Loving the Land Through Working Forests

This event has been cancelled due to the Covid-19/Coronavirus

The Foundation for Sustainable Forests is sad to announce the cancellation of this event in 2020 due to the coronavirus. However, please mark your calendars for September 18th, 2021! Doug Tallamy has gratiously agreed to be our keynote presenter in 2021. We will update this site with the full program lineup as the date approaches.

Loving the Land Through Working Forests

Register Online Here: 

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Would you like to register children or FSF Members for free? E-mail info@foundationforsustainableforests.org to provide your name(s).

To mail in your Registration, download the form here.

Directions to Thompsons' Wood

Conference Schedule

Session Descriptions

Meet the Presenters

Pre-registration is required. $20 per person, free to Members of the Foundation for Sustainable Forests.

Directions to the Conference

Thompsons' Wood is located on Ghering Road just south of Rte. 408 between Townville and Hydetown in Crawford County.    


Schedule of Events

7:30am          Registration Begins

8:15am          Introductions & Opening Remarks

8:30am          Opening Address by Susan Stout

 9:00am          Session 1                   (All sessions meet at the tents to begin)  

10:20am         Transition/Break

10:40am         Session 2

12pm               Lunch (Provided)

1:30pm            Keynote Session by Doug Tallamy on "Nature's Best Hope"

2:30pm            Session 3

4pm            Evaluations & Adjourn

Session Descriptions

Featured Opening Presentation: Carefully Observing our Forests Together in Changing Times

Susan Stout, USDA Forest Service Researcher Emeritus, will talk about some subtle changes that scientists and managers have noticed in nearby forests. The observations are stronger because they've been discussed in forestry communities -- managers and scientists primarly so far. She will talk about ways that landowners can work with their foresters to strengthen this web of observations, and be part of developing adaptive management strategies to sustain our forests through these changing times.

Keynote Presentation by Doug Tallamy: "Nature's Best Hope":

Recent headlines about global insect declines, the impending extinction of one million species worldwide, and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current landscape designs have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us.  Such losses are not an option if we wish to continue our current standard of living on Planet Earth. The good news is that none of this is inevitable. Tallamy will discuss simple steps that each of us can- and must- take to reverse declining biodiversity and will explain why we, ourselves, are nature’s best hope.

Removing invasives in a friendly and natural way; utilizing goats to aid with invasive plants mitigation.

Join Gavin Deming, founder of Allegheny Goatscape, and his herd of goats for a discussion and demonstration on the use of goats as part of an integrated approach to mitigating the presence of invasive plants in your woods, and shifting the balance in the forest floor back in favor of native plants!

Tales from the Tailgate: A Woman’s Guide to Working with Your Woods

The right tool can make almost any task easier, it not pleasant, and the completion of that task with great results can make one really proud and pleased. Women need to acquaint themselves with tools for forest tasks; our strengths are just not well arranged to accomplish things by force. So if you’d love to work in your woods but you’re not sure whether it would be a pleasant task, join us to look at how you can outfit yourself for a safe and comfortable day with rewarding results.

Woods Walk on Invasive Species Management

Troy Firth will lead a walk through Thompsons' Wood, and discuss practices and a timeline for managing invasive plant species that interfere with native understory plant and native tree regeneration. Thompsons' Wood is a work in progress- a perfect backdrop to discuss invasive plant identification, and management tips for invasives, one 'spoke in the wheel' that is the FSF's integrated management approach to sustainable forestry.

Joint Session: "It's Just a Deed, Isn't it Simple?" and "To LLC or Not"

Attorney Frances McCormick will discuss issues that can arise during the transfer of a property – even when you think it will be simple. Then, Attorney Tom Hoffman will review when and why to use an LLC structure for your timberland (or not).


Meet the Presenters

Nancy Baker owns and manages 163 Northern Pennsylvania acres from which her great-grandfather cut the original timber in the 1860s. With a graduate degree in Forest Ecology, she works as a writer, editor and communicator with an allegiance to both the forest and the forest’s landowners, contributing to numerous publications, editing the quarterly magazine Pennsylvania Forests, and co-chairing the communications committee of the Pennsylvania Forestry Association. She is a staunch advocate for Pennsylvania’s Women and Their Woods program, helping women learn the skills needed to make informed decisions about their woodlands, and showcasing the challenges and opportunities which shape women’s passion and commitment to the land.

Gavin Deming is the Executive Director of Allegheny GoatScape, a small non-profit he established early 2017, while he was working as the community specialist with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy's community garden and greenspace program, a position he held for ten years. He has a BSW from Hope College in Holland, MI and an MSW from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy and Practice. Though a Michigander at heart, Pittsburgh is home and has been since 2005. Gavin lives in a big old house in Pittsburgh's North Side with his beloved life partner, Joanna, their two sons Asher and Isaiah, an assortment of animals, and recently planted and long ago planted trees. He believes that the earth and its people can heal at the intersection of environmental stewardship and intentional community building, and we all need to be quick to listen to those who are not usually heard in decision-making situations.


Troy Firth is the Founder and President of the Foundation for Sustainable Forests, with over 45 years of experience practicing sustainable forestry and sustainable harvest of maple syrup. Join Troy on a walk through Thompsons' Wood as he discusses invasive species management and the important role it plays in the FSF's integrated approach to sustainable forest management.


Thomas C. Hoffman, II is an attorney and the originator of the Knox Law Institute®, which provides valuable, relevant and practical education on legal matters to businesses, governmental entities, nonprofit organizations, insurance companies, financial institutions, individuals and families, as well as professional advisors. He is a major contributor for topics including business succession planning, estate planning, tax law, asset protection, shale energy planning, trusts, charitable giving and more. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Sustainable Forests.

Frances McCormick is an attorney who focuses her practice in the areas of business & tax law, estate planning & administration, business succession planning, and real estate. She will use her extensive expertise in deed-related issues and apply them to forested lands and specifically, issues related to working woodlands.




Dr. Susan Stout is a Research Forester Emerita, US Forest Service Northern Research Station, having served there for almost 40 years. She has a distinguished career as a silviculturalist, and has also worked to further Diversity & Inclusion in the field of Natural Resources.


Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 88 research publications and has taught Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, Humans and Nature, Insect Ecology, and other courses for 36 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers' Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014. Among his awards are the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation and the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence.