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Forest Walk stops in Normanskill

Forest Owners Association looks to promote knowledge of responsible festry

— Members of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy are looking to educate landowners about forest management with a woods walk through the Normanskill Preserve.

The nonprofit organization has partnered with the New York Forest Owners Association to celebrate the association’s 50th anniversary. The Forest Owners Association has scheduled events throughout the state, with the local walk being hosted by forester Jeff Kehoe.

“We were hoping to attract locals who may not be aware of our organization, or those who have small woodlots that are looking for some more information,” said MHLC Executive Director Jill Knapp.

The walk will take participants through the Normanskill Preserve. Kehoe will point out examples of invasive species and forest succession.

Knapp said the preserve is now home to several invasive species, including multiflora rose and buckthorn. The conservancy is looking to put a stop to the spread of these species because the preserve is located near the Normanskill Creek and healthy vegetation prevents streamside erosion.

Knapp said the goal of the evening is to “increase the public’s awareness of the lack of understory regeneration in the state’s forests due to invasive species, overpopulation of deer and poor forest management.”

“It’s really an annoyance for us,” said Knapp. “We want to get people out to see how we can make improvements to our property as well.”

Kehoe said many of the talks he’s volunteered to give are in more urban areas because he’s found those residents are usually poor at forest management and have more to learn from the experience.

“A lot of people are more confused about forest management than logging,” he said. “I want to explain why our forests are threatened and how to help.”

Kehoe said he encourages landowners to consult a forester about setting up a visit to their individual properties. He said most will visit for free and forest management tips will be different for each property depending on the landowner’s goals.

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