Northwest Illinois Forestry AssociationWoodland owners sharing ideas on forest productivity

Forestry-related Events

Upcoming events

    • 18 May 2022
    • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

    The University of Illinois Extension Forestry team presents a series on nine webinars for woodland owners this spring.  The series is free and open to the public and will explore how landowners can manage manage their trees for better return on investment, improve habitat for wildlife species, learn more about the native ecosytems and restoration potential, and mitigate forest threats such as forest pests, invasive plants, and storm damage. 

    Invasive plants have variable responses to fire depending on species, phenology at time of fire, fire intensities, residence time, and other factors.  This presentation will review invasive plant responses to fire and how managers and landowners can use prescribed fire to manage invasive plants.  While some invasive plants will be reduced through the use of fire alone, other species may best managed with pre-treatment preparation, sometimes years in advance, and planned follow-up management to reduce population size and spread.  Recommendations on preparatory treatments, follow-up treatments, and prevention strategies of some common and new invaders will be discussed.  Kevin Rohling will present.

    You can sign up for one session or the whole series for free at

    https://go.illinois.edu/ForestryWebinars2022.


    • 21 May 2022
    • 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM
    • Mississippi Palisades State Park

    Landowners and forest stewards in the Midwest are encouraged to attend this year’s Tri-State Forest Stewardship Conference, being held as a field day on May 21 in northwestern Illinois. The conference is sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension Forestry Program and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

    The event will include speakers from both universities, as well as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Illinois DNR, private forestry consultants, forest soils graduate students and more.

    According to Billy Beck, forestry specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, attendees can expect topics ranging from traditional woodland management techniques to invasive species ecology and ID, prescribed woodland fire, forest wildlife management and soils and soil erosion in woodlands. The field day represents an opportunity to engage with Midwestern natural resource practitioners, agency personnel, academics and landowners. Students within natural resource disciplines (undergraduate, graduate and high school) are highly encouraged to participate.

    “We are thrilled for the return of the Tri-State in 2022,” said Beck. “In addition to being an educational event, the conference represents an incredible networking opportunity – one where forest landowners and enthusiasts can talk trees with folks that share similar challenges, and visit one-on-one with forestry and natural resource professionals, in a fun and informal setting.”

    The conference is scheduled for Saturday, May 21, from 9:40 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at Mississippi Palisades State Park in Savanna, Illinois. Registration is $30 and includes lunch. Participants are invited to register at https://go.illinois.edu/TristateForestry

    If you have any questions, please contact Chris Evans (cwevans@illinois.edu, 618-695-3383) or Billy Beck (wjbeck@iastate.edu, 515-294-8837).

    • 25 May 2022
    • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

    The University of Illinois Extension Forestry team presents a series on nine webinars for woodland owners this spring.  The series is free and open to the public and will explore how landowners can manage manage their trees for better return on investment, improve habitat for wildlife species, learn more about the native ecosytems and restoration potential, and mitigate forest threats such as forest pests, invasive plants, and storm damage. 

    This talk will describe the roosting and foraging ecology of bats that use hardwood forests during the summer months, with a focus on four sensitive species that are declining from white-nose syndrome. We will review data from applied studies that have asked questions about the responses of these species to silvicultural practices in hardwood forests and will identify knowledge gaps and potential areas for future research.  Joy O'Keefe will present.

    You can sign up for one session or the whole series for free at

    https://go.illinois.edu/ForestryWebinars2022.


    • 31 May 2022
    • 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
    • Oakdale Nature Preserve, 4433 S. Cranes Grove Rd., Freeport, IL
    • 3
    Register

    The Northwest Illinois Forestry Association (NIFA) will sponsor seven days of Chain Saw Safety and Woods Worker (SAWW) courses in May 2022.  This course is Level 1 and is designed to teach novice and seasoned saw operators safe use and maintenance of gas and electric powered chain saws.  This course is required for anyone wishing to register for a Level 2 or Advanced Training session.

    Topics to be covered

    • safety and personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • saw operation, starting, safety features, and body mechanics
    • cutter tooth parts, basic saw maintenance, and chain filing
    • saw reactive forces (push, pull, kickback, and attack)
    • the 5-step felling plan 
    • the safe cutting of spring poles and limbing and bucking techniques. 

