MDC Sept. 30 landowner workshop will focus on woodland habitats
MANSFIELD, Mo. – Woodland habitats can have benefits for a variety of wildlife species.
People who are interested in managing or establishing woodland habitats on their land should plan to attend a Woodland Workshop on Sept. 30. This event, which is a joint effort of the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), will be from 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. on a private farm in Wright County near Mansfield. People can register at https://forms.gle/vhrYsKaRqEmoBm3KA.
Although the terms “forest” and “woodland” are sometimes used interchangeably, they actually are two distinct habitats. A forest has a canopy that’s primarily closed and permits little light to reach the ground. Forests also have several overlapping layers of trees, shade-tolerant shrubs, and a sparse ground-cover layer of soft-stemmed plants.
Woodland habitats, on the other hand, have a more open canopy and this sparse cover allows more sunlight to reach the ground. As a result, the ground is a mix of native grasses, wildflowers, and sedges. Woodland areas are high-quality habitat for turkey, deer, and other wildlife. This, in turn, provides hunting and wildlife viewing benefits for landowners.
At the Sept. 30 program, MDC Private Land Conservationist Danita Rechkemmer and NWTF Wildlife Biologist Will Rechkemmer will discuss the strategies involved in restoring or maintaining an oak woodland area (a type of woodland where oaks are the predominant tree species). They will also talk about cost-share opportunities that are available to landowners.
“Woodland restoration is good for the turkeys, bees, and trees,” Danita Rechkemmer said. “Woodlands can provide quality nesting and brood-rearing habitat for turkeys, along with beneficial wildflowers for pollinators. Thinning a woodland allows for ample spacing, more sunlight, and overall, more favorable growing conditions for the trees that are left standing. In addition to helping those trees, this benefits a variety of wildlife species.”
The program will include a walking tour of parts of the farm over uneven ground and unmowed areas. Participants should bring bug spray, sunscreen, a hat, and comfortable walking shoes.
For more information, contact Danita Rechkemmer at 417-683-4212, ext. 5050 or at Danita.Rehkemmer@mdc.mo.gov. People can also get information about this program by contacting Will Rechkemmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.