Today's Forest

Today's Forest is a series of short videos and videotaped workshops that provide information to private landowners about how to manage their forest lands. It is based on a series of workshops held in the Black Hills area. Short videos are about three minutes in length. Entire workshops are about 1.5 hours. Funding for the productions was provided by a grant from the USDA Forest Service in cooperation with the SD Department of Agriculture, Resource Conservation & Forestry Division. Videos were produced by the SD Cooperative Extension Service.

Forest Health & Invasive Species


Mountain Pine Beetle Behavior & Background

Featuring Dr. John Ball, SDSU Extension Forestry Expert & Kurt Allen USDA Forest Service Entomologist
Mountain Pine Beetles, a native pest in pine forests throughout the country, have been infesting forests in South Dakota for years. If left unadressed, these pests can cause serious damage to tree stands and woodland properties. Learn how to identify the symptoms of a Mountain Pine Beetle infestation and what measures you can take to control them in this Today's Forest video workshop.

Mountain Pine Beetle ID

Featuring Dr. John Ball, SDSU Extension Forestry Expert & Kurt Allen USDA Forest Service Entomologist
Even though Mountain Pine Beetles are no bigger than the tip of a match or the head of a pencil, they work together to leave a path of devastation, multiplying beneath the bark while killing their host tree. The life cycle begins when adult beetles tunnel through the bark of trees from the beginning of August until around mid-September. Learn to identify the signs of an infestation and strategies for disposing of the infested tree in this video.

Beetles & Borers

Featuring Kurt Allen, USDA Forest Service Entomologist
Though Mountain Pine Beetles claim much of the spotlight and their share of attention for damaging Black Hills pine forests, Kurt Allen, USDA Forest Service Entomologist, says other bark beetles and wood borers are also taking a bite out of the state's forests. He describes two common culprits in this video.

Forest Health & Invasive Species


Managing Mountain Pine Beetle

Featuring Dr. John Ball, SDSU Extension Forestry Expert & Kurt Allen USDA Forest Service Entomologist
Even though Mountain Pine Beetles are no bigger than the tip of a match or the head of a pencil, they work together to leave a path of devastation, multiplying beneath the bark while killing their host tree.

Weed Control & Tree Health

Featuring Dr. John Ball, SDSU Extension Forestry Expert
While common chemicals for weed control, such as picloram and tordon, can be effective for controlling invasive weeds like Canada Thistle, improper application can result in tree abnormalities and even death. Learn some key strategies for defending your forest property from some common invasive weeds while watching out for pesticides that may cause problems with trees and soil in woodland settings.

Managing Weeds

Featuring Dr. John Ball, SDSU Extension Forestry Expert
Controlling noxious weeds without jeopardizing tree health is a challenge many landowners face while managing forest land. "While weeds are usually not a major problem for mature trees, they can interfere with survival of young trees," says John Ball, South Dakota State University (SDSU) Cooperative Extension Forester and Forest Health Specialist for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. He runs through a list of noxious weeds that can cause problems for South Dakota foresters while outlining safe weed control solutions in a Today's Forest Video Workshop.

Forest Management Planning & Certification


Introduction to Forest Stewardship

Featuring Dr. Peter Kolb, Montana Extension Forester Specialist
Forest Management Planning plays an important role in keeping a forest healthy and functional. Learn more about some of the requirements for proper management.

Management Planning Tools

Featuring Dr. Peter Kolb, Montana Extension Forester Specialist
Aerial photographs are one of the primary tools in the planning process. Learn more about some of the tools used to obtain those photographs.

Forest Management Planning & Certification


Five Core Forestry Questions

Featuring Dr. Peter Kolb, Montana Extension Forester Specialist
Learning about forestry is a process that takes many steps. Learn more information about the steps for a healthy forest.

Forest Density

Featuring Dr. Peter Kolb, Montana Extension Forester Specialist
The density of a forest can be determined by several factors. Learn more about those factors as well as how to utilize them to benefit a forest area.

Family Forest Demographics

Featuring Dr. Peter Kolb, Montana Extension Forester Specialist
Landowner Stewardship is important for efficient land use. Learn more about important factors in the stewardship process.