    Cost and Registration

    Course cost for the public is $90 per person.  Anyone registering before 10 pm, Saturday, May 28th will receive a $10 discount.  NIFA members and family will receive an additional $10 discount.  To ensure everyone receives hands-on, personal instruction, class size is limited to the first 8 applicants, so register early!  Those wishing to enroll in both Level 1 and Level 2, please register for consecutive dates.

    Day of class sign-in begins at 8:00 am with the indoor session starting at 8:30. Course will end at 4:30 pm.  Bring your own lunch, chain saw, leather work boots, and gloves.   These items are a must-have to participate.  If you have them, bring a safety helmet with face shield and hearing protection and chainsaw chaps.  If you do not have them, indicate so with registration, and they will be provided or shared.

    Location:

    Oakdale Nature Preserve, 4433 S. Cranes Grove Rd, Freeport

    About the Instructor

    All courses will be led by University of Illinois Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences forestry specialist Jay Hayek.  Mr. Hayek has received over 144 hours of advanced professional chainsaw training through the following nationally recognized programs:  Safety and Wood Workers (SAWW) Training, Game of Logging™, and NWCG’s S-212 Wildland Fire Chainsaws.  Jay is also the lead chainsaw instructor for NRES 285 – Chainsaw Safety & Directional Felling, a 2-hr undergraduate field course offered at the University of Illinois.  Jay received his B.S. in forestry from the University of Illinois and his M.S. in forest resources (silviculture) from the University of Idaho.

    • 01 Jun 2022
    • 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
    • Oakdale Nature Preserve, 4433 S. Cranes Grove Rd, Freeport
    • 3
    Register

    The Northwest Illinois Forestry Association (NIFA) will sponsor seven days of Chain Saw Safety and Woods Worker (SAWW) courses in May 2022.  This course is Level 2 and is open to those who have completed Level 1 any time previously and will feature more hands-on time in the timber, including cutting and felling methods using the open-face directional notch and bore-cutting techniques. 

    Topics to be covered

    • safety and personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • saw operation, starting, safety features, and body mechanics
    • cutter tooth parts, basic saw maintenance, and chain filing
    • saw reactive forces (push, pull, kickback, and attack)
    • the 5-step felling plan 
    • the safe cutting of spring poles and limbing and bucking techniques. 

    Cost and Registration

    Course cost for the public is $90 per person.  Anyone registering before 10 pm, Saturday, May 28th will receive a $10 discount.  NIFA members and family will receive an additional $10 discount.  To ensure everyone receives hands-on, personal instruction, class size is limited to the first 8 applicants, so register early!  Those wishing to enroll in both Level 1 and Level 2, please register for consecutive dates.

    More classes will be scheduled if these sessions fill before the registration deadline.

    Day of class sign-in begins at 8:00 am with the indoor session starting at 8:30. Course will end at 4:30 pm.  Bring your own lunch, chain saw, leather work boots, and gloves.   These items are a must-have to participate.  If you have them, bring a safety helmet with face shield and hearing protection and chainsaw chaps.  If you do not have them, indicate so with registration, and they will be provided or shared.

    Location:

    Oakdale Nature Preserve, 4433 S. Cranes Grove Rd, Freeport

    About the Instructor

    All courses will be led by University of Illinois Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences forestry specialist Jay Hayek.  Mr. Hayek has received over 144 hours of advanced professional chainsaw training through the following nationally recognized programs:  Safety and Wood Workers (SAWW) Training, Game of Logging™, and NWCG’s S-212 Wildland Fire Chainsaws.  Jay is also the lead chainsaw instructor for NRES 285 – Chainsaw Safety & Directional Felling, a 2-hr undergraduate field course offered at the University of Illinois.  Jay received his B.S. in forestry from the University of Illinois and his M.S. in forest resources (silviculture) from the University of Idaho.

