URBANA, Ill. – The University of Illinois Extension forestry program launched its newly designed website making it easier for forest owners to access the tools they need to manage their woodlands.
“Our new website was developed to help educate, advise and assist the public with questions about the conservation and stewardship of Illinois’ forest resources,” said Illinois Extension Forestry Specialist Jay Hayek. “Our goal is to make it a one-stop-shop for all forestry-related questions.”
The website, available at extension.illinois.edu/forestry, has upcoming webinars and trainings, technical documents, and more.
On the resources page, homeowners find a variety of research-based information including a directory of professional foresters and an invasive species guideline. Nature lovers can explore a map of Illinois’ biggest trees, and timber buyers can access price bulletins dating back to the 1970s to estimate market value, Hayek says.
“Publications and events are the bedrock of our program,” says Chris Evans, Extension forestry research specialist. Illinois Extension Forestry provided 92 in-person programs to 4,860 participants across the state in 2019. “We provide scientific information on the forests of Illinois and the best forestry management practices on everything from invasive species to chainsaw safety.”
Healthy, well-managed forests benefit everyone, Evans says. Illinois’ 4.9 million acres of woodlands provide recreational and economic opportunities; forest products are a $23 billion industry for the state.
While only 14% of Illinois is woodlands, these forests provide critical habitat for more than 70% of the state’s biodiversity. Trees help prevent erosion and flooding and provide clean water and air.
The Extension Forestry program is housed in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences and has offices on the Champaign-Urbana campus and at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center in Southern Illinois.
WRITER: Emily Steele, Media Communications Coordinator
Illinois Extension leads public outreach for the University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and communities to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.