Financial Re-LEAF for Forest & Grassland Workshop

“Financial Re-LEAF” will be held Wednesday, September 19th in Morris County at the Council Grove Wildlife Area. The workshop will begin at 9 am at the Canning Creek Campground, rain or shine.

Many people know the benefit that sustainably managed forests and grasslands provide for water quality, however, an upcoming workshop will also highlight the financial benefits that sustainable land management can provide to you, the landowner. Landowners and producers interested in sustainable and profitable forest and grassland management are encouraged to attend the upcoming “Financial Re-LEAF for Forests and Grassland” workshop. Here, education will be provided on field practices that not only impact water quality, but also provide a financial boost to the landowner’s bottom line.

The free event is sponsored by the Kansas Forest Service (KFS) and the Twin Lakes Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) group, with assistance from Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism (KDWPT). The event is aimed toward educating landowners and producers within the Twin Lakes (Council Grove Reservoir) watershed, as well as adjacent areas.

The workshop will kick off with a welcome from Twin Lakes WRAPS coordinator Angela Anderson. Angela will give an overview of the Twin Lakes WRAPS project, as well as explain how WRAPS is working to enhance both land and water quality, while positively impacting the bottom line of area producers.

Participants will then hit the field for a session with the Kansas Forest Service on tree planting and maintenance techniques for establishing high quality timber and wildlife habitat. Attendees will then stroll to an existing woodland where Thad Rhodes, KFS District Forester, will discuss Forest Stand Improvement efforts recently performed by KFS and KDWPT – efforts aimed at enhancing quality timber species, as well as providing food and habitat for wildlife.

Following the woodland session, the workshop will switch to a grassland and “edge” focus – starting with an up-close look at the results of a summer grassland burn performed by KDWPT. Brent Konen, Council Grove Wildlife Area Manager for KDWPT will discuss how burning in summer has impacted brush management and the quality of habitat for wildlife species such as quail.

The in-field workshop will wrap up with a discussion on managing “edge” habitat for wildlife, the transition zone between forest and grassland that is critical for species such as deer, rabbits, and quail. The morning in-field events will conclude around 11:30 am, at which time participants will return to the Canning Creek campground for a 12 pm catered lunch.

During lunch, attendees will hear Billy Beck, KFS Watershed Forester, share information on a low cost stream bank stabilization technique that uses dead, cut cedar trees to reduce stream bank erosion. Beck will share photos from recent projects along with examples of gear required for installation, and will also touch on the economics of this unique practice.

Angela Anderson and members of the Morris County Conservation District will conclude the workshop with a discussion on available cost share that can make practices described throughout the event a reality to landowners. Speakers will be available following the event to talk one-on-one with attendees, if desired.

Please join us and bring other producers to this free event. Please RSVP by September 15 to Billy Beck, Kansas Forest Service, by calling (785) 532-3693 from 8 am to 5 pm, or by email at [email protected].  Feel free to leave a voice message outside of office hours. An RSVP from interested participants will help to provide an appropriate amount of lunches, snacks and beverages.

This event will take place rain or shine, so please dress appropriately. A majority of the event will occur in the field, so mud boots and a portable chair may significantly increase your comfort level. Light off-road walking will be required, so if you need mobility assistance during the workshop, please contact Billy Beck for arrangements.   

Landowners and producers interested in enhancing water quality, as well as their bottom line, through sustainable forest and grassland management will definitely benefit from the September 19 “Financial Re-LEAF” event! Remember to RSVP immediately and by Saturday, September 15.

Because of bridge closures, attendees will be required to take the following route to Canning Creek Campground (route will be marked with signage): From Council Grove, head West on State Highway 56. Take Highway 56 to 1300/Lake Rd. and turn north. Follow 1300/Lake until it veers east and becomes

Lake Rd. Follow Lake Rd. east

 until you see the turnoff for Canning Creek Campground on the north side of the road. Turn north onto the campground road and follow signs to the event.