Forestry Youth Camp Registration Now Open

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Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) and Auburn School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences (SFWS) are offering Forestry Field Camp in 2016! Alabama has a wealth of forest related natural resources. It is the third most forested US state – two out of every three acres in Alabama is forested!

This hands-on camp will give students an opportunity to get outdoors and learn about forestry in Alabama and the importance of forestry field measurements in making forest management decisions.

To learn more or register, visit AU Youth Programs

 

 

 

 

 

Auburn’s 1st Tiger Giving Day a Success for Kreher Preserve

Auburn University donors contributed more than $411,936 during the university’s first-ever Tiger Giving Day, a 24-hour university-wide crowdfunding initiative on Dec. 1. The university set out to raise $327,500 for 24 unique projects based in Auburn’s colleges, schools and units. Of those 24 projects, 18 met or exceeded their goals, some by as much as 350 percent.

The School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Office of Development chose the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center (KPNC), an outreach program of the School, as its focus for the inaugural crowd-funding campaign, with a project funding goal of $6,000 for the purchase and installation of a spider web playground apparatus for its nature playground.

The KPNC nature-based playground, one of the first of its kind in Alabama, offers children rich naturalistic play spaces and creative structures such as a beaver lodge, eagle’s nest, tree house, and teepee. With this funding, the KPNC will incorporate a “spider web” into the playground to compliment the other structures in the play area. The bouncy character of the secured rope web offers children of all ages the opportunity to develop climbing skills. As they master the web, the climbing helps the children to develop their muscle strength and coordination, while building their self-confidence and a positive association with arachnids.Spider web photo

The SFWS is grateful to the donors who helped the campaign to exceed its initial goal, raising a total of $9,370 or 155% of its goal, during the 48 hour period. Additional funds beyond the cost of the apparatus will enhance the playground area with with an Arachnid Learning Kiosk and a much-needed picnic area for visitors to the playground.

This campaign was considered a success for many reasons. The AU Tiger Giving Day was an excellent opportunity for the SFWS to raise awareness in the community about the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center and to underscore its purpose to help youth by exposing children to the wonders of nature, educating them about conservation, and encouraging them to be active and fit.

Since 1993, the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center has provided the community with an outdoor preserve – complete with five miles of hiking trails, an amphitheater, a pavilion and a nature playground – open from sunrise to sunset with no admission fees. Louise Kreher Turner and Frank Allen Turner gifted the 120-acre property to Auburn as a place where School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences students and faculty could engage the community through educational programs and also conduct field studies and academic research. Now one of the area’s most popular nature destinations, the preserve attracts more than 25,000 visitors annually and provides educational programs for nearly 5,000 K-12 students and 3,000 residents each year.

To read more about Auburn University’s Tiger Giving Day, visit AU Newsroom.

Support the KPNC on Tiger Giving Day, Dec 1st

 

JenSpideronHeadBio-B

Kreher Preserve and Nature Center Outreach Administrator, Jennifer Lolley, shown at the KPNC nature playground.

Mark your calendars for the first-ever Auburn University Tiger Giving Day on Tuesday, December 1st! This 24-hour fundraising event will highlight the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center’s Spider Web as well as other projects across campus. Donations to this project will support the purchase and installation of a spider web playground apparatus to enhance the nature playground for children visiting the preserve!

Stay tuned to tigergiving.org! In the meantime, you can learn more about the KPNC Spider Web project with this short video or contact Sharon Tatum, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Development Coordinator, at 334-844-1983 or email sst0003@auburn.edu to make your donation today!

Please help us to spread the word about this crowd funding project! Share the video with your friends on your social media networks and ask them to make a donation on Dec. 1st! All contributions will help to make this great playground feature a reality for the kids!Spider web photo

 

Permanent endowment for the SFWS Kreher Preserve and Nature Center created in honor of the late Nicholas Holler

Shown with Holler (center) during a recent program held at the KPNC are its Outreach Administrator Jennifer Lolley (left) and School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Development Coordinator Sharon Tatum (right).

Shown with Holler (center) during a recent program held at the KPNC are its Outreach Administrator Jennifer Lolley (left) and School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Development Coordinator Sharon Tatum (right).

A recently established permanent endowment by Margaret Holler of Auburn will benefit the operations and community programs of the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve, also known as the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center, or KPNC. Equally important, it honors the devotion to conservation and environmental education demonstrated by her late husband, Nicholas “Nick” Holler.

Since 1993, the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center has provided the community with an outdoor preserve – complete with five miles of hiking trails, an amphitheater, a pavilion and a nature playground – open from sunrise to sunset with no admission fees. Louise Kreher Turner and Frank Allen Turner gifted the 120-acre property to Auburn as a place where School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences students and faculty could engage the community through educational programs and also conduct field studies and academic research. Now one of the area’s most popular nature destinations, the preserve attracts more than 25,000 visitors annually and provides educational programs for nearly 5,000 K-12 students and 3,000 residents each year. Read more

 

 

 

SFWS Professor Receives Governor’s Conservation Award

GCAA Banquet

Shown from left to right with Dr. Jim Armstrong (second from left), are award presenters, Horace Horn, AWF President and also with PowerSouth Energy, Commissioner Gunter Guy, and Matt Bowden with Alabama Power Company. Photo courtesy of AWF.

 

School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Dr. Jim Armstrong, recently received the prestigious Conservation Communicator of the Year award at the 2015 Alabama Wildlife Federation Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards banquet held on Friday, August 7, in Prattville, Alabama.

The Alabama Wildlife Federation, established by sportsmen in 1935, is the state’s oldest and largest citizens’ conservation organization. Awarded for over 40 years, the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards are one of the most respected conservation honors granted in the state which recognizes individuals and organizations who promote and exemplify leadership of wildlife and natural resources conservation.

According to the federation, the program is designed to bring about a greater knowledge and awareness of conservation practices and projects, and to give proper recognition to those persons and organizations that make outstanding contributions to the natural resource welfare of the community and the state. Of this award, Armstrong stated, “It was nice to receive the award and be recognized by others who are involved in managing our natural resources.”

Dr. Armstrong was chosen as Conservation Communicator of the Year for his career-long contributions toward wildlife management. As chairman of the Wildlife Society’s Wildlife Damage Management Working Group, Armstrong’s efforts contributed to the pioneer of the emerging discipline of wildlife damage management associated with urban spillover into wildlife habitats.

He is also recognized for his contributions towards the Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program (WHEP), a state and nationally implemented training program designed to help youth to develop decision-making skills through the practice of wildlife management.

Armstrong’s service with the Planning Committee for the Berryman Wildlife Institute, whose mission is to “promote and fund research and education activities associated with wildlife damage management” was also noted by the AWF. As a professor, Dr. Armstrong’s leadership of graduate level research has focused on the development of wildlife management strategies to address the detrimental effects of coyote population expansion.

In addition to Armstrong’s service and research interests, his role within the Alabama Cooperative Extension System has enabled him to extend immeasurable benefits to Alabamians and effectively communicate the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s conservation message to the general public. [Read more…]

Sustainability Picnic 2015 – August 19th at 4:00pm at the Arboretum #AUthrives

Auburn’s Dr. Gary Hepp honored at 2015 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards Ceremony

Forestry and Wildlife professors awarded grant to study wild pigs

 

Faculty members Stephen Ditchkoff, Mark Smith, Todd Steury, Robert Gitzen, Graeme Lockaby, and Edward Loewenstein in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences received a $861,833 grant from the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR-WFF) to study to the impacts and control of wild pigs in Alabama.

 

Wild pig population have spread dramatically across the state in the past 20 years and now cause well over $50 million per year in damage to Alabama agriculture as well as untold millions in damage to natural ecosystems and native wildlife.  This 5-year study will occur at the ADCNR’s Lowndes County Wildlife Management Area just west of Montgomery where researcher will use GPS transmitter collars to monitor the movements, habitat use, and survival of wild pigs on the area.

 

In conjunction with data on wild pigs, researchers will also examine their impacts on water quality, regeneration of hardwood trees, and other wildlife such as squirrels before and after wild pigs are systematically removed from an 8,000 acre portion of the management area.   The project builds upon previous research to further develop and refine best management practices (BMPs) for controlling wild pig populations.

Forestry Field Days Improve Land Management

 

 

AUBURN, Ala, September 26, 2014 – The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Alabama Natural Resources Council (ANRC), Alabama State Tree Farm Committee, and other conservation partners are sponsoring three regional field days to promote forest stewardship.

 

“This is an excellent opportunity for landowners to learn how to manage their land resources in a sustainable way,” said NRCS Acting State Conservationist Ben Malone. “Landowners will have the opportunity to visit one-on-one with local staff and network with other landowners.”

