newsletter Spring 2024
Newsletter Fall/Winter 2023
SOT Newsletter Fall 2023
Hello NAC members! Spring is in the air and I’m sure we all are anxious to get out into our woodlots to see how they faired. Even though the winter was relatively mild, snow loads and wind doubtlessly caused some wind damage. Regrettably the ashes are being hammered by the emerald ash borer now through much of the state
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing fiscal year 2022 assistance opportunities for agricultural producers and private landowners for key programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), and Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) program. While USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) accepts applications for these programs year-round, producers and landowners should apply by state-specific, ranking dates to be considered for this year’s funding.
New York is experiencing, first-hand, the far-reaching impacts of climate change and the global nature crisis. Climate change during our lifetimes may affect New Yorkers more than people in other parts of the world.
The Department of Environmental Conservation will be purchasing tree seed this fall. If you are interested in selling seed to the Department, it will be necessary for you to contact them.
DEC’s Regenerate NY program provides cost-share grants to New York landowners looking to enhance forest regeneration on their property. Landowners who want to plant trees, control competing vegetation, restore a degraded forest stand, or exclude deer are encouraged to apply for project funding.
In a recent listing of the best forestry bachelor's degrees, SUNY-ESF made the top of the list.
On December 7, 2020, Empire State Forest Products Association (ESFPA) and co-sponsors, including NYFOA, hosted a Zoom presentation on "Forest Carbon & Family Forests". There were over 200 participants logged in at the time or the presentation. ESFPA subsequently released a recording of that presentation which can be linked to here.
On Thursday, November 19th the NYFOA SOT chapter and the Broome County Cornell Cooperative Extension will host an online Zoom meeting at 7PM. Ed Newhauser, will be talking about Renewable Energy From the Land: Wood Fuel to Solar and Wind. Learn some of the efficient ways to harvest wood fuel and also the possibilities and cautions you need to know before turning your land into a wind or solar power area. The meeting is open to the general public.
The Forest Incentives Program Act is now making its way through Congress
SOT Chairman, Steve Kutney, says, "WBNG channel 12 news came to our potluck dinner to film and report on our potluck dinner." Click on the link in this article to view the station's video story."
Answers are provided to the forestry-related Crossword Puzzle presented in their Winter 2019 Newsletter.
On July 20, 2019 AFC members Dick Brennan, Mike Jabot, and Vic Richardson updated their Chapter "Operational Guidelines". Links to it are also found on their chapter page and on the Resources for Chapter Leaders page.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that oak wilt, a disease that affects oak trees, has been detected in Middlesex, Yates County.
LHC Chairman Chris Prentis is in need of Committee Members to help run the Chapter.
NYFOA Announces Details of "Managing Your Woodlot for Wildlife" Symposium/Event, Hosted by the Capital District Chapter. The event will be held on Saturday, September 28th at the John Boyd Thacher State Park. The event is graciously developed and hosted by our Capital District Chapter. Details are given here.
New York State Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball today highlighted the success of the first-ever “Into the Woods” Forestry Camp held at the Oswegatchie Educational Center in Croghan, New York. NYFOA President, Art Wagner, states: "A successful program and mini-grant money well spent."
On March 5, 2019, four NYFOA members (Frank Winkler, Mike Zagata, Dick Gibbs, and Stacey Kazacos) attended Forestry Awareness Day (FAD) 2019 at the Legislative Office Building in Albany. FAD was organized by the Empire State Forest Products Association (ESFPA), an organization which supports many of the same major issues as NYFOA. ESFPA invited a number of its members and a select group of related organizations to send representatives to meet with NYS legislators and staffers to insure our message is heard.
The spring program for NYFOA is now finalized with speakers and topics. Also, a form has been provided for registration.
DEC has added an additional meeting to the series already held/planned to make it easier for residents in the Southern Tier/Delaware County area to attend.
NYFOA Chapters report on their involvement with DEC sessions held across the state.
The New York Forest Owners Association (NYFOA) fully supports The NYS DEC Forest Tax Law Program regulatory reform efforts. NYFOA looks forward to working with DEC and other stakeholders to successfully revise regulatory aspects of the 480-A program.
NYFOA board member Greg Lessord presents an informed summary of the efforts underway to make 480a more "user friendly" to private woodland owners in NYS...
NYFOA's Southeastern Adirondacks Chapter is mounting an appeal to its member or would-be members to assist their steering committee meet the needs of the organization.
SAVE THE DATE! The NYFOA Board of Directors announces that the 2019 Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at the ESF campus in Syracuse, NY. Times and program details to follow.
On Friday, September 28, a tour of the Wightman Lumber mill in Portlandville, NY was provided by co-owner Dave Wightman. Here are more specifics of the tour...
The NYFOA Executive Committee recently approved a Public Service Announcement template and Interview Guide for use by Chapters in bringing their activities to the attention of the public.
