URBANA, Ill. – When a diseased tree falls in your backyard forest, do you know who to call? The University of Illinois Extension forestry team led by Forestry Specialist Jay Hayek recently launched two new map directories to help Illinois woodland owners maintain healthy forests.
“These directories will help anyone with questions about stewardship of Illinois’ forest resources get in touch with a local expert,” said Illinois Extension Forestry Specialist Jay Hayek. “Our goal is to make finding answers to forestry-related questions as quick and easy as possible.”
The new directory maps provide contact information for agency foresters and consulting services around the state and can be accessed online at extension.illinois.edu/forestry.
The agency directory lists foresters with University of Illinois Extension, National Wild Turkey Federation and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources who are available to provide recommendations and technical assistance.
The consulting foresters directory lists professionals for hire to provide on-site technical assistance. Formally trained consulting foresters can help with a variety of forestry-specific needs such as timber sales, wildlife habitat projects, forest management planning and implementation.
“We’re moving away from hard copy directories which are time-consuming to maintain and often outdated to a platform that will put the public in touch with the information they need immediately,” says Hayek.
While only 14% of Illinois is woodlands, these forests provide critical habitat for more than 70% of the state’s biodiversity. Healthy, well-managed forests benefit everyone. Trees help prevent erosion and flooding and provide clean water and air. Illinois’ 4.9 million acres of woodlands provide recreational and economic opportunities; forest products are a $23 billion industry for the state.
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.
Woodland landowners are invited to reach out to the Extension forestry team at extension.illinois.edu/forestry with questions, to request additional resources, or learn about upcoming programs.
ABOUT EXTENSION: 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.