University of Missouri MU School of Natural Resources College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
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Missouri Woodland Steward

Missouri Woodland Steward

Missouri Woodland Steward was originally developed as a facilitated series of four evening, indoor sessions and one Saturday "Walk in the Woods."

The indoor sessions introduce landowners to basic forestry and wildlife management and show how to integrate both forms of management on their property.

The "Walk in the Woods" with a professional forester reinforces the concepts and techniques presented in the classroom. This format is still offered in various locales around the state. To find out when this format will be offered in your area, contact your local MU County Extension Office or MU Forestry Extension.

Indoor session

For those with busy schedules who find it difficult to find four free evenings, the program has been reformatted to make the indoor sessions available for at-home study.

The $80 course registration fee includes a set of four, high-quality DVDs containing six hours of instruction from professionals and landowners who are actively managing their woodlands; supporting publications from the Missouri Department of Conservation and MU Extension; and short, easy-to-follow online Web log (BLOG) assignments. You will also have 24/7 access to post questions to resource professionals and chat with other Woodland Steward participants in a secure discussion group. To register for the course, go to the Center for Distance and Independent Study.

If the thought of homework brings back some not-so-good memories, you can purchase the DVD set through MU Extension Publications for $40 plus tax and shipping and handling.

Walk in the woods

Whether you participate in a "live" course, online or simply watching the DVDs, Woodland Steward wraps up with a Saturday "Walk in the Woods." These walks will be scheduled in selected areas around the state and a professional forester or private land conservationist will show you some of the practices introduced during your at-home sessions.

If you are in a remote part of the state where no "Walk" is scheduled, your information will be forwarded, with your permission, to the nearest resource professional for assistance.

Course Syllabus

Session 1 is all about getting started. You will learn how to write clear goals and objectives; access information on property ownership, aerial photographs, topographic maps and soil productivity; how to conduct perimeter and interior walks of your property; and basic tree and grass identification.

Session 2 covers the basic forest management concepts of forest ecology, assessing your forest stand, tending your woodland garden and forest health.

Session 3 is all about your woodlands and wildlife. You will be introduced to basic wildlife ecological concepts; learn the effects of various forest management practices on food and cover; and be exposed to specific wildlife habitat management techniques.

Session 4 brings everything together in the development of a management plan. You will understand the steps in developing your plan, as well as the specific parts of the completed plan.

Session 5 is the Walk in the Woods with a professional resource manager that will help reinforce the concepts and techniques presented in the classroom.

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