Tags:From the Forest Service Southern Research Station:
What medicinal and food plants grow in Southern Appalachian forests? How can private landowners find out about growing and marketing these products? How can forest recreation be sustainably developed on private lands? How can the recreational use of rivers support clean water initiatives?
These topics and more will be the focus of the Southern Appalachian Man and the Biosphere (SAMAB) conference held November 15 – 17 at the Renaissance Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina. The 21st annual meeting of SAMAB, a public/private partnership focused on the stewardship of the unique resources of the Southern Appalachians, will celebrate the forest-based livelihoods in timber and specialty woods, foods and medicines and recreation provided by the region’s forests.
The conference will open at 1:00 November 15, with comments by Judy Francis, SAMAB president and Western Field Officer for the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Office of Conservation and Community Affairs, followed by keynote singer and storyteller Joe Penland. Deemed a "Cultural Treasure" by the Asheville Citizen-Times, and the recipient of the coveted Bascom Lunsford Award (named for the founder of the longest running folk festival in America), Penland is the proud steward of twelve generations and over 350 years of the rich oral tradition of the Southern Appalachian region.
The conference continues into the afternoon with a panel on sustainable wild harvesting from Southern Appalachian forests. Over the following two days, sessions featuring researchers and local experts will explore topics that include:
· Growing and marketing special forests products;
· The sustainability of recreation on both federal and private lands;
· Water quality and the wise use of the region’s rivers;
· Land use issues and the interface between private and federal ownerships;
· The legacy and present use of fire for forest management;
· The effects of nonnative invasive plants on native plants; and
· Wildlife issues such as the impacts of deer and wild boar populations.
On the afternoon of November 16, a showcase of special forest products, free and open to the public, will feature demonstrations and sales of products from Southern Appalachian forests such as honey, mushrooms, musical instruments, kudzu products, American chestnut seedlings and much more.
At 3:30 on November 16, there will be a public performance by Laura Boosinger and Bryan McDowell. Boosinger is an accomplished singer and musician who has extensively studied the traditional music culture of the Southern Appalachians and Western North Carolina in particular. Bryan McDowell has won over 20 awards for his mandolin, guitar and fiddle playing and received additional acclaim as a singer/songwriter. After the performance, items from the booths will be auctioned off—including a hybrid American chestnut seedling—with proceeds going to SAMAB to support future initiatives.
For more about the conference: http://www.samab.org/site/ More on individual sessions can be found here: http://www.samab.org/site/conference-schedules/2011-fall-conference/ (Click on Conference Agenda to download PDF).
The Southern Appalachian Man and the Biosphere (SAMAB) program is a public/private partnership promoting the environmental health and stewardship of natural, economic, and cultural resources in the Southern Appalachians. For more information: www.samab.org