You do not need to be a woodland owner, but must have an interest in woodlands and volunteering to help others.
Steps to become an MFO Volunteer
Prior to Applying to be an MFO Volunteer
1) Contact a Regional Director, to introduce yourself and let them know you are interested in becoming an MFO. The Regional Director will suggest a volunteer to meet with.
2) Meet with the MFO Volunteer or attend a woodswalk with them to a landowners property and see what an MFO volunteer does.
Only after steps 1. and 2. have been completed, you may apply.
Find the application and all other training materials here.
No later than two weeks prior to the training you should hear from Peter Smallidge, if you are accepted into the program. The cost to each volunteer will be $125, $200 per couple. The cost for the training helps defray the cost of lodging and board, as well as all handouts and supplies. Do not send payment with your application, if you are accepted you will be notified how to make payment.
Requirements after being accepted:
Before the Training, Recorded Webinars to Watch
- Required (all five)
- Why trees grow where they do https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkVSBUHTeMQ
- An introduction to silvicultural https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ep2F-2DwMM
- Management for the next forest http://youtu.be/sD7sQ-9RHTc
- Working with foresters http://youtu.be/2sagBhSWm1Q
- Woodlands as a source of biodiversity https://youtu.be/QliWpWl4sQI
- Pick any two (at least two, but watch as many as you want)
- A family legacy of deliberate forest management http://youtu.be/f9ubX3tKKMs
- Thinning to improve forest growth and tree vigor http://youtu.be/poibQNa5PP0
- Introduction to hardwood tree identification http://youtu.be/pven9Thkv-g
- Introduction to conifer identification http://youtu.be/cbHLZyxkBdc
- Forest vegetation management using herbicides http://youtu.be/a2hAVjoIruQ
- Integrated Vegetation Management: Control of invasive woody plants http://youtu.be/0WIkXlK1Q1E
- You build it they will come http://youtu.be/H3uMBzuW-v0
- Creating old-growth forest characteristics http://youtu.be/1jxjGWPLq2Q
- Crop tree release of hardwoods http://youtu.be/vhlLj1p9aX8
Participate in the training workshop; Wednesday evening through Saturday afternoon. Instructors and speakers will come from a variety of educational and forestry-related institutions, agencies, and companies.
Requirements after becoming an MFO Volunteer:
Contact and meet, within 12 months of your training, at least 5 neighboring woodland owners, one-to-one in their woodlands, to promote wise forest management and stewardship. Typically the meeting consists of about a half-day, on-site visit and perhaps a follow-up phone call. MFOs are free to make more contacts or devote more time per contact if so motivated! Call on individuals you know that would benefit from your assistance, and/or meet with referrals provided by agencies or organizations such as CCE County Associations, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Offices, or the NY Forest Owners Association (NYFOA).
Keep a detailed record of your time, efforts and evaluation of your accomplishments for program summary and review. MFOs are provided forms for this purpose. A wide variety of informational resources will be provided at the workshop and periodically through the year.
PLEASE NOTE! It is critical that you make a realistic assessment of the time and effort you can devote to being a volunteer. Considerable professional and volunteer time is invested in the training and we all want to see the program succeed.
If you have any on-going professional involvement in the forest industry, please do not apply. Any activities, that, could be perceived as a “conflict of interest” is unacceptable in a volunteer program. You may however, as a professional forester or industry person, be involved in many ways as a source of assistance to the volunteers.
The MFO program is a strong partner with the NY Forest Owners Association. Please plan to join NYFOA (www.nyfoa.org), and seek opportunities to support your local chapter.