest Cover Map, delineating the different plant communities on your forest;
- A set of Stewardship Options: possible activities you could undertake that would help you reach your forest stewardship goals;
- Some Recommended Action Steps: concrete "where to go from here" information should you choose to follow up on any or all of the stewardship options.
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Division of Wildlife can provide advice and information on all aspects of wildlife biology and management, including habitat management, nuisance animals and damage, injured and orphaned wildlife, and hunting related questions. The Division has a series of fact sheets on the biology and management of different wildlife species and on habitat improvement practices which are available on request.
The Department of Entomology at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven conducts research on arthropod pests of food crops, ornamental and fruit trees, shrubs, turf, forests, and pests of public health importance. Inspections are conducted on nursery plants and honey bees. Department staff also diagnose insect problems for the general public, growers, pest control operators, municipalities, and health officials. Scientists in the Department of Entomology are working to meet the challenges of controlling arthropod pests through integrated pest management practices and reducing pesticide use in Connecticut.
Farm Service Agency (FSA) is a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture which provides assistance and conservation programs.
THE STEWARDSHIP INCENTIVE PROGRAM: This comprehensive program covers dozens of practices in these categories:
1. Forest Stewardship Plan Development
2. Reforestation and Afforestation
3. Forest Improvement
4. Soil & Water Protection
5. Riparian & Wetland Protection
6. Fisheries Habitat Enhancement
7. Wildlife Habitat Enhancement
8. Recreation & Aesthetic Enhancement
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture which provides technical and financial assistance
to private forestland owners on forest conservation activities. The agency works to provide
resources and support for private family forest owners to continue to be great stewards of the
land through a variety of forest landowner programs.