What is the role of the District Forester?
District Foresters are professionally trained to manage forestland. District Foresters administer both state and federal programs and are the landowner’s ‘gateway’ to receiving technical assistance, property tax incentives, and cost-sharing incentives for sustainable management.
What other resources are available to help a landowner with forest management questions/needs?
Other resources for the landowner in southern Illinois include the Illinois Forest Landowner Association, the Southern Illinois Prescribed Burn Association, the River-to-River Cooperative Weed Management Area, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and private forestry consultants.
What if a landowner is interested in selling land?
If at some point a landowner becomes interested in selling to a conservation interest, The Nature Conservancy, the Forest Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service all have land acquisition interests and funding.
A Vision for the Future
Oak-dominated forests cover hundreds of thousands of acres in; Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky, making-up an area known as the ‘central hardwoods’. These oak forests support many other species directly or indirectly – from deer and turkeys, to migrating songbirds, to wildflowers and pollinators. As such, a loss of oaks would be bad news for the species that depend on them.
The Let the Sun Shine In program is making great conservation strides in Illinois and is poised to do big things. As these successes continue to mount, we look forward to exporting this cutting-edge approach to neighboring states with oak forests and similar problems. And that could add up to letting a lot of sun shine into oak forests and making a BIG Difference!!