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School of Environment and Natural Resources


March 1 Conference for Ohio Natural Resource Professionals

Feb. 13, 2017
Managing fish in urban ponds, and why it’s trickier than it looks, is just one of the 15 professional development topics at the Ohio Woodland, Water and Wildlife Conference. Soils, forests, stormwater and invasive species are a few of the others. (Photo: iStock.)

This news article was originally published on the website of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and written by Kurt Knebusch.

MANSFIELD, Ohio — Why we need spiders, how a disease that kills trees could actually help forests, and what’s really going on when people and wildlife butt heads are just a few of the topics at the 2017 Ohio Woodland, Water and Wildlife Conference.

The event is an annual educational program for natural resource professionals and land managers. It’s from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 1 at the Mid-Ohio Conference Center, 890 W. Fourth St. in Mansfield in north-central Ohio. Last year’s attendance was nearly 200.

Experts from conservation agencies and The Ohio State University will present 15 sessions in three tracks: woodlands, water and wildlife.

Tree wilts, invasives and conflicts with wildlife

Among the sessions:

  • “A Tale of Two Wilts: Ailanthus and Oak,” by Joanne Rebbeck of the U.S. Forest Service in Delaware, Ohio, and Amy Stone of Ohio State University Extension. The session will look at oak wilt, a fungal disease that’s deadly to desirable oak trees, and ailanthus wilt, another fungal disease that Rebbeck and others are studying as a possible biocontrol agent for the invasive, non-native ailanthus tree, or tree-of-heaven, which can crowd out native trees.
  • “Urban Pond Fisheries: Management Is Trickier than It Looks” by Eugene Braig of OSU Extension and Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR).
  • “Spiders: The Thread that Holds Ecosystems Together” by Sarah Rose, also of SENR.
  • “Human-Wildlife Conflict: Perception vs. Reality” by Joe Cepak of Cleveland Metroparks.
  • “What the HACCP? Planning to Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species” by Sarah Orlando and Tory Gabriel of the Ohio State-based Ohio Sea Grant program. HACCP is short for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point planning.

Birds, bees, soils and stormwater

Other sessions will address soils, pollinators, stormwater — including using “floating islands” to improve water quality — stream restoration, Lake Erie’s migratory birds, and forest restoration and diversity.

Details on the conference and a link to online registration are at The conference brochure, which includes the complete list of sessions and speakers and a mailable registration form, can be downloaded at

Register by Feb. 22

Registration — which includes continental breakfast, lunch, refreshments and a resource notebook — is $60 by Feb. 14 and $80 afterward. The last day to register is Feb. 22.

For more information, contact or 614-688-3421.

SENR and OSU Extension’s Ohio Woodland Stewards Program are the event’s co-sponsors. SENR and OSU Extension are both in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.


Kurt Knebusch


Kathy Smith