NAC - Spring Newsletter

Notes from the Chair!

Hello NAC members! Spring is in the air and I’m sure we all are anxious to get out into our woodlots to see how they faired. Even though the winter was relatively mild, snow loads and wind doubtlessly caused some wind damage. Regrettably the ashes are being hammered by the emerald ash borer now through much of the state. Standing dead or half-dead ash are dangerous to cut. I advise all people who ever pick up a chain saw to attend a safety training course.

The “Game of Logging” program, sponsored by the NY Center for Agriculture Medicine and Health, (800-343-7527, is a good one. A constant theme stressed in all 3 levels of the courses is not to attempt to fell dangerous trees above your experience and ability. Of course, all trees are dangerous if the cutter has little experience. And there are many trees no one should attempt to fell with only a chainsaw!

The success of NYFOA is predicated on volunteers sharing their time, knowledge and experience with other forest owners. I heard on the radio the other day that volunteerism is down across the country. It seems that not-for-profit organizations are stressed to maintain membership and the volunteers needed to conduct their business. NYFOA statewide and nearly all regional chapters are similarly stressed. Most unfortunately NAC is no exception!

I’ve been “interim” chair and treasurer for 7 years since retirement. Bob Coupal has been newsletter editor and secretary for an even longer stint. We need a break and NAC needs some new ideas, leadership and initiative that are dependent on a few good people stepping forward. Scott Bono and Steve Sherwood have done an admirable job of planning and conducting a couple woodswalks per year and they will continue on for a couple more years. Bill Lynch similarly has fulfilled his obligation to being NAC’s delegate to the state board and will be staying on.

Chapters are mandated by the NYFOA by-laws to have a chair, treasurer and delegate to the state board. So, for a fully-staffed chapter board or steering committee we need a new chair and treasurer, and it would be highly desirable to have a vice-chair, secretary, and program director to provide continuity, share the work load and provide some comradeship and program suggestions. The duties of these positions are described on the NYFOA website Chapters/Resources for Chapter Leaders/Operations Manual/ pgs. 6-9. These positions are to be elected or otherwise delegated, for an unspecified term length.

I would greatly appreciate all members to give serious consideration to stepping forward to fill one of the open board positions or the newsletter editorship. All current volunteers are available to help candidates with the decision to join and get started with responsibilities.

Please send me a note of interest or a call 518-837-5171 within 3 weeks. We will also discuss filling these positions at the May 13 woodswalk at Bruce Bennett’s. Then we will have a brief business meeting at the Wanakena Ranger School woodswalk (un-decided date in Oct) where we will appoint the new board members!

I look forward to hearing from a few candidates so that we can fill the ranks on the chapter board and thereby deliver more well-targeted programs to the NAC membership! – Submitted by Gary Goff, Interim Chair

Welcome New NAC Members

Ryan Harper – Oswegatchie NY / George McCabe – AuSable Forks NY / Andrew Stowell – Saratoga NY

Do you have Email?

If so and you have NOT received this newsletter or other notices by email please provide your email address to the state office. (800-836-3566) or email to have your email address added to the NAC chapter email list. Your email is only used for notifications about NYFOA or forestry related events and notices. Email is the best system we have for providing updates and timely new event notifications to our members.

Tentative Events in the Works for 2023

GameofLogging:PleasecontactScottBonnoifyouwouldbewillingtohostthisevent. Anaccessiblesitefor

dropping about a dozen trees is required.
ESF - The Ranger School: Fall Event at Wanakena may include:

  1. Overview of Ranger School’s current programs and plans for the future
  2. Monitoring wildlife pre and post-harvest, including wildlife camera tips and tricks
  3. Silviculture for aspen/black cherry stands
  4. Sustainable trail design considerations
  5. Picnic lunch at the historic Cathedral Rock Fire Tower

Tree Farm - NYFOA NAC Combined Event: We need a NAC member to host this woods walk event. Contact Scott Bonno for more details.

Ellenburg Woods Walk

Mark your calendar!! The New York Forest Owners Associations Northern Adirondack Chapter announces an upcoming Woodswalk in Clinton County on Saturday May 13, 2023.

The walk will commence at 9:00 am with a break at noon for an “Impossible Burger/Hotdog lunch with water” generously provided by our host.

The walk is a gentle sloping grass path about 1-mile round trip with frequent stops to explain the treatment areas. Thereisaside-by-side available for one or two people.

Afterward we will continue with an afternoon session concluding at about 2:30 pm. This property consisting of 206 acres is owned by Bruce Bennett and is located at 449 Steam Mill Rd. Ellenburg, NY 12934. Bruce has a written management plan which he has used to transform this property over the past 12 years with a goal of creating early successional habitat for various wildlife species and maintaining a healthy and diverse forest. To that end Bruce has utilized several funding programs to enhance his property and to help offset operational costs. He has also sought guidance and worked with wildlife organizations that share his goals.

If you have a property that you would like to develop in this manner, please bring a friend, and enjoy a day afield, rain or shine. Bring a bag lunch if you prefer. Pre-register with Scott Bonno by May 11, 2023 and become eligible to win one of several door prizes. Email or Text Message 315-854-7788

It’s All About the Story!!

Who doesn’t appreciate a good story? Stories are as old as mankind. Every one of us has been hearing stories since we were infants and toddlers, and we have been telling stories since we were old enough to express ourselves. So why, you may ask, are stories a topic for consideration in our NAC newsletter? Here in the NAC we try to have at least two events each year that feature a forest owner and his/her/their story about the property they care for and the activities which they choose to engage in. We strive to offer events that our members will find interesting, educational, constructive and which hopefully (re)fuel that desire we all must be in and share our forest with family and friends.

Speaking for myself, I always look forward to the story each forest and each forest owner has to tell. Some properties have always been forested while others have evolved from agricultural lands. The landscape reveals the storyline and every one of them is different. Forest owners are just as diverse as the landscape and each of us has different backgrounds, goals, interests, and timelines. Yet with all the variables just mentioned, we share many similarities, one of them being our passion for woodlands.

Given this common interest it is my hope that many in our chapter will have an opportunity to participate in one or perhaps more of our future events. Come out and enjoy a chapter woods walk and hear a fellow NAC member’s story. You can witness firsthand the success, failure, perseverance, and passion that we commonly share. Who knows, perhaps you will be inspired to share your story in a future woods walk. I would love to hear it.

Submitted by Fellow NAC member Scott Bonno

Other Programs and Resources to Consider

  • – Round 3 is projected to open sometime in Spring 2023. Go to updates.
  • USDA NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) -
  • ForestConnect Webinars
    Provides free research-based and unbiased information to forest owners and others in private lands management. Broadcasts occur on the third Wednesday of each month, once at Noon, once at 7 PM eastern time. Recordings of past webinars can be viewed by going to YouTube at
  • “Climate Change in the Adirondacks/North Country Region: Mitigation, Adaption, & Implications is the 27th Annual Conference on the Adirondacks theme by the Adirondack Research Consortium. May 18th & 19th, 2023. Go to for more information & to register.
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology Webinar--Ask An Ornithologist Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2023 Have you ever wondered why birds look different throughout the year, or how you can spot breeding behavior? Join us for an open Q&A session with renowned ornithologist Dr. Kevin McGowan. Learn the answers to your questions and gain insights into the migration season! Submit questions in advance when you register or during the live webinar.

Working Solo....Impact Your Forest Not Your Body!

Forest owners often work alone in the woods. That choice might be personal preference, financial or just because of the general lack of available labor options. Our “tools” journey started 50 years ago with a hand sickle, pruners and small underpowered Homelite chainsaw. How things have changed!

Here is our list of Top 5 Most Used Tools that make our forestry work easier, safer, and efficient.

1) Front End Grapple / Tractor – Adding a tractor with specific implements may just be the most useful piece of equipment you use. The post-ice storm (1998) cleanup spurred our decision to purchase. We chose a compact size tractor to insure max maneuverability within the 5+ miles of ATV width trails. The front-end grapple(ANBO brand)is used for 100+hours nearly every year. It has completely changed how we work in the forest. Having hydraulics greatly expands the ability to do a lot of forestry work effortlessly (Read; no back pain). While we have other implements the grapple has shown by far, to be the most used tool in our woods!

2) Electric Chain Saw – A chain saw is a given for a forest owner. Most have more than one. We added the Stihl electric saw to the mix about 5 years ago after some initial reluctance. Yet, now we use the electric saw as much as all the other saws combined. The thin blade and chain kerf makes limbing of dead or live trees up to 8” diameter a breeze and is very safe. More to the point it’s easier on the back, rotator cuffs, and carpal tunnel areas. Less vibration and noise all help to reduce fatigue as well. One battery charge will keep you cutting for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours depending on size and frequency of cuts. A second battery yields a half day of cutting in your forest while only carrying a small can of chain oil.

3) Manual Hudson Oscar 36 Sawmill – Also purchased post-ice storm. It has been a valuable tool for utilizing our own wood for woodworking and building projects. There is no greater sensation than opening a new log to see the grain pattern inside. Even logs that have sat on the ground for a few years can have surprisingly high value if not fully deteriorated. Some of the most valuable wood to woodworkers is not the perfect cherry wood that a commercial cabinet maker might seek, but the less-than-perfect wood which has character for table tops and such. There’s endless amount of information online regarding sawmills as that industry has exploded due to high cost of wood.

4) Bueller!.... Bueller?....... Bueller??: Yes, a Ferris Zero Turn Lawnmower has made our top 5 list of forestry tools. Sometimes tools designed primarily for other uses can fit a forestry need. With a large trail network and a few open meadows for wildlife diversification, trail maintenance is a rather big task. We spent decades twice a year walking with a brush blade/string weed wacker trying to keep all the trails looking like a trail. We thought a weed whacker was fantastic 40 years ago. We figured there had to be an even better way. Consistent trail maintenance with the mower quickly yields a grassy path and discourages woody stems. Yes, we have 3 sets of blades to offset the abuse as we find (hit) and remove emerging rocks. Our time spent on trail maintenance is now in hours instead of days. Plus, given the very low fatigue factor, mornings can be spent chain sawing and afternoons cutting trails with a cold beverage in the cup holder. We have learned the hard way Zero turns cannot and should not go everywhere! Hopefully, we have learned all those lessons.

5) ATV Logging Arch – Purchased many years ago prior to tractor. Still used for moving logs that are too long to carry in the grapple due to trail widths. The ability to use a UTV/ATV or tractor to lift and pull a log dirt free to our sawmill area is far better on sawmill blades. We spent more than decade with one ATV and this logging arch which has a high speed relatively easy winch for lifting log off the ground.

Based your woodlot to-do list and available resources, consider your options for making difficult forestry work easier and safer. Especially if you work solo. Do the research and talk to fellow forest owners about their work methods and tools. Find people with the same tools or equipment you are considering and see or even try their setup first. This will insure you are maximizing your investment and time. Let us know your Top 5 most useful tools. Be safe and enjoy having a positive impact on your forest! Submitted by Bob Coupal.

Northern Adirondack Chapter of NYFOA Needs Our Members Help

1) NacNews Editor – If you can create a family Christmas card on the computer you can kick out a newsletter a few times a year!

Contact Bob Coupal / Training Available

2) Woods Walk Host(s) for combined event with NY Tree Farm Program and future events in 2024

Contact Scott Bonno

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