Forest Management Planning & Certification


Estate Planning

Featuring Dr. Peter Kolb, Montana Extension Forester Specialist
Owning and managing land is not only making a living off of the land but can have a deeper meaning to the owner as well. Learn more about land stewardship.

Land Management

Featuring Dr. Peter Kolb, Montana Extension Forester Specialist
There are many parts to developing a stewardship plan. Learn more about how to outline the objectives for your land.

State Foresters

Featuring Dave Hettick, SD Department of Agriculture Service Forester
Forestry today has changed over the years, with many new and improved methods of improving the forest.

Firewise Videos


Protecting Homes From Wildfires

Featuring Gary Marshall, Firewise Regional Advisor
Gary Marshall, Firewise Regional Advisor, presents Firewise Principles & Assessing Homeowner Properties during the SDSU Extension Today's Forest Workshop series. The Firewise program empowers communities and homeowners to do things around their home to make them safer during a wildfire event.

Forest Ecology & Silviculture Videos


Stand Density

Featuring Dr. Frederick (Skip) Smith, Colorado State University
Dr. Frederick (Skip) Smith, discusses stand density during a Today's Forest Workshop. Skip presents the primary considerations from the perspective of foresters and landowners.

Forest Ecology & Management


Ecology & Management

Featuring Dr. Frederick (Skip) Smith, Colorado State University
Ponderosa pine systems, such as those found in the Black Hills of South Dakota, can be both beautiful and dangerous if left unmanaged. Untended tree stands not only attract pests, but also put forests at a significant wildfire risk if stand densities become too high. Learn how to find a balance of scenic beauty, sustainability, and wildfire protection for woodland properties in this Today's Forest video workshop.

Forest Ecology & Silviculture Videos


Measuring Basal Area

Featuring Dr. Frederick (Skip) Smith, Colorado State University
Dr. Frederick (Skip) Smith talks about measuring basal area during Today's Forest Workshop. Skip provides techniques to determine how dense or crowded a forest is.

Pine & Aspen Regeneration

Featuring Dr. Frederick (Skip) Smith, Colorado State University
Dr. Frederick (Skip) Smith discusses regeneration in today's forests during a Today's Forest Workshop. Skip provides a detailed description about how our trees regenerate to maintain healthy and populated forests.

Leave Trees

Featuring Dr. Frederick (Skip) Smith, Colorado State University
Dr. Frederick (Skip) Smith talks about leave trees during a Today's Forest Workshop. Skip stresses the importance of tree characteristics when choosing leave trees for thinning operations.

Tree Identification

Featuring Dr. Frederick (Skip) Smith, Colorado State University
Dr. Frederick (Skip) Smith, discusses tree identification during a Today's Forest Workshop. Skip demonstrates how to identify the most important trees in the Black Hills.

Financial & Estate Planning


Forest Estate Planning

Featuring Dr. William L. Hoover, Purdue University, Department of Forestry
Dr. Wiliam L. Hoover of Purdue University discusses the main factors that go into forest estate planting.

Forestry Best Management Practices for Protecting Water Quality Videos


Compaction

Featuring Dr. Howard Woodard, SDSU Dapertment of Plant Science
Soil compaction in forest situations is not ideal for many reasons. Learn more about ways to lessen compaction during harvesting operations.

Forestry Best Management Practices for Protecting Water Quality Videos


Streamside Management Zone

Featuring Dr. John Ball, SDSU Extension Forestry Specialist
Streamside Zones are vital to maintain forest streams during forest operations. Learn some of the things to be done to maintain water quality.

Water Bars

Featuring Dr. John Ball, SDSU Extension Forestry Specialist
After logging has been completed a few steps should be taken to minimize water erosion. Learn more about water bars and how to properly use them.

Contracting & Marketing Videos


Commercial Consultants

Featuring Jenny Jensen, Forester - Ecologist, Lead
Landowner objectives can change from landowner to landowner. Commercial consultants can help with direction and ideas on different uses for land.

Contracting & Marketing Videos


Contracts & Contractors

Featuring Paul Pierson, Rushmore Forest Products, Hill City, SD
Making sure all details are clear and specific in contracts will protect the owner and the contractor, so it is important to plan those out before entering into an agreement.