​NYFOA's Director of Organizational Development, Mike Zagata, has developed a Speakers Bureau. This is a list of topics and speakers who have volunteered to talk about these topics at NYFOA events. Chapter Program Directors are invited to contact these speakers directly to arrange for presentations. Mike considers this a work-in-progress and invites all NYFOAns to contact him with suggestions for additional topics and additional speakers.
This year the Northern Woodlands conference will be held October 12-14 in Fairlee, Vermont.
After a long hiatus the Lower Hudson Chapter has a new leader who's bringing the chapter back into active service!
The Southern Tier Chapter encourages members who use Amazon for on-line purchases to register in the Amazon Smile program directed at NYFOA.
The NYFOA-sponsored Timber Growing Contest received national coverage in a recent issue of the National Woodlands magazine.
Since the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1960, Americans have focused on preserving our forests. Only now, decades later, have we come to realize that we were inadvertently evicting those wildlife species that depend on grass, brush and young forests for their survival. It is those places that provide them with the habitat they need to survive. The Golden Winged Warbler and the New England Cottontail served as the “canaries in the mine” and signaled to us that we needed to reverse course and begin again to actively manage our forests. The following article explains in-depth why conservationists have now shifted to the “Young Forest Initiative”.
On June 9th, a woods walk was held at Stacey and Jeannine Kazacos 100 acre tract in Otsego County. The woods walk offered participants insight into various aspects of both the 480a program offered by the state, and the variety of applications available for funding by the NRCS through its EQIP program.
On May 19, 2018, the Michael Tree Farm was the site of a NYFOA Southern Tier woods walk, which also served with cooperation from the Cornell Cooperative Extension as a refresher course for members of the Master Forest Owner Program. The weather was wet, but did not deter the enthusiasm of the attendees which included Brett Chedzoy Regional MFO Coordinator for the Cooperative Extension Program Michael Zagata, NYFOA, Director of OrganizatioDevelopment, and over two dozen Master Fores Owners, in addition to other NYFOA members.Participants traveled from as far as Jamestown and Albany, and everywhere in between.
Marilyn Wyman is an environmental education visionary who nurtures relationships between woodland owners and their woodlands; loggers and their safety and well-being; funders and their contract deliverables; invasive species and their Early detection and Rapid response; youth and their stake in our future world….and that was just in the past week!
The recipient of the NYFOA Outstanding Service Award for 2018 is Dean Faklis of Springwater, NY. An active Master Forest Owner volunteer and NYFOA member, in the last four years or so Dean has conceived, birthed and raised to maturity at least five successful initiatives. Dean has a fertile imagination and likes to think big. Shortly after being elected President of NYFOA, I had to add a folder to my email entitled “NYFOA – Dean's ideas.”
The Western Finger Lakes Chapter of NYFOA would like to thank Cathy for her contributions and her excellent job as secretary.
Gary Sergio has been a member of NYFOA since October 2010 and according to our newsletter archive has been on the steering committee beginning in 2014. Gary participates in the MFO program. He has had a woodswalk on his property. He organized the Unalam tour, helped with the mushroom class and the training for the Northeast Timber Growing Contest. Gary regularly attends chapter and steering committee meetings.
Carl can’t remember when he joined NYFOA, but he has been a member for many years with indispensable help and support from his wife of 50 years, Susan B. Stearns. His family, starting with his father, has taken timber to the sawmill for use on the farm and made maple syrup since the 1950s.They are working with their fifth DEC forester.
The Allegany Foothills Chapter is pleased to recognize Michael Jabot for our Chapter’s “NYFOA Service Award”.
NYFOA President Charles Stackhouse announces new Director of Organization Development, Michael Zagata.
Cornell Small Farms Program is offering a one-day workshop this winter in eight locations around New York State titled: "Log-Grown Shiitake: Economics and Management for a Profitable Crop"
Welcome to Maple Weekend... March 17-18 & 24-25, 2018 During Maple Weekend maple farms across New York State invite visitors to their “sugar houses” to experience firsthand how pure, mouth-watering maple syrup and other related products are made. Visitors also have the opportunity to enjoy fun, family-friendly activities, taste New York’s freshest syrup and purchase maple products.
"You and Your Forest" is a FREE informational letter series starting this February for woodland owners offered through Cooperative Extension. Your participation does not require any previous knowledge of forests or forestry. Topics include forest protection, wildlife, invasive species, and crop tree management. If you sign up, you will receive seven self-study installments beginning February 2018 and sent via email every two weeks. Call CCE’s Agroforestry Resource Center 518-622-9820 x0 to enroll.​
NYFOA is seeking a professional to work on a part-time basis, assisting our volunteer Board of Directors, Standing Committees and regional Chapter leadership in maximizing operational effectiveness. The applicant will be called upon to advise the Board regarding organizational structure, procedures and controls, but the primary emphasis will be support for the ten regional Chapters.
