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Forest Society Announces 2007 Land Steward Training Program

CONCORD, N.H., March 22, 2007–The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is accepting applications for its Land Steward Training Program, a series of workshops for volunteers interested in taking responsibility and oversight of one of our more than 150 permanent forests. This comprehensive training program includes coursework in natural resources philosophy, management, and general stewardship. Armed with basic knowledge, committed volunteers work to enhance the recreational potential and ecological health of Forest Society reservations that they visit regularly.

"Many Forest Society members already enjoy the benefits of spending time on Society lands," said Andy Fast, Reservation Stewardship Specialist. "Whether visitors to our lands enjoy the physical exercise or spiritual refreshment that comes from being in the woods, becoming a land steward enhances these benefits. It's both an excuse to get out on a property you enjoy and an opportunity to explore and expand your relationship and understanding of that place."

The training program is made up of 10 one-day workshops, all held on Saturdays. The first five will take place in the spring: Introduction to the Forest Society (May 5); Introduction to Tree and Shrub Identification (May 12); Introduction to Forest Ecology and Forest Communities (May 19); Introduction to Forest Inventory and Management (June 2); and Introduction to Wildlife Ecology and History (June 9). The five fall workshops include Introduction to Wildlife Habitat Improvement (September 22); Introduction to Trail Maintenance and Construction (September 29); Introduction to Compass, GPS, Boundaries, and Maps (October 13); Introduction to Harvesting Timber and the Forest Products Industry (October 27); and Introduction to Wildlife Tracking and Signs (November 3).

The workshops typically run from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., and include PowerPoint lectures, in-class exercises, and field trips led by experienced Forest Society professionals in land management, land protection, advocacy, and education. Natural resource professionals from universities and other private and government organizations will make presentations to add breadth and context to the material covered.

The cost of the program is free with the expectation that volunteers are willing to make a long-term commitment to working with the Forest Society and enhancing the benefits that Forest Society reservations provide to their communities.

Volunteer benefits include a complementary Forest Society membership, optional mileage reimbursement, a discount at the Forest Society gift shop, and the many intangible rewards that come from supporting conservation efforts and enhancing community resources.

Entry into the Land Steward Program is competitive. If you would like to additional information or a registration application, please contact the Forest Society's Reservation Stewardship Specialist, Andy Fast , (603) 224-9945 ext. 318. Please submit all applications by April 2, 2007 to:

Andy Fast, Reservation Stewardship Specialist
Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests
54 Portsmouth Street
Concord, NH 03301

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (www.forestsociety.org) is the state's oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. In order to preserve the quality of life New Hampshire residents know today, the goal of the Forest Society, in partnership with other conservation organizations, private landowners, and government, is to conserve an additional one million acres of the state's most significant natural lands for trails, parks, farms and forests by 2026.

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