“Wildlife and Your Woods” Workshop

last update: February 27, 2018

Do you enjoy watching wildlife in your woods? Have you ever considered improving your forest to benefit our furry and feathered friends? Forests throughout New York State are struggling because they aren’t being managed to benefit forest regeneration. In many cases trees are aging, being infected with insects or disease, or being choked out by invasive species. Mature forests have dense canopies that block sunlight and prevent the regeneration of native tree and plant seedlings. Without young trees growing to replace old and dying trees, invasive species are free to move in. In truly natural ecosystems disturbances such as wildfire play an important role in opening up space for forest regeneration. Private woodland owners can learn how to manage their forests to facilitate forest regeneration and to benefit species of birds and mammals that require the habitat provided by young forests.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Yates County Master Forest Owner volunteers invite the public to attend a workshop focused on managing private forests to benefit wildlife. Speakers include Tim Russel, a Young Forest Specialist working with the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) in New York State. The QDMA is a national organization that works “to promote sustainable, high-quality deer populations, wildlife habitats and ethical hunting experiences through research, education, advocacy, and hunter recruitment”. Tim Russel’s role as a Young Forest Specialist is to help implement sustainable forest practices through the creation of young forests that benefit forest regeneration and wildlife. Mr. Russel will speak about his initiatives and explain his public services. Emily Bonk with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will discuss the DEC’s role in supporting and implementing the Young Forest Initiative.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation staff will discuss the status of the deer herd in Region 8, including the DEC’s strategies for managing New York State deer herds for maximum population health. Yates County Master Forest Owner volunteer John Hammer will discuss using trail cameras as easy and effective tools for observing wildlife in your woods, including how to choose the right brands and models.

Free tree seedlings will be given away compliments of ERP Environmental Fund, Inc. and the Virginia Conservancy Legacy Fund!

This workshop will take place on Saturday March 17, 2018 from 9:00 am " noon with registration and refreshments beginning at 8:30 am. Location is the basement auditorium of the Yates County building, 417 Liberty St., Penn Yan. Registration is $10/per individual or $10/family. To register for this event please visit or contact Emily Staychock:; 315-536-5123 x4127.

Learn more about Tim Russel’s role and the QDMA at

The Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Forest Owner (MFO) program offers forest management assistance to private woodland owners. MFO volunteers provide free visits to private woodlots and connect woodlot owners to resources for forest management. To learn more please visit, or contact Emily Staychock.

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