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K-State Research and Extension News

Released: Nov. 11, 2016

Forest stewardship remains strong in Kansas
Shawnee County landowners recognized as Forest Stewardship Tree Farmer of the Year.

Bovairds walking

RICHLAND, Kan. – For the past 14 years, Michael and Kathy Bovaird have been working to improve their 40-acre woodland in southeastern Shawnee County, Kansas. In 2006, they began collaborating with their district forester on a plan for their land. The strategy included selective harvesting, timber stand improvement comprised of thinning and pruning, vine control, wildlife habitat enhancement, trail improvement, and erosion control through water diversion.

That same year, the Bovairds enrolled in the Kansas Tree Farm program, and have remained active members for the past 10 years. The program works together with the Forest Stewardship program in Kansas to support and encourage woodland owners who are committed to sustainably managing the woodland and associated natural resources on their properties.

The Forest Stewardship program is a U.S. Forest Service program delivered through the Kansas Forest Service at Kansas State University. The Kansas Tree Farm program is a private not-for-profit organization funded by the American Tree Farm System.

Each year, the Forest Stewardship and Kansas Tree Farm programs jointly recognize a Kansas landowner who has done outstanding work in managing his or her woodlands. This year, Michael and Kathy Bovaird were selected to receive the Forest Stewardship Tree Farmer of the Year award.

“Both of us grew up surrounded by natural forests, and upon moving to Kansas, strongly felt a void left by Kansas’ sparse forests,” Michael Bovaird said. “We felt a strong need to find some woodland property and searched for several years before finding it. Since purchasing what we affectionately referred to as ‘Chiggerland,’ we have spent countless hours developing an improved forest stand, a place we now call Kamika, where we can enjoy the beauty of a forest we call our own, but are more than willing to share.”

As winners of the 2016 award, the Bovairds received a $200 gift certificate from Stihl, a commemorative plaque courtesy of Ecotone Forestry, and an award sign. They, along with the Agroforestry Stewards of the Year, Marvin and Twylia Sekavec of Ness County, will be recognized at the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts’ 72nd annual convention on Nov. 21 in Wichita. The theme of this year’s convention is “Building a Conservation Legacy.”


About the Kansas Forest Service
The Kansas Forest Service is the nation’s fifth oldest state forestry agency. The agency serves rural landowners, communities, rural fire districts, forest and arboriculture industries, and citizens of the state through its Conservation Tree and Shrub Planting, Fire Management, Community Forestry, Rural Forestry, Marketing and Utilization, and Forest Health programs. The Kansas Forest Service state office is located in Manhattan, Kansas, just off the campus of Kansas State University. The agency is administratively attached to the Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources, College of Agriculture, Kansas State University. The agency receives its direction from a mission statement that reads: “Care of Natural Resources and Service to People through Forestry.”


K‑State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well‑being of Kansans.  Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K‑State campus in Manhattan.


For more information:
Jennifer Williams
Communications Coordinator, Kansas Forest Service
785-532-3308 or jgwilliams@ksu.edu

K-State Research and Extension