Submitted By Russ Richards

The program on Non-timber Forest Products held at Crummies Creek Tree Farm on June 27 was a great success.

More than 30 foresters attended and included land management foresters from several large timber companies, WV Division of Forestry personnel, private consultant foresters, US Forest Service, WV DNR, USDA Farm Services Agency, Soil Conservation Service, WVU Extension and the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

In addition to the foresters there were several local property owners present.

WVU Extension Forester, Dr. David McGill discussed the developing markets for non timber products and how their use or harvesting could impact everything from local economies to private property rights.

Dr. William Grafton of WVU Extension presented a historical perspective on land use and how land abuses of a century ago impact timber quality and under story plant diversity to this day. The program included a discussion of many of the traditional uses of medicinal plants as well as a detailed perspective on the history of ginseng harvesting and the importance of ginseng to the pioneer economy of West Virginia.

Lawrence Beckerle, a professor at Glenville State College, Summersville gave a presentation on native plants that are useful in reclaiming logging roads and disturbed land. He also came with a large assortment of seed from many of the types of plants he uses in re-vegetation.

The afternoon session included a program by Fred Hays from the Center for Sustainable Resources in Elkview on ginseng site selection, planting techniques and "simulated wild" ginseng production.

The final presentation of the day was made by United Plant Savers from Rutland, Ohio with most of the time spent on medicinal plant identification with a description of traditional and present uses as folk medicine, wild foods or in beverages.

Throughout the day, numerous references were made to the developing influence of invasive and nonnative plants including, multifloral rose, tree of heaven, kudzu and Japanese honeysuckle as well as several other lesser know pests.

The program will have at least one follow-up session directed at Calhoun and Roane County property owners later this year.

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