Interested In Syrup? Forestry? Extension Can Help

Tony Johnson, forestry outreach specialist and maple syrup program manager, encourages people to spend time in the woods during the colder months.

“With leaves mostly down, winter provides a different, bug-free, perspective to consider opportunities to promote wildlife, recreation, and the next generation of trees in the forest,” he says.

While you’re out there, you may have questions about your own woodlands. Johnson says you can reach out to your local Wisconsin DNR service forester. Every county in Wisconsin has a private lands service forester. They’re available to assist landowners with property walk-throughs and no-strings attached advice.

Forestry Programs

If you’re interested in taking your forestry knowledge and skills to the next level while staying indoors this winter, the Extension Forestry Program has a webinar series for you. Starting Jan. 9, Extension is hosting online lunch hour classes about invasive species impacts and management, promoting songbird and herptile habitat, creating a forestry plan and accessing financial and technical assistance to make that plan a reality. Details are coming soon here:

The Extension Forestry Program also helps organize winter landowner conferences around the state every year. Johnson is part of a team planning the annual Fox Valley Woodland Owners Conference on Feb. 3 in Oshkosh. The event will have food, presentations about forest health and regeneration, the 2023 Pallet Fire, and attracting wildlife to your woods, as well as numerous foresters, peers, and non-profit partners to add to your network. Register:

Maple Syrup Programs

Finally, for the maple sugar enthusiasts out there, the Extension Maple Syrup Program has some events coming up in early 2024. First, the Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producers Association is hosting their annual Winter Institute in Marshfield Jan. 5-6. Extension will give an update Saturday morning and give a sugarbush forestry presentation that afternoon. Register:

Also, the Wisconsin Extension Maple Syrup Program hosts a regular webinar series called the Wisconsin Maple Hour. The Maple Hour features a timely topic for maple producers with a guest speaker and space for live Q&A. On Feb. 15, Extension is hosting a comprehensive Maple Tapping Clinic. On March 13, Extension is hosting an Invasive Species in the Sugarbush workshop. You can sign up for both webinars and watch the entire archive of Maple Hour presentations, covering everything from maple tree identification to cooking with maple syrup, here: