Tree Farmer - November/December 2010 - (Page 39)

creating enthusiasm for the Woods Ed Piestrak purchased an initial 265 acres of forest in Steuben County, new York, in 1989 after prompting from his son, jeffrey, who had hunted on the property. Ed has since acquired additional land that now comprises the 900-acre Piestraks forest Lands, LLC. Almost 90 percent of the Piestraks Certified Tree Farm is wooded and managed under a 480-A management plan* that is updated regularly. The land started as a pioneer forest with hickory, oak, maple, and some ash and aspen mixed in too. Ed Piestrak has worked hard to create a healthy forest for wood, water, wildlife, and recreation by constructing five ponds and three vernal ponds, developing three deer enclosures and seven acres of corn for wildlife, and conducting nearly a hundred acres of timber stand improvement work. His land is important to his entire family — wife Wanda, son Jeffrey and his grandchildren. The family enjoys hunting, wildlife watching, hiking, and fishing on the property. They built 17 tree stands approximately 20 feet high and with windows so they can stay out of the rain. In the fall, family members sit in the stands, take pictures and watch through binoculars at all the wildlife they have successfully integrated with timber goals. Ed has placed trail cameras on the property to capture images of foxes, raccoons, and coyotes. Two fish ponds are stocked with a mixture of fish and the other three are for amphibians, frogs, and salamanders. In the young forest, all kinds of birds are making their home. To attract even more birds, Piestrak and his family have erected 80 bluebird boxes. Last year, all but two of the boxes were occupied. Bats also have found a haven in one of the eight boxes located on the property. Piestrak was approved for a Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contract from the Natural Resource Conservation Service to make land and road improvements, release crop trees, mark snags, and thin trees on the property. “I won’t reap the benefits personally, but the next generation will and the forest will be improved,” he said. In July, three Piestrak generations attended the Tree Farmer Convention in Vermont. “It was the first exposure that we’ve had to the Tree Farm program. It was a refreshing experience and makes one realize that Tree Farming and its community is quite alive and thriving throughout the United States,” stated Piestrak. Multiple Tree Farm signs are proudly displayed around the property. Part of the property borders the new interstate Highway 99, which is in the final construction phase. The family LLC members decided it would be a good idea to expose the Tree Farm to the thousands of people that pass by By johnson BRIGITTE the land. A New York welcome center is planned for directly across from one end of the property. An 8-foot-by-8foot Tree Farm sign was installed by the family members so that it can be seen from the welcome center. While Piestrak’s forest and wildlife are benefiting from his stewardship, the future generations are well-positioned to enjoy the woodland for years to come, as grandson Joshua is considering a forestry career. “Sharing and teaching are important tools” said Piestrak. “Enthusiasm can be caught. Come catch some enthusiasm for your woods.” *A 480-A management plan is a New York tax program to encourage the long-term ownership of woodlands to produce forest crops and thereby increase the likelihood of a more stable forest economy. This management plan includes various requirements for a management plan under the American Forest Foundation Standards. Brigitte Johnson is executive editor of Tree Farmer Magazine. Adapted with permission. Original article appears in The New York Forest Owner, March/April 2010 page 21. International Year of Forests, 2011 Tree Farmer NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2010 39 sharing your experiences

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tree Farmer - November/December 2010

Tree Farmer - November/December 2010
How to Develop an Investment Strategy
Buyer’s Guide & Resource Directory
Associations & Organizations
Communication – Satellite Phones & GPS
Consulting Foresters & Managers
Co-op Resources
Equipment Financing
Fertilizers, Herbicides & Repellents
Financing & Credit
Forest Appraisal, Analysis & Management
Forest Measuring Instruments & Software
GPS & Satellite Phones
Land Sales
Portable Sawmills
Pressure Treated Products
Real Estate Brokers
Seeds & Seedlings
Specialized Excavating for Erosion Control
Supplies, Gifts & Apparel
Timber Buyers & Loggers
Timber Pricing Services
Tools & Equipment
Trail Layout & Construction
Tree Paint & Markers
Tree Protectors & Shelters
Wood Manufacturers
Associations & Organizations
Cooperative, State Research, Education & Extension Services
Grant, Loan & Cost-Share Programs
Tree Farm State Contacts
State Foresters
Taxing Issues
Sharing Your Experiences
Ties to the Land
Sharing Your Experiences
Tools & Techniques

Tree Farmer - November/December 2010