The IFA's 13th Annual Meeting and Fall Conference will take place September 27-29, 2018. Our theme is Illinois Forests: A growing concern. We begin with a focus on tree planting and end with the notion of extending the legacy of stewardship beyond a given owner, beyond a historic tree.
This year we are centrally located in the Springfield area, with the Northfield Inn and Conference Center serving as home base. A block of rooms has been reserved under "Illinois Forestry Association" - call 217/523-7900 to make a reservation.
There are two optional field trip opportunities on the first and last days, with an indoor meeting in between that begins with an Opening Reception on Thursday evening (6 p.m.) and ends with a reception and the closing of the Silent Auction on Friday evening. Please contact Mike McMahan if you have a silent auction item or cash donation for this important annual fundraiser.
The Thursday optional field tour begins at 10 a.m. at the Mason State Tree Nursery near Havana, IL. Attendees will enjoy a guided tour of nursery operations and a catered lunch, then carpool to a privately owned site where trees from the nursery have been planted. If you've got an area where you'd like to establish or reestablish a forest, or have experience to share that would help others - this is the tour for you!
The program on Friday highlights growing concerns around the forests of Illinois. We'll begin with two presentations in which you'll learn the latest facts and trends arising out of the Forest Service's Forest Inventory and Analysis review - coupled with the Illinois Forest Action Plan and what that all means for private landowners. Invasive species are still a top concern, so Chris Evans will give us a run down of the current status and problem species. Next a panel of landowners on the IFA board will lead off a group discussion about the challenges our members face and how the IFA can help address them. The afternoon kicks off with a series of presentations: Starting a New Forest from Scratch; Managing Illinois Forests for Wildlife, Forest Management for the Birds, and Options for Extending your Legacy of Stewardship - presented by experts from the US Forest Service, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, University of Illinois Extension, Quail Forever, and The Nature Conservancy, respectively.
Those who register for the Saturday morning program are in for an added treat. We'll meet at Starhill Forest Arboretum at 9 a.m. for a guided tour of an impressive collection of growing trees and other plant cover types. Carpooling is suggested so that we may accommodate all who would like to participate in a lovely and informative morning in this beautiful setting. Check the tour options handout for more information, including how you can procure pieces of wood from the historic Gudgel oak tree at the arboretum.
Click HERE to download the complete registration packet containing the program agenda, tour options, registration form, and information about lodging and area attractions.