A report of the SOT tour on October 17th of the Unalam production facility.
Report on the September 30th woodswalk at the Texas Schoolhouse State Forest. Participants in the Sat. Sept. 30th woods walk at the Texas Schoolhouse State Forest had the opportunity to see first hand some of the timber harvesting practices being used by the DEC on the 350 acre tract of Norway Spruce, and Red Pine that will be go out on bid later this year.
With a looming legislative deadline of February 9th President Stackhouse is urging NYFOA members to write to key legislators in support of the proposed "Empire Forests for the Future Initiative” (EFFI) but opposing the unnecessarily burdensome Commercial Harvest Notification provision.
Over the summer I created the attached fact sheet to help inform landowners about forest impacts of deer. It occurred to me that NYFOA might be interested in distributing it. Anyone can print the pdf, of course, but I also have a bunch of copies on nice glossy paper, so let me know if there’s someone I can send or deliver some to for distribution to your members.
Highlights of this issue from our neighbors to the South include: Regenerating the Forest, Profiles in Conservation, and Interesting Research News and Tools for Landowners
Longtime active NYFOA member, Dick Patton, is featured in the American Forest Foundation's August newsletter.
Tax reform is on the agenda in Washington. So that we can prioritize our efforts, AFF is conducting a survey to determine which federal tax issues matter the most to family forest owners. To widen the net of our responses, I was hoping you could pass it along to your NYFOA members as well.
DEC Seeks Participants for Summer Wild Turkey Survey Citizen Scientists Help DEC Gauge Turkey Population New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today encouraged New Yorkers to participate in a survey for wild turkeys and help state biologists better understand this iconic bird.
The Saratoga Tree Nursery will purchase cone and fruit from private individuals for our seed procurement program. The species desired, approximate ripening date, and price paid per bushel are listed on page 2. The ripening date is an estimate. Cone and fruit should be inspected prior to harvesting in order to determine if it is ready to be picked. Seed that is immature will not be accepted. If you are not sure, feel free to contact the Nursery.
The Saratoga County Fair is just around the corner and we are in need of volunteers to staff our booth. The fair begins on July 18th and will run until the 23rd. Bill Burke is organizing the volunteer schedule and is asking anyone that is willing to work to please email him as soon as possible if you would like to choose a time slot. Don't forget, free admission for anyone that volunteers! Bill's email is
Empire State Forests for the Future (ESFF): This is the governor's proposal to bolster the forest products industry and support private forest landowners (e.g. through 480-B, and grants for private forest land stewardship).
The Southern Tier Chapter had a successful woods walk on May 20th.
A (PA) statewide effort to build appreciation for forests, the people who own them, and the importance of tending them, the Walk in Penn's Woods is a day with organized woods walks in each county in Pennsylvania. Anticipated to become an annual event, this inaugural Walk in Penn's Woods day happens the first Sunday in October across the state.
Each year, NYFOA presents the Heiberg Memorial Award to honor outstanding forestry and conservation contributions in New York State. This year’s recipient is Jerry Michael. Jerry richly deserves this award based on a lifetime of service to NYS woodlands and woodlot owners — individually, as a board member of NYFOA, and as an active member of several other organizations that promote interrelated forestry and conservation goals.
Each year the board looks around and asks itself what one individual has demonstrated unmatched contributions to the responsibilities of NYFOA at the state and chapter level. A number of dedicated and eligible candidates for the Outstanding Service Award come to mind, but Phil Walton’s name really rose to the top of the list.
Many people prune their trees in spring and summer. DEC recommends holding off on pruning oak trees until winter to protect them from oak wilt, a deadly tree disease.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that Oak Wilt Protective Zones have been established in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenwood Heights, Kings County; the Town of Canandaigua, Ontario County; and all of Suffolk County. These zones are the first line of defense in preventing the spread of oak wilt, a deadly tree disease. Previously, DEC established Oak Wilt Protective Zones in the towns of Glenville, Schenectady County, and Central Islip, Suffolk County. The county-wide Protective Zone for Suffolk County replaces the zone for Central Islip.
We're looking for a few volunteers to staff the NYFOA booths at upcoming county fairs.
Members of the NYFOA Board Executive Committee and the Policy Committee have met with DEC representatives regarding these proposals on at least five occasions over the past two years. The proposals have also been discussed (debated) at regular NYFOA Board meetings, including input furnished by Chapter-designated Board Members.
​From Niagra Frontier Chapter's Secretary, Pat Glidden: "Here is a link to the Time Warner Cable’s “Outdoor Beat” hosted by Bill Hilts Jr. interviewing our Chapter Chairman Bob Glidden and Vice Chairman Mitch Banas
Here are the materials referenced in NYFOA President Charles Stackhouse's Email to NYFOA members dated November 6, 2017....

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