Learn About Your Land Self-paced Course

Introduction

Learn About Your Land is a series of courses offered by the UW-Extension Natural Resources Program. This series of classes is intended to be a self-paced learning course to stand on its own, or support in-person classes. The material covered in these lessons gives landowners hands-on tools for working in your own woodlands.

Part 1: Get To Know Your Property and Woods

This part of the Learn About Your Land course has 5 sections.

Learn Your Trees

(download this tree key prior to this session)
In this first lesson, you will learn to use a tree key to identify tree species.
After this lesson, you will be able to:
1) use a tree identification key,
2) identify the main species of trees in your woodlot.

Critter Counts: Learn what wildlife use your property

(download this publication prior to this session)
In this lesson, you will learn some of the basics about wildlife habitat, and some of the tools you can use to inventory wildlife and habitat on your property.
After this lesson, you will:
1) know the four components of wildlife habitat
2) know how to discover which wildlife use your property

Learn the signs & symptoms of sick trees

In this lesson, you will learn the signs and sysmptoms of various agents that can damage your trees.
After this lesson, you will be able to:
1) describe the signs and symptoms of common damaging agents
2) be able to identify some damaging agents
3) know how to describe forest health problems to a professional

Find boundaries & corners

In this lesson, you will learn how to find your legal description, boundaries, and corners, and learn about several laws that relate to property boundaries.
After this lesson, you will:
1) know why it is important to know your boundaries
2) know how to find your boundaries
3) understand some of the laws relating to property

Final activity: Mapping your property

In this lesson, you will learn why it is important, and how to begin mapping your property.
After this lesson, you will be able to:
1) Create a map of your property, according to your woodland goals.
2) Find maps and aerial photos of your property online.

Part 2: Connect Your Interests To Your Land

This part of the Learn About Your Land course has 5 sections.

Create trails and paths

This session will cover the techniques to creating trails that meet the goals of the landowner. It will cover the development and maintenance of trails.
After this lesson, you will:
1) Know how to design and construct a trail that meets your needs
2) Know how to maintain your trails

Harvest trees for your own use

This session will cover the why’s and how’s of choosing which trees to cut for your own use.
After this lesson, you will:
1) Know which trees to harvest to meet goals
2) Know how to harvest trees safely and efficiently

Plant trees

This session will cover techniques for having a successful tree planting activity. Included will be discussions on choosing the right trees, preparing the site for planting, caring for trees before planting, planting techniques, and caring for trees after planting.
After this lesson, you will:
1) Know how to plan for tree planting
2) Know the proper tree planting techniques
3) Know how to maintain a planting

Conduct a timber sale

This session will cover how to choose a forester and logger and the steps to holding a successful timber sale that ultimately meets the needs of you, the landowner.
After this lesson, you will:
1) Know what to look for in a forester and logger
2) Know the steps to a successful timber harvest

Create and maintain wildlife habitat

This is a follow-up presentation from Part I: Critter Count. Now you know what you have, how do you manage for what you want? This session covers how to attract new wildlife, and managing a changing habitat to maintain the wildlife you have.
After this lesson, you will:
1) Know how to write a wildlife plan and evaluate it
2) Know how to implement activities from a plan
Additional resources:
NRCS WHIP (Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program)
DNR LIP (Landowner Incentive Program)
COVERTS information