 

Forest lands cover more than 210 million acres in the southeastern United States, and there are 21 million acres of forest in Alabama alone. Over 95 percent of Alabama’s forest lands are privately owned.

 

Landowners need quality land and wildlife resource training opportunities so they can manage their properties effectively. Dr. Gary Lemme, Alabama Extension Director and Chair of the ANRC, says Alabama landowners can learn about a variety of management techniques by attending a Regional Forestry Field Day.

 

“Participants will learn how to manage Alabama’s forests for a variety of uses,” said Lemme. “These events will feature experts in forest and wildlife management resources as well as a tour of a certified TREASURE Forest or Tree Farm.”

 

The three regional Forestry Field Days will be held in October. Registration for these free events begins at

8 a.m. and lunch will be served. Call the appropriate regional field day contact to confirm your spot and to obtain directions.

 

North Alabama – Oct. 2 – Burgess Farm in Colbert County

 

Agenda:

  • Predator Solutions; Trapping
  • Mulching Timber & Creating Wildlife Openings
  • Thinning, Prescribed Burning & Timber Markets
  • Pine Plantation Establishment & Invasive Species Control

Contact: Johnnie Everitt – (256) 383-4376

  

Central Alabama – Oct. 9 – Charles Holmes Property in Perry County

 

Agenda:

  • Agri-Tourism
  • Wild Pig Management
  • Longleaf vs Loblolly Pine Management
  • Stream Crossing

Contact: John Ollison – (334) 683-6888

 

South Alabama – Oct. 16 – Newman Property in Coffee County

 

Agenda:

  • Dove Field Management
  • Hardwood Management
  • Mid Rotation Release
  • Wetland Management

Contact: Mary McLean – (334) 894-5596

 

The Alabama Natural Resources Council’s primary mission is to promote the stewardship of Alabama\’s forest resources. These regional forestry field days are just one of the Council’s outreach efforts. For more information, visit the ANRC’s website at: http://www.aces.edu/forestry/anrc.

 

 

­Contact: Julie Yates, 334-887-4581 julie.yates@al.usda.gov

SFWS Annual Photo Contest Now Open

The 4th annual School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Photo/Video Contest is officially open for submissions. The goal of the contest is three-fold: 1. to communicate in images the kinds of things that we do here in the School, including research, teaching, and extension/outreach; 2. to recognize the artistic prowess of our faculty, staff, and students, and 3. to showcase numbers 1 and 2 on walls throughout our building.

 

Here are the rules:

  • Anyone affiliated with the School can participate, including students, staff, faculty, and alumni
  • Photos (and videos) must have been taken after the deadline for last year’s contest (November 1st, 2013).
  • Photos will be evaluated in one of 9 categories relevant to the School’s goals:
  • Alabama Plants
  • Alabama Wildlife
  • Alabama Landscapes
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Extension / Outreach
  • Game Camera Photos
  • Travel
  • Alumni – all alumni photos should be submitted in this category, regardless of which of the above categories they might fall in.
  • Note that any wildlife, plants, or landscape photos taken outside Alabama (unless research related) should be submitted under the category of ‘travel’
  • Each individual may only submit one photo per category
  • Note that we also have a category exclusively for photos taken BY (not of) alumni. The topic of such photos may fall in any of the other 8 photo categories.
  • In entering your photo (or video) into the contest, you release the right to use in promotional and marketing materials created by the university.

All photos will be uploaded to the SFWS Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/ausfws). Followers of the page can ‘like’ their favorites photos, and the number of ‘likes’ a photo gets will be considered by the committee in deciding the photo winners.

 

This year, we are once again accepting videos as part of the contest. Videos should be no more than 2 minutes in length, and should fit one or more of the photo categories. We are looking for web-suitable videos that represent or showcase some aspect of the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences (student life, research, outreach, teaching, etc) . Creativity and humor are encouraged. You can view some longer videos for inspiration at our YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/AUworkingwithnature.

 

The deadline for photo and video submission is November 1st, 2014

Winners will be recognized and their photos will be framed and displayed in a prominent location in the School. The winning video will have the opportunity for prominent display on the SFWS website and social media.

 

To submit an entry to the contest, click on this link:

 

http://www.auburn.edu/sfwsphotos

 

If you have any questions, contact Todd Steury (steury@auburn.edu)

 

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