WILBERFORCE — Central State University Extension Forest Outreach Coordinator Jamie Dahl was recently congratulated for creating and delivering outstanding results in the Renewable Resources Extension Act funded by the US Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
The acknowledgement, sent on behalf of the USDA/NIFA by Eric R. Norland, Ph.D., national science liaison, Environment and Natural Resources, shares the progress made by Central State University Extension within its forestry program.
Dahl’s programming focuses on the underserved southeast portion of the state. CSU’s participation in the Ohio Interagency Forestry Team provides additional monetary leverage of RREA dollars as the team collectively contributes about $10.2 million annually to promote and implement conservation of oak ecosystems, through management, research, and outreach.
“I look forward every year to reading about what you have accomplished and the impacts you have had,” Norland said. “Your 2019 report describes a multi-faceted program that involves partners in meeting the needs of forest landowners, and especially women landowners through the Women Owning Woodlands in Southeast Ohio program. The work that you are doing with the oak ecosystem is also noteworthy and particularly relevant.”
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges. RREA is the only federally supported extension program that exclusively funds Extension Forest Resource Programs.
CSUE forestry programs recognized included continued collaboration through the Ohio Interagency Forestry Team, which is working to conserve the oak ecosystems in southeast Ohio through a shared stewardship approach. The Forestry Team consists of agencies with a forest management mission in Ohio, including the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Forest Service, Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry, ODNR Division of Wildlife, Ohio State University Extension (OSUE), and Central State University Extension.
“Oaks provide many important benefits to wildlife, forest ecosystems, and our economy,” Dahl said. “There are some concerning trends with oak in southeast Ohio forests and we want to help ensure that oaks continue to have a future legacy on the land.”
In addition, CSUE helped to found a Women Owning Woodlands (WOW) group in southeast Ohio in May 2019. WOW is part of a national movement to bring topical, accessible, and current forestry and natural resources information to women landowners and forest practitioners. Female professionals, landowners, and enthusiasts learn from one another through programs and direct contacts.
“Women are an important woodland owner audience that often gets missed,” Dahl said. “Many times women play an important role in the management and particularly the legacy planning for their woods. SE Ohio WOW helps to make sure they have a welcoming and safe environment to share and learn.”