UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A Penn State project aimed at advancing conservation-based estate planning for forest landowners in two key regions of Pennsylvania is the beneficiary of an $80,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The award — announced today (Dec. 10) — from the foundation’s Central Appalachia Habitat Stewardship Program, will be matched by an $80,000 allocation from the University to fund a targeted workshop series in the Pennsylvania Wilds and the Laurel Highlands regions. The project is intended to ensure the long-term protection of woodlands at the time of ownership transfer.
According to project coordinator Allyson Muth, assistant research professor specializing in private forests management, the sessions are intended to increase awareness and implementation of evolving legal and financial tools used by planning professionals, forest landowners and consulting foresters to achieve conservation-based estate planning.
“With significant acreages of forestland changing ownership over the next 10-20 years as baby boomers divest or pass assets on to their heirs or beneficiaries, there is an acute need to make the legal, financial and conservation tools more accessible and available to forest landowners,” said Muth, interim director of the Center for Private Forests in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
Enhancing conservation-based estate planning by empowering landowners to identify, prioritize and achieve their long-term stewardship and legacy objectives, Muth explained, will improve opportunities to maintain contiguous core forest blocks across the landscape.
“By making available for the next owner — whether known or unknown — the largest intact parcel of working forest possible, we will enable the restoration of key forest habitats and achieve the outcomes identified within the Central Appalachian Habitat Stewardship Program,” she said.
For more information about the workshops, contact Muth at 814-865-3208 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Jeff Muhollem, Penn State University