Forestry, wildlife day to be held in Norman Township – Manistee News Advocate

Pictured is the location of a forestry and wildlife field day scheduled for Sept. 9. The event will be held on a 40-acre property in Norman Township owned by Kurt Schindler
NORMAN TWP. — Those wanting to learn the different factors to consider when making management decisions on forested and non-forested property are encouraged to attend a wildlife and forestry field day in Norman Township.
The event, hosted by the Manistee and Mason-Lake conservation districts, Forestry Assistance Program, American Tree Farm System, American Bird Conservancy and Schillinger Forestry/Northern Michigan Tree Doctor, will take place on a roughly 40-acre property owned by Kurt Schindler.
The event is scheduled to take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 9. The field tour will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be followed by a late lunch and question-and-answer session until 2 p.m.
Attendees are asked to meet at latitude/longitude coordinates 44.241614, -86.042109 in Section 6 of West Norman Township. People are asked to park along North Michigan Avenue. This location is about 0.8 to 0.9 miles south from Chicago Avenue.
Professionals leading the field tour will include Schindler; Josh Shields, Forestry Assistance Program forester and wildlife biologist with the Manistee and Mason-Lake conservation districts; Michael Paling and Joyanne Mittig, American Bird Conservancy foresters; and Daniel Schillinger and Nia Becker, foresters with Schillinger Forestry/Northern Michigan Tree Doctor.
There is no cost to attend the field day and lunch will be provided by the American Bird Conservancy. A prize from the American Tree Farm System  Committee will be handed out during the lunch.
Organizers have applied for Category 1 Society of American Foresters continuing education credits for the event.
Space is limited, so those wanting to attend are asked to register before Sept. 2 by contacting the Manistee Conservation District at 231-889-9666 or by emailing Shields at
The agenda for the event is as follows:
• 8:30 a.m.: Meet at latitude/longitude 44.241614, -86.042109.
• 9-10:30 a.m.: Introduce the professionals leading the tour. Discuss forest thinning practices on the parcel and how different types and ages of forests benefit different types of wildlife species, as well as challenges associated with projects on small parcels. Discuss the benefits of American Tree Farm System certification and Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program Forest, Wetlands and Habitat *A*Syst verification from the landowner’s perspective.
• 10:30-11 a.m.: Discuss the Forestry for Michigan Birds initiative led by American Bird Conservancy and partners.
• 11-11:30 a.m.: Discuss the impacts of browsing by white-tailed deer. Observe an exclosure that illustrates a dramatic difference in oak regeneration inside the exclosure versus immediately outside the exclosure.
• 11:30 a.m. to noon: Discuss the use of planting trees and shrubs to enhance species and structural diversity — the landowner has been planting trees and shrubs that are present in the canopy layer but underrepresented as seedlings or saplings — as well as species that are otherwise absent and that will enhance the quality of wildlife habitat.
• Noon to 12:30 p.m.: Discuss the value of integrating non-forested habitats such as native wildflowers and grasses. Observe a 3-year-old planting of native wildflowers and grasses in a non-forested opening.
• 12:30-1 p.m.: Discuss the importance of riparian management zones along water bodies as a way to protect the quality of wetlands and aquatic habitats. We will observe a portion of the landowner’s parcel that borders Pine Creek.
• 1-2 p.m.: Lunch and question-and-answer session. Hand out a prize to one recipient.
I was born and raised in Manistee. I earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Grand Valley State University. My hobbies include fishing, reading and playing music.