2021 Pennsylvania Forestry Association Annual Symposium

Saturday, October 9, 2021

"New Ways to Work with Your Woods"

We are excited to offer two ways to attend our 2021 Symposium! Join us in person at