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This year the Tri-State Forest Stewardship Conference will be offered on March 10, at the Sinsinawa Mound Center in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin. The conference center is located approximately eight miles east of Dubuque, Iowa. “We are proud to announce that this is the 24th year for the forestry conference, which annually draws over 500 woodland landowners and tree enthusiasts from Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and several other states,” says Jay Hayek, U of I Extension forester.

This year’s conference offers a variety of educational sessions presented by 16 expert speakers. There are sessions related to timber management such as the timber sale process, fire management, forest health, crop tree management and timber tree pruning. If you are interested in wildlife management, two presentations focus on white-tailed deer, as well as a session on bat habitat.

The conference’s educational offerings also include topics that may be of interest to small farm owners. These include Christmas tree production, managing invasive shrubs, monarch habitat and solar energy for rural applications.

Finally, if you are looking to learn a new skill, the sessions on winter tree identification, USDA’s Web Soil Survey, and conservation easements may be of interest to you.

Why should forest landowners attend this conference? Illinois landowners own approximately 90 percent of Illinois’ forestland and face the challenge of developing a management plan that is economically viable while promoting forest stewardship. This conference will provide private landowners with the opportunity to learn forest and land management techniques, which can help meet their personal objectives, while being good stewards of the land.

Sponsors of the conference include the University of Illinois’ Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois Extension, the Cooperative Extension Service at Iowa State University, Iowa State University Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, the Department of Natural Resources from Illinois, Iowa and Indiana, and the Illinois Forestry Development Council.

The conference will begin with registration and a continental breakfast at 8 a.m. Participants can choose from multiple topics to attend the five one-hour sessions. Lunch is included in the cost of registration and is served at 1 p.m. The day's program will end at 4:25 p.m.

The conference registration fee is $55 per person. The deadline to register is noon on March 2. Advance registration is required. Participation is limited to the first 450 paid registrations, so early registration is encouraged. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and there are no walk-in registrations on the day of the conference.

For more information about the Tri-State Forest Stewardship Conference, and to register online, please visit http://extension.illinois.edu/go/forestconference/.

To learn about other upcoming workshops and seminars offered by the University of Illinois Extension go to http://web.extension.illinois.edu/state/. You can reach me at the Extension office located in Arthur, Illinois at 217-543-3755, or dshiley@illinois.edu.

For more information on University of Illinois Extension programming in Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Moultrie and Shelby counties, visit our website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ccdms/index.html or call us at 217-345-7034.

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