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Woodlot conference in Ontario

Jan. 31, 2014 - Audience registration is now open for the 27th annual Kemptville Winter Woodlot Conference to be held on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at the W.B. George Centre on the Kemptville Campus of the University of Guelph.

This informal yet finely-tuned conference has become an important educational and networking event for private woodlot owners, farmers with woodlots, community forest managers and anyone else interested in keeping informed about the state of our forests and the associated socio-economic, environmental, recreational and sometimes political issues surrounding them. This year's theme is "Evolving Issues & Insights for Woodlot Owners."

To launch our day, Rob Keen, the CEO of Trees Ontario, will deliver the keynote presentation "A Healthy Dose of Green" that highlights some surprising new medical findings on the health benefits of trees, and will also give an update on their 50 Million Tree Program.

Next up, Dr. Richard Wilson the Forest Program Pathologist for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources will describe some invasive pests and diseases of current concern and what to do about them - including Beech Bark Disease, Thousand Canker Disease of black walnut, a new biocontrol product for Fomes root rot of red pine, and an intro to a 'new' pest on the horizon called the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.

To top off this discussion, the Eastern Ontario Model Forest will air its new video entitled "Emerald Ash Borer: Facts and Tactics for Woodlot Owners and Forest Managers."

After a coffee break, two presenters will showcase a non-timber forest product that can yield new income and diversity opportunities for woodlot owners. Bruno Pretto and Paula Vopni from Mycosource Inc. will describe and demonstrate how to "Cultivate Gourmet Mushrooms under the Canopy." A presentation on common cultivation methods for a number of edible and medicinal mushrooms will also include information about mushrooms in general including their various ecological roles, as well as their gourmet, medicinal, and nutritional values.

Brian Lawrence from Workplace Safety North will give a practical and potentially life and limb-saving talk on "Hazards and Safe Practices in the Woodlot." He will highlight a range of natural and tool hazards as well as the essential safety equipment and practices all woodlot practioners, from the professional logger to the weekend warrior, should use for their protection.

Hot lunch will be followed by an enlightening presentation from Janine McLeod on vernal pools called "Ephemeral Ponds Do Much More Than Breed Mosquitoes." Then two presenters will talk about existing and emerging markets for local wood. Thomas Logan, Executive Chairman of Protocol Biomass Corp. will give the audience an update on the pending completion of the Prescott Pellet Mill and what kind of wood products they will be accepting. Next, Tom Richardson who will be representing Heideman Forest Services will talk about existing opportunities for woodlot owners to take advantage of "Pre-commercial & Commercial Red Pine Harvesting."

Last but not least, we are pleased to welcome world-renowned naturalist and wildlife photographer, Michael Runtz, who is also a Professor at Carleton University. He will deliver an informed presentation called "The Wonders of the Woodlot!" that will feature a visually engaging overview and description of the fascinating plants and animals in our local woodlots and how they interact. There is plenty to learn at this year's conference!

Doors open for registration and coffee at 8:30 and proceedings run from 9:00 to 3:30. The cost is $30.00 which includes lunch or $20 without lunch. For details and to register online as an audience participant, sponsor, or exhibitor please visit our event page at: eomf.on.ca/winter-woodlot-conference. Or, call 613-258-8241 or email modelforest@eomf.on.ca.