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Counting Crawling Critters

Image by Gary Shackelford

When we talk to landowners about their property, they often share with us trail camera photos of bears or list the birds they saw or heard. Wildlife is a common interest for many woodland owners. Although less cute and cuddly, amphibians are a vital part of the ecosystem and the wildlife food web in your woods. They are also a fun, accessible way to get kids or grandkids out exploring your woods. In this month’s blog, we’ll look at how to find and count amphibians on your property.

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Online Resources for Woodland Owners

Photo by William Klase

It’s the holidays, and in case you haven’t noticed, they are pushing electronics of all kinds.  Hopefully, in a future post we’ll share some forestry apps for tablets and smartphones.  We are just starting to delve into some of these, so if you have used one, we’d love some input on what to check out and what to avoid (just shoot us an email).  In the meantime, this post will focus on a few websites that we recommend for woodland owners.

Mapping your Property

We’ve been getting some more rain around the state recently, and hopefully snow is right around the corner. So think of this blog post as what to do on a rainy day when you are stuck inside. Think of this “down time” as an opportunity to organize your upcoming plans for your woodland, and put a timeline in place for the coming year. A good starting point to do that (if you haven’t done it already) is to create a map of your property that lays out all the features and captures your plans for any future activities. There are a lot of good online resources to help you do that, but this month, I’d like to spend a little time focused on one online resource, and describe how it is useful to you.

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Recreation and Invasive Pests

Insect galleries, Credit: Forest Service, USDA

As the mosquitoes start to disappear, and the leaves begin their fall beauty, we may be hitting our woods more frequently for hiking, horseback riding, bicycling or ATVing. But do you know what may be hitchhiking along with you? Many of the exotic plants, insects and diseases invading our woods are fairly immobile until we pick them up and carry them home or to other woodlands.

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