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On the Ground

Family Loves Improving Woods

“Amazing” is the word Jim Grabenhorst uses to describe the results of his Forest Stand Improvements (FSI). He and his family began this conservation practice on their 140 acres in Montgomery County back in 2004. Their aim was to get rid of cedars and maples and improve ruffed grouse habitat. “When you open up the canopy, you get an amazing amount of different wildflowers and native grasses.” He adds that the Department’s and other agencies’ assistance and cost-share programs can help make it easy to accomplish FSI. “Take it in stages,” Jim advises. “The plan seemed overwhelming, but Josh Stevens, our Department forester, helped us take it one stage at a time.” Jim is also proud of his four kids’ involvement in the work. “Now it’s just second nature for them to think about conservation and habitat.” To learn more about applying FSI on your land, see the story below.

Preserving Family Forests

Ensure the future of your family’s woodland.

In the next 10 years, more family woodlands will change hands than at any other time in America’s history. Many family forests will be split into smaller pieces, sold, or lost due to tax considerations, and then developed. This loss will hurt families, communities and wildlife. The University of Missouri Forestry Extension’s quarterly newsletter, Green Horizons, can help you explore tools for preserving your family’s woodland. Call (573) 882-4444 and ask for the series titled Preserving the Family Forest.

Money to Help Your Woods

Get cost-share to improve your timber forest stand.

Unmanaged woods become overcrowded, causing a shortage of water, nutrients and sunlight for all trees. Whether you own a large acreage or a small woodlot, you can use a forest management practice called Forest Stand Improvement (FSI) to boost productivity and enhance wildlife habitat. FSI calls for the removal of selected trees to improve overall health and growth. With FSI, you decide which trees to keep, reducing competition in your stand, slowing the spread of infestations and disease, and improving habitat values for wildlife. Cost-share may be available for FSI. To learn more about this beneficial practice, order your free copy of Timber Stand Improvement. Write to MDC, Timber Stand Improvement, PO Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180 or e-mail pubstaff@mdc.mo.gov.

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