NYFOA Central NY Regional Conference

This event is open to the public.

NYFOA is pleased to invite all the forest owners and enthusiasts of the Central NY Region to the first ever NYFOA Regional Conference. We have put together an exciting group of speakers that will be presenting on Bears of NY, Planting for Pollinators, NY Forestry Issues & Opportunities, Forest Carbon Markets for Private Landowners, and Estate Planning for Forest Owners.

Lunch will be provided.

We hope to see you there.

Event Date & Time

October 14, 2023

8:00am - 4:15pm

Registration is required. Earlybird deadline for registration is October 6th. Late registrations will be accepted until October 12th.
You can register online below, download and mail in a registration form, or contact us to request a registration form be mailed to you.

Registration information, a schedule of events, and campus map can be downloaded below.

Contact us with any question at info@nyfoa.org or at 607-365-2214.


LaFayette Junior-Senior High School - LaFayette, Onondaga County, NY

3122 US-11, Lafayette, NY 13084


8:00am - 8:30am
Registration and refreshments

8:30am - 8:45am

8:45am - 9:45am
Session #1: Bear of NYCourtney LaMere. This presentation will provide information about the natural history, biology, and management of black bears and how people can avoid conflicts with them.

Courtney LaMere is a Region 7 Big Game Biologist for the NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation, managing the deer and bear programs across a nine- county area in Central New York spanning from Oswego County south to the Pennsylvania border. She’s been a biologist with the DEC for 10 years. Prior to joining the DEC she worked for various government agencies and non-profit organizations on wildlife and fisheries projects around the country involving everything from desert tortoises to grizzly bears. Courtney has a Bachelors degree from the University of Vermont in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, and a Masters from SUNY-ESF in Wildlife Management. Her Masters thesis was on predictors of human- black bear conflicts in the Adirondacks.

9:45am - 10:45am
Session #2: Planting for PollinatorsLacey Smith. This presentation will provide information on how pollinators provide vital ecosystem services and food security. Unfortunately, pollinators are in decline and face many challenges, such as pressure from invasive species and habitat loss. Information will be provided on how to support native pollinators and the NRCS programs that benefit pollinators in woodlands, and information about native trees and shrubs that are highly beneficial to native pollinators.

Lacey Smith is the Northeast Regional Partner Biologist with Pollinator Partnership (P2). She works in joint capacity with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to promote, coordinate, and implement conservation efforts that relate to pollinator conservation on private lands. Lacey also provides pollinator related educational outreach and training to NRCS staff, producers, partners, and landowners. Lacey has a BA in Environmental Geoscience and MS in Forestry from West Virginia University.

10:45am - 11:00am

11:00am - 12:15pm

Session #3: Forest Carbon Markets PanelJessica Bakowski & Sierra Giraud. These presentations will provide information about the history of the forest carbon markets, background on how the carbon trading and offset system works, the climate benefits of carbon sequestration/storage, and the forest carbon market opportunities for private forest owners with their respective organizations.

Jessica Bakowski is the New England Regional Forester for Forest Carbon Works. She holds an MS degree in natural resource management from the SUNY ESF and has over 10 years of experience in conservation and forest management planning. She is an SAF Certified Forester and has worked extensively with both state agencies and private landowners to help facilitate sustainable land management. She currently lives in northern Vermont.

Sierra Giraud is the Senior Forestry Manager for the Family Forest Carbon Program with the American Forest Foundation. She aids consulting foresters and landowners in understanding and representing the Family Forest Carbon Program for the northeastern region. She has a BS degree in natural resource management from SUNY ESF. She has worked in private timberland management across New England and is a native of and now lives in Central NY.

12:15pm - 1:30pm

1:30pm - 2:30pm

Session #4: NY Forestry Issues & OpportunitiesJason Drobnack. This presentation will provide information and updates on: Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act - priorities for forests, the opportunities for forest owners, and how forest management fits into NYS climate goals; Regenerate NY and NY Connects Grant – metrics of the program, successes and challenges, how can we get increased adoption, and how the $60 million NY Connects Grant will help forest owners; Federal Investments in Forest Stewardship – Inflation Reduction Act/Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and historic investment in the Forest Stewardship Program.

Jason Drobnack is the Section Chief for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Private Lands, Utilization and Climate Forestry Section. The section is responsible for private forestry programs, including 480-a and Regenerate NY, to assist private forest landowners in sustainably managing their forest resource for the long term. Prior to holding this position, Jason was a private and public lands forester working out of the DEC office in Stamford, NY.

2:30pm – 2:45pm
Break and End of Raffle & Silent Auction

2:45pm - 4:15pm

Session #5: Estate Planning for Forest Landowners Panel

Estate & Legacy Planning ToolboxDavid Colligan. This presentation will provide information on the core concepts of estate planning, the importance of an estate plan and the concerns one will address, an overview of the types of ownership structures that can be set up for a property to effectuate transfer of ownership, with specific emphasis on forming a Limited Liability Corporation. All with a specific focus on forestland ownership.

David Colligan is an attorney and partner with Colligan Law, LLP. Among other areas of specialization, his practice focuses on corporate and business law and natural resource law, which includes timber and oil and gas law. An interest in making maple syrup led David to educate himself about trees and forestry matters. He has since lectured and written about natural resource law issues related to timberland owners; he has had articles published in NYFOA’s Forest Owner Magazine, the Tree Farmer magazine, and the Northern Woodlands magazine. As his firm expanded their timber and forestry law practice, he established a website dedicated to the legal issues surrounding forest land ownership and timber production. David is a NYFOA member.

Preserving your Forest Legacy, Planning Tool Options and Conservation EasementsAmy Olney. This presentation will provide information about options that are available to landowners to protect and preserve the legacy they created for their land with a land trust or conservancy besides intergenerational transfer or sale of the property. It will cover what is involved in bequeathing a property to a trust in fee, bequeathing or selling a conservation easement, and what the benefits, liabilities, and responsibilities are with these transactions.

Amy Olney is the Conservation Projects Manager at the Finger Lakes Land Trust where she works as part of the land protection team to help landowners navigate through the range of potential conservation options for their property. Throughout her career Amy had focused on conserving the important farm and forestland of New York State through work with land trusts and municipalities in the Hudson Valley, Catskill Mountains, Central New York, and the Finger Lakes Region. Amy has a bachelor’s degree from Alma College.


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LaFayette High School Map

Registration Form

Location & Schedule Information

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PHONE: (607) 365-2214

EMAIL: info@nyfoa.org


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