On Monday, August 5th, during a regular meeting at the Beekman Arms, the Rhinebeck Rotary Club featured a presentation by Ryan Trapani, director of the Catskill Forest Association, on the state of local forests. Mr. Trapani has been with the Catskill Forest Association for 10 years and was named Director of Forest Services in 2017. He has also worked for the Department of Environmental Conservation and the US Forest Service. In his talk, Mr. Trapani focused on educating private landowners––who own the majority of forest land in the Northeast––about how to create and maintain healthier forest lands.
The Catskill Forest Association was founded in 1982 as a nonprofit membership organization for timber management. In the 21st century, it has expanded its mission to advise on overall forest health in the region. The Association’s local arborists, foresters, and wildlife experts provide private landowners with guidance for forest maintenance. “Most private forest owners don’t manage their acreage, but doing nothing has consequences,” said Mr. Trapani. “Doing nothing means only northern hardwoods and shade-tolerant trees––sugar maple and beech for example––will survive. A ‘forest museum’ has costs.” Mr. Trapani emphasized that neglecting maintenance comes at the expense of fruit and nut-bearing trees and shrubs such as cherry chestnut trees and blueberry bushes.
Mr. Trapani recommends making sure that trees are open to sunlight for young growth, treating the forest floor against invasive species, and using a variety of wildlife habitat management techniques to provide natural food, water, and cover. For more information on the Catskill Forest Association’s work, visit its website: catskillforest.org.
The Rhinebeck Rotary Club meets on Mondays at 12:15 pm at the Beekman Arms throughout the year. The Rotary is a humanitarian organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of others through local, national, and international service projects. Weekly meetings feature speakers covering a variety of human-interest topics. Interested guests are welcome to attend. For information on becoming a member, to reserve a speaker’s spot at an upcoming meeting, or to attend a meeting to hear a specific speaker, please call Lou Trapani at 845-876-3088, ext. 14.Pictured, left to right:Ryan Trapani and Rhinebeck Rotary
Club president, Bill Schaefer
Photo Credit : Sharp images photo