Catching Fire: Oak Forest Restoration in Illinois

  • 10/16/2015
  • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Trail of Tears State Forest (near Jonesboro)


  • You must pre-register to attend this free workshop. Since registration is limited to 50, and we expect it to fill up, please commit to attending or cancel your reservation in advance so that another person can have your empty seat. Thanks!

Registration is closed

In keeping with our efforts to observe October as Oak Awareness Month, IFA is working with a host of partners and field experts to offer a one-day workshop and field tour focused on the restoration of oak forest ecosystems.

We’ll begin with a series of four presentations in the historic White Barn, enjoy a BBQ lunch, and finish with a field tour in the afternoon. Topics will include the role of fire in maintaining oak forests; the relationship between oak ecosystem management and wildlife; and a look at oak restoration through the lens of natural heritage.

Speakers will include Joe Marschall, Coordinator for the Oak Woodlands and Forests Fire Consortium; John Burk, Regional Biologist with the National Wild Turkey Federation, Mark Guetersloh, Natural Heritage Biologist with the IL Department of Natural Resources, and Dr. Charles Ruffner, Forestry Professor at Southern IL University at Carbondale.  IDNR District Foresters Ben Snyder and David Allen, along with NRCS Conservation Forester Ryan Pankau, will also be on hand to participate in the event.

The topic of invasive weeds will be integrated throughout the program. Kevin Rohling, the new Coordinator for River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area, will offer an informal show and tell about invasive plants during the lunch hour.

The progressive strategy of "adaptive management," underway at the Trail of Tears State Forest, offers a unique opportunity to view different practices alongside untreated areas, so visitors can see the results first hand. Leading experts and front line managers will be on hand to help interpret the landscape and explain the whys and hows of maintaining and restoring oak dominance in the forest canopy.

This workshop is free and open to the public, although planned with private landowners in mind. Space is limited to the first 50 people who register online in advance. 

Contact Stephanie Brown at 618/949-3699 or email with any questions.

Click here to download event flier.

Sponsored by the Oak Woodlands and Forests Fire Consortium and the National Wild Turkey Federation. Planning coordinated by the Illinois Forestry Association, in cooperation with the IL Department of Natural Resources, Southern Illinois University Forestry, River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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