Gary Goff receives “Silviculture Leadership Award”

Congratulations to Gary Goff for receiving the “Silviculture Leadership Award” from the Allegany Chapter of the NY Forest Owners Association (NYFOA) and the western NY Master Forest Owner (MFO) Volunteers. It was presented at the 17th Annual Rural Landowners Conference in Yorkshire, NY on March 1, 2014.  The award recognizes 20+ years of service to educational programs that support the sound silvicultural management of private woodlands for wildlife and timber.

Goff has been a dedicated supporter of forest management and stewardship for over 35 years. He has contributed to numerous projects dedicated to maintaining NY and northeastern forests. Goff has served as the Arnot Forest Associate Director for Extension/Outreach, and has worked for over 21 years with the NY MFO Volunteers program. Through his work with the MFO Volunteer program, Gary Goff has been an exceptional and influential figure and has positively shaped the stewardship values of private forest owners throughout New York.
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(Gary Goff holds his Silviculture Leadership Award)

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Article on Forest Regeneration in Cornell’s Small Farms Quarterly

DNR’s Paul Curtis, Gary Goff, and Jay Boulanger, recently published an article in Cornell’s Small Farm Quarterly Spring 2013 issue. The article discusses the difficulty in forest regeneration with the overabundance of white-tailed deer. They explain that the deer will selectively browse and remove tree seedlings up to 6 feet tall, making it hard for young trees to successfully regenerate. They explain the key components for successful forest regeneration, challenges to regeneration, and potential solutions.

Click here to read the full article.

Restoring New York Woodlands

Experts say that autumns could be mostly brown instead of the usual greens, oranges, and reds in 50 years from now if people don’t start paying more attention to what’s going on with the shrubs, bushes and saplings in the forest. Deer are a major problem eating most of the good quality saplings, leaving the lower grade and not-so-pretty varieties of trees such as American beech. There are also invasive species such as buckthorn, honeysuckle and multiflora rose, that crowd out the native, “prettier” species.

A survey of foresters by Cornell’s Cooperative Extension in 2010 suggested that 70 percent of the state’s woodlands are not regenerating in a healthy and diverse way. There are ways to deal with invasive species and deer, too, if controversial. However, the real problem is overcoming what the study’s co-author Gary Goff calls “the Big Green Lie.” This “lie” is that people who see lots of greenery along New York highways think that everything must be fine, but in reality, it’s not.

This story was aired on the radio station WRVO in a short piece.

Click here to listen and read more.

Current Updates in the Human Dimensions Research Unit

The Human Dimensions Research Unit (HDRU) at Cornell University strives to expand the understanding of academicians, students, and natural resources agency staff about the human behavioral aspects of natural resource management and policy. We work to develop fundamental understandings of human behavior associated with resource management and to apply concepts and empirical findings to real-world, contemporary problems of management.

Professor Dan Decker, director of HDRU, is currently co-chair for an international human dimensions conference, organizing a plenary session for that conference, and is serving with HDRU Senior Research Associate Bruce Lauber  as co-editor of an associated special issue of the Human Dimensions of Wildlife journal. The conference will take place in Breckenridge, Colorado, September 24-27, 2012 and is a cooperative effort  between Cornell University and Colorado State University. The conference theme is “Contributions of Human Dimensions to Adaptive Capacity for Fish and Wildlife Conservation.

Dan Decker is also currently involved in multiple outreach workshops for fish and wildlfie professionals. He has worked with Cindi Jacobson (MS and PhD from Natural Resources)  John Organ (both with US Fish and Wildlife Service), as well as Chris Smith (Wildlife Management Institute) to develop a third workshop in their series at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference on “Transforming State Fish and Wildlife Agencies.”   The 2012 workshop is focused on Perspectives from Outside the Tent Looking In:  Enhancing State Wildlife Agencies’ Impact on the Future of Wildlife Conservation.”  The objective of this workshop is to identify challenges and opportunities for collaboration in wildlife conservation and strategies leading to effective wildlife resource governance.   The workshop focus is on how potential conservation partners (NGOs, federal and local governments, etc.) for State Wildlife Agencies see the direction of needed state agency transformation.  Dan is also planning a series of workshops for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on “Thinking Like a Manager,” “Implications of the Public Trust Doctrine for State Fish and Wildlife Agencies” and “Human Dimensions integration in Fish and Wildlife management through Impact Management.”

Associate Professor Richard C. Stedman, associate director of HDRU, was recently awarded (as part of the Cornell Cooperative Extension team) the David J. Allee and Paul R. Eberts Community and Economic Vitality Award for work related to Marcellus shale.

Rich Stedman is also the Cornell University representative on a National Science Foundation proposal: People, water, and climate: Predicting change, response, and adaptation in socio-ecological systems (Water Sustainability & Climate).  If successful, HDRU would be involved in a basin wide study of linkages between ecological and social change, which fits nicely with current Army Corps and Great Lakes Fisheries projects.

Associate Professor Shorna B. Allred, associate director of HDRU, is involved in multiple workshops and webinars including a Cornell Cooperative Extension Workshop that held October 14 titled “Fostering Community Engagement in Urban Forestry: A Practical Toolkit for Educators.” Others include “Ties to the Land Workshops” and webinars and Climate Atlas Webinars with Cooperative Extension Associates Kristi Sullivan and Gary Goff.

Other ongoing HDRU projects (a sample) include:

  • Increasing the Effectiveness of Fish Consumption Advisories in the Great Lakes States
  • Building Local Capacity for Environmental Resources Conservation in the Face of Change
  • Assessing Agency Capacities to Manage Fish and Wildlife Health
  • Developing knowledge to manage economic, health, and safety risks of wildlife for individuals and communities in New York
  • Human dimensions knowledge to manage wildlife habituation in national parks
  • New York State Woodland Owners and Their Interest in Woody Biofuels

A more comprehensive review of 2010 projects and activities in HDRU can be found in the HDRU Annual Report. Current HDRU publications can be found here.