Forest tour to focus on fire

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DAYTON -- Forest landowners in Columbia and western Garfield counties who have concerns about their forestland and wish to be included in a timber tour Sept. 2 can inquire about being a tour stop by contacting the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

The tour includes federal forest entomologists, a state forest health specialist, a state fire regulations forester and NRCS Washington state forester. They will join private forest landowners and local NRCS Soil Conservationist and Blue Mountain Resource Conservation and Development coordinator on a tour of several forestland sites.

U.S. Forest Service entomologists Lia Speigel and Craig Schmidtt will combine over 50 years of resource knowledge to help landowners determine the causes of tree stress and mortality.

Mike Johnson and Aaron Schmidt will offer landowners ways to manage their forestland to minimize future insect and disease attacks. Schmidt will share proven methods used to protect homes and property from future fires by managing forest resources. Utilizing opportunities to recover the economic value of wood will also be addressed. Johnson is forest health coordinator for the state Department of Natural Resources. Schmidt is fire regulations forester with the same agency.

For agenda details or to reserve a lunch, call the RC & D office at 382-8955. The tour begins at 10 a.m. from the RC & D office, 527 Cameron St., Building 3.

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