    • 02 Jun 2022
    • 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
    • Oakdale Nature Preserve, 4433 S. Cranes Grove Rd, Freeport
    • 4
    Register

    The Northwest Illinois Forestry Association (NIFA) will sponsor seven days of Chain Saw Safety and Woods Worker (SAWW) courses in May 2022.  This course is an Advanced Training Session tailored to those looking for further instruction and will be offered the third day.  Anyone attending this session must have completed Levels 1 & 2 any time previously. 

    Topics to be covered

    • safety and personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • saw operation, starting, safety features, and body mechanics
    • cutter tooth parts, basic saw maintenance, and chain filing
    • saw reactive forces (push, pull, kickback, and attack)
    • the 5-step felling plan 
    • the safe cutting of spring poles and limbing and bucking techniques. 

    Cost and Registration

    Course cost for the public is $90 per person.  Anyone registering before 10 pm, Saturday, May 28th, will receive a $10 discount.  NIFA members and family will receive an additional $10 discount.  To ensure everyone receives hands-on, personal instruction, class size is limited to the first 8 applicants, so register early!  

    More classes will be scheduled if these sessions fill before the registration deadline.

    Day of class sign-in begins at 8:00 am with the indoor session starting at 8:30. Course will end at 4:30 pm.  Bring your own lunch, chain saw, leather work boots, and gloves.   These items are a must-have to participate.  If you have them, bring a safety helmet with face shield and hearing protection and chainsaw chaps.  If you do not have them, indicate so with registration, and they will be provided or shared.

    Location:

    Oakdale Nature Preserve, 4433 S. Cranes Grove Rd, Freeport

    About the Instructor

    All courses will be led by University of Illinois Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences forestry specialist Jay Hayek.  Mr. Hayek has received over 144 hours of advanced professional chainsaw training through the following nationally recognized programs:  Safety and Wood Workers (SAWW) Training, Game of Logging™, and NWCG’s S-212 Wildland Fire Chainsaws.  Jay is also the lead chainsaw instructor for NRES 285 – Chainsaw Safety & Directional Felling, a 2-hr undergraduate field course offered at the University of Illinois.  Jay received his B.S. in forestry from the University of Illinois and his M.S. in forest resources (silviculture) from the University of Idaho.

    • 04 Jun 2022
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Ken Beach Farm

    NIFA will tour Mr. Ken Beach's farm, Consulting Forester Kevin Oetken will be discussing implementation of a Forestry Management Plan and demonstrate several types of tree plantings, TSI methods, invasive control, and wildlife protection.

    Location: In Jo Daviess County, on East Morseville Road, 1/2 mile east of Massbach Road. From Stockton, Illinois, take Main Street / Route 78 south four miles and turn west onto Morseville Road.  Drive approximately 3.25 miles to the Beach farm.

    As with most NIFA events, this is offered at no charge and is open to the public.

    • 09 Jul 2022
    • Dollinger Tree Farm, Shannon, IL

    This date is tentative.  Time and description of tour will be provided here sometime in June.


    From Lanark:

    Dollinger Christmas Tree Farm is located 5 miles north of Lanark, IL on Hwy 73.
    Take Payne Road west 1 mile. (Payne Road is the entrance road to the Lake Carroll Golf Course)

    From Pearl City or Hwy 20:
    Dollinger Christmas Tree Farm is located 6 miles south of Pearl City on Rt 73.
    Take Payne Road west 1 mile. (Payne Road is the entrance road to the Lake Carroll Golf Course)
    • 08 Nov 2022
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Stockton Public Library
    • 13 Dec 2022
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Stockton Public Library

Past events

11 May 2022 Webinar: Trees and Storm Damage
05 May 2022 Chain Saw Safety - Advanced
04 May 2022 Webinar: History of Forest Pest Outbreaks in North America
04 May 2022 Chain Saw Safety - Level 2
03 May 2022 Chain Saw Safety - Level 1
02 May 2022 Chain Saw Safety - Level 2
27 Apr 2022 Webinar: The Effects of Forest Management on the Relative Abundance and Nesting Success of Forest-Breeding Birds
20 Apr 2022 Webinar: Wetland Ecology and Restoration
13 Apr 2022 Webinar: Ecology and Identification of Common Woodland Ferns in Illinois
09 Apr 2022 Woodland Prescribed Burn (CANCELLED)
06 Apr 2022 Webinar: Ticks of Illinois: Biology, Bite Prevention, and Management
30 Mar 2022 Webinar: Pruning hardwood trees for future sawlog and veneer potential
29 Mar 2022 NIFA Annual Dinner
28 Feb 2022 NIFA: Woodland Birds
25 Jan 2022 NIFA: Overview of Carbon Credit Programs
14 Dec 2021 NIFA Planning Meeting for 2022
11 Nov 2021 Extension: Nuisance and Invasive Plants
09 Nov 2021 NIFA Planning Meeting for 2022
20 Sep 2021 NIFA: Chainsaw Safety Training
11 Sep 2021 NIFA & JDCF: Tree ID Tour of Schurmeier Forest
09 Sep 2021 NIFA & JDCF: Tree ID Preview
07 Aug 2021 NIFA: Tour of Clinton Saw Mill Museum
03 Jul 2021 Carroll County: Lundquist Tree Farm Tour
12 Jun 2021 Tour of New Melleray Abbey forestry operations
28 Apr 2021 Extension Webinar: Providing Suitable Woodland Habitat for Secretive Animals – Bats, Snakes, and Salamanders
21 Apr 2021 Extension Webinar: Safe Use of Herbicide in Natural Settings
14 Apr 2021 Extension Webinar: Identification and Management of Herbaceous Invasive Plants
07 Apr 2021 Extension Webinar: Get Lost: How to Navigate in the Backcountry
31 Mar 2021 Extension Webinar: Tree Planting Basics
24 Mar 2021 Extension Webinar: Crop Tree Management
21 Sep 2020 Chain Saw Safety Training
18 Jul 2020 Tour of Sawmill Museum
27 Jun 2020 Tour of Christmas Tree Farm
24 Mar 2020 NIFA Annual Dinner Meeting CANCELLED
14 Mar 2020 Tri-State Forest Stewardship Conference Cancelled
11 Feb 2020 Invasive Threats to Northern Illinois Forests
16 Jan 2020 Extension Program: Managing Your Timber
15 Jan 2020 Extension Program: Timber Sales
14 Jan 2020 NIFA Meeting on Timber Markets
10 Dec 2019 NIFA Planning Meeting for 2020
12 Nov 2019 NIFA Planning Meeting for 2019
23 Sep 2019 Chainsaw Safety Training
21 Sep 2019 NIFA: Forestry and Sawmill Operation
20 Jul 2019 Coppicing of Oak and Walnut
22 Jun 2019 JoDaviess County: Aerial Spraying of Honeysuckle
04 May 2019 Tour of Larry Priske Farm
20 Apr 2019 NIFA: Forest Regeneration Tour
26 Mar 2019 NIFA Annual Dinner Meeting
09 Mar 2019 Sinsinawa Conference Cancelled
26 Feb 2019 Forestry Consultant Experiences (Re-scheduled)
01 Feb 2019 Dubuque: What Has Wandered Into Your Woods?
18 Jan 2019 Jo Daviess County: Managing Forest Understory and Edges
08 Jan 2019 NIFA: Oak Regeneration
11 Dec 2018 Jo Daviess County: Planning Meeting for 2019
20 Nov 2018 Jo Daviess County: Planning Meeting for 2019
08 Sep 2018 Stephenson County: Tree ID Walk
17 Aug 2018 Dekalb County: Kirkland Sawmill Tour
29 Jul 2018 Walnut Council Annual Meeting
25 Jul 2018 Jo Daviess County: Chain Saw Safety Courses
14 Jul 2018 Jo Daviess County: Tree Planting
16 Jun 2018 JoDaviess County: Aerial Spraying of Honeysuckle
05 May 2018 Stephenson County: Tree Planting Methods
07 Apr 2018 Jo Daviess County: timber harvesting and oak regeneration
27 Mar 2018 NIFA Annual Dinner Meeting
18 Mar 2018 Rockford: Native Oak Woodlands
10 Mar 2018 Tri-State Forest Stewardship Conference
24 Feb 2018 Whiteside County: Chain Saw Safety Seminar
13 Feb 2018 NIFA Meeting: NRCS Forestry Programs
09 Jan 2018 NIFA Meeting: Wood Carving
18 Nov 2017 Producing Maple Syrup
07 Nov 2017 NIFA Planning Meeting
26 Aug 2017 Tour of Aldo Leopold Foundation
22 Jul 2017 Tour of Aldo Leopold Foundation
03 Jun 2017 Tour of Mulvain Woodworks
13 May 2017 Whiteside County: Tree Plantings
04 Apr 2017 Carroll County: NIFA Annual Dinner
25 Mar 2017 Jo Daviess County: Forest Regeneration Tour (CANCELLED)
17 Feb 2017 Jo Daviess County: Forest Management Planning
14 Feb 2017 NIFA Planning Meeting
24 Jan 2017 NIFA Planning Meeting
05 Dec 2016 NIFA Planning Meeting
07 Nov 2016 NIFA Planning Meeting (Cancelled)
08 Oct 2016 Carroll County: Johnson Creek Hardwoods Tour
27 Sep 2016 Jo Daviess County: Chainsaw Safety Course
15 Jul 2016 Madison, Wisconsin: Forest Products Lab
04 Jun 2016 Jo Daviess County: Forest Management Planning
14 May 2016 Lee County: Tour of Nachusa Grasslands
04 May 2016 Jo Daviess County: Spring into Invasive Plant Species
09 Apr 2016 Jo Daviess County: Emphasis on Wildlife
22 Mar 2016 Carroll County: NIFA Annual Dinner Meeting
12 Mar 2016 Tri-State Forest Stewardship Conference
09 Feb 2016 Hunting Leases
20 Jan 2016 NIFA Meeting
12 Dec 2015 Jo Daviess County: Prescribed Burn CANCELLED
08 Dec 2015 NIFA Planning Meeting
10 Nov 2015 NIFA Planning Meeting
17 Oct 2015 Carroll County: Autumn Tree Identification
25 Aug 2015 Jo Daviess County: Kick Your Bad (Chainsaw) Habits
08 Aug 2015 Jo Daviess County: Furniture Restoration & Country Store
18 Jul 2015 Jo Daviess County: Log Furniture Company (CANCELLED)
20 Jun 2015 Stephenson County: Sawmill and Firewood
28 May 2015 Champaign County: Illinois Invasive Species Symposium
09 May 2015 Carroll County: Shimer Arboretum Tour
25 Apr 2015 Carroll County: Forest Edge - Consumables,not Invasives
21 Apr 2015 Webinar: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in Horticulture
07 Apr 2015 Webinar: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in Horticulture
24 Mar 2015 Carroll County: Climate is the Forest, Weather is the Tree
14 Mar 2015 Tri-State Forest Stewardship Conference
26 Feb 2015 McLean County: First Detector Training
19 Feb 2015 Rock Island County: First Detector Training
18 Feb 2015 McDonough County: First Detector Training
12 Feb 2015 Coles County: First Detector Training
11 Feb 2015 Jefferson County: First Detector Training
10 Feb 2015 NIFA Meeting
04 Feb 2015 DeKalb County: First Detector Training
03 Feb 2015 DuPage County: First Detector Training
29 Jan 2015 Madison County: First Detector Training
21 Jan 2015 Jo Daviess County: Controlling Non-Woody Invasives
13 Jan 2015 NIFA Meeting
12 Dec 2014 Webinar: Forest Botanicals For Profit
09 Dec 2014 NIFA Planning Meeting
09 Dec 2014 Webinar: Legacy Planning: Where to Get Help
11 Nov 2014 NIFA Planning Meeting
10 Nov 2014 Webinar: Forest Cultivated Mushrooms
05 Nov 2014 Society of American Foresters Fall Meeting
01 Nov 2014 Putting Small Acres to Work
29 Oct 2014 Controlling Exotic Invasive Species Workshop

For questions, inquiries, or membership applications:

Mail: NIFA, 2303 West Cording Road, Galena, IL  61036

Email: info@nifatrees.org

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