Woodland Steward Video Series Helps Explain Concepts of Forest Management

Video series provides educational lessons for woodland owners

June 21, 2024, 9:23 am | Billy Beck

AMES, Iowa – Forest management is a broad science that includes everything from timber to wildlife, vine and weed management, conservation and more.

To help woodland owners understand each task, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has produced 31 YouTube videos known as the Iowa Woodland Steward Toolkit. The playlist highlights Iowa’s woodlands by showcasing videos that are succinct, Iowa-centric, innovative and humorous, while also providing educational value. 

Each video is between one and eight minutes long with foresters featured as “characters” in action. The videos provide entry-level information on a range of forestry techniques, terms and resources for viewers to explore to their liking.

“Although Iowa-focused, topics are relevant nationwide” said Billy Beck, forestry specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “We wanted to make succinct primer videos that stood out from the rest of the forestry videos on YouTube, while also focusing on Iowa’s woodlands.” Forestry discussion.

Topics include forest trail care, creek crossings, erosion control, invasive weed and multiflora rose control, timber contracts and everything in between.

The playlist was filmed and edited over the past few years and posted on YouTube in the spring of 2024. This project was a collaborative effort with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and district forester Joe Herring.

“The Iowa Woodland Steward Toolkit Series was conceived of as a way to get highly technical information about managing woodland ecosystems into the hands of Iowa landowners,” said Herring, forester with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “The videos are also intended for contractors from the private sector, conservation partners and others.”

Joe Sines, videographer and owner of Bottlesode Films, said the goal was to create videos that would be short, fun to watch and engaging.

“Owning land can be very gratifying and having a toolkit like this can enhance and empower each land owner or steward to know how to take care of the environment in their stewardship,” he said. “This series has something for everyone of all skill levels to learn.”

IDNR received funding from the State, Private and Tribal Forestry organization of the USDA Forest Service, and entered a contract with ISU Extension and Outreach to complete this project.

Conceptualization, videography and editing were completed by Bottlesode Films. Filming occurred in several central Iowa woodlands.

For more information, Billy Beck can be reached at wjbeck@iastate.edu or 515-294-8837.

Shareable photos: 1. Logo of the Iowa Woodland Series program. 2. Foresters having a discussion about woodland management.

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