GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — When most think of natural disasters occurring in Eastern North Carolina, they may think of hurricanes. However, wildfires, tornadoes and other severe occurrences happen all over the state.
Leaders from the Extension Forestry Office at North Carolina State University are now teaming up with state officials to keep people aware of how to maintain healthy forests.
“We have a lot of wildfires in North Carolina every year, usually between 3 and 5 thousand fires that the North Carolina Forest Service responds to,” said Dr. Kelly Oten an Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist at NCSU.
Oten says these forests are truly some people’s livelihood, so this type of training is vital.
“This is how they make money and what they might retire on. The impacts a huge storm might have on their forest property might mean hundreds of thousands, maybe even more, dollars to them,” said Dr. Oten.
Noting that their target audience goes beyond landowners to those in management positions or anyone making decisions on forests. She says they want to teach people new tips and tricks on what to look for. Saying not everything one may think is a sign of an unhealthy forest is accurate.
“Dead trees are really important for wildlife. Someone may look at it and be like look at this unhealthy forest but really this is allowing bears and birds and small mammals a nesting site.”
Overall saying that when it comes down to it, forests are some of the most important aspects of everyday life that we may take for granted.
“Our forests are really important in NC, not just for our environments and our biodiversity, our enjoyment and how we like to enjoy the outdoors but also for forest landowners who to them this is an investment,” said Dr. Oten.
The workshop takes place Tuesday, July 20th. Click here to sign up.