EcoForesters holds free, non-native invasive plant workshop Oct. 1

Press release from EcoForesters:

Non-profit EcoForesters is holding a free Forestry Workshop in partnership with Madison County Extension and the NC Forest Service to help landowners learn how to identify and control non-native invasive species. Attendees will learn how invasive species have impacted forest health and what can be done to mitigate their impact. In addition to presentations on invasive plant management and hands-on demonstrations, landowners will be able to talk one on one with forestry professionals and also get free maps of their forest. Subjects will include information on invasive plants prevalent in Madison County and Western North Carolina and demonstrations on how to keep invasive plants at bay using mechanical and chemical applications. Funding for this workshop was made possible through the USFS Landscape Scale Restoration Grant. The workshop will be held from ten until two o’clock at the Laurel Community Center, and lunch will be included. Field work and hands-on training will be available in the afternoon.


Native forests in the Appalachian region have been greatly impacted by clear-cuts, repeated high-grading, development pressures, and other unsustainable forestry practices. In the wake of these disturbances, non-native invasive species have increased their stranglehold on our forests, with about 4.4 million acres of the Appalachian-Cumberland highland region affected by invasive plants. Since about 70% of WNC’s forests are owned by private landowners, providing easy access to education and resources plays an essential role in increasing the health and resiliency of our forests. EcoForesters aims to connect with landowners by connecting healthy forests to their values, allowing conservation and individual objectives to go hand in hand. This workshop will also provide professionals with the opportunity to learn from landowners and where they are struggling to manage their forests, which in turn informs future outreach and event planning.


NC Extension offices have a rich history of disseminating scientific information and education to landowners. In that spirit, EcoForesters is partnering with Extension and the NC Forest Service to offer free forest owner workshops in a 12 county region. As part of a Landscape Scale Restoration project, forestry professionals will share valuable information with landowners that can benefit their forest management efforts. Educating landowners and rural communities about current and future threats will have a landscape impact on the future resiliency of our forests and the benefits they provide to local towns and businesses. These threats include damaging pests and diseases, destructive invasive plants, and fragmentation caused by parcelization of family lands. Additionally, the effects of climate change may encourage the spread of invasive plants and pests, threatening plant and animal biodiversity and further changing the ecological make-up of our region. This landscape scale project will provide landowners and communities with knowledge and resources to help improve forest health. This will assure natural benefits like clean water, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitat remain on the landscape.


EcoForesters is a non-profit professional forestry organization dedicated to conserving and restoring our Appalachian forests through education and stewardship.  Forestland owners and local communities benefit from EcoForesters’ ability to develop and implement forest stewardship strategies that promote future forest sustainability and resiliency. Through community forestry programs, landowner workshops, and innovative stewardship collaborations, EcoForesters emphasizes sound ecological management. We are actively making positive impacts on the Appalachian landscape while still helping landowners achieve their individual management objectives.

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