Woodland property owners in Marshall County will have the opportunity to discuss potential problems and benefits of the county's natural resources at a focus group meeting with West Virginia University representatives Monday at Grand Vue Park.
Dave McGill, professor and extension specialist at the WVU Extension Service, will meet with residents at 6 p.m. Monday in the park's Pool Club Room to ask landowners how they view their landscapes, what the valuable natural resources in the county are and what could potentially pose a threat to the health of the land.
For the past several months, McGill has been traveling to various parts of the state for the Landscape Forest Stewardship Project, a study that aims to gain information from individual landowners and map out the natural resources across West Virginia.
"The end goal is to give the West Virginia Division of Forestry a debriefing of what we found," McGill said. "People at the meeting will be able to gather around the table and mark maps with assets or places they think might be able to be developed for natural resource management, recreation, timber production, wildlife ... It's a big brainstorming session."
Landowners also might learn a few things from the meeting as well, McGill added.
Owners can learn how to better manage their land and how to work with other landowners to promote the local natural resources.
"This is landscape scale forestry, which means it's cross-boundary," he said. "It's getting owners to not only think about the land on their parcel, but to think about their neighbors. It's so they can think about how building a road, treating invasive species, hunting and fire transcends the property boundaries. It's about thinking on the broader scale."
McGill said meeting participants will participate in a brief talk, answer questions on a PowerPoint presentation, participate in a flip chart exercise and survey a map of the county to identify basic features of public and private land.
For more information or to RSVP, contact McGill at 304-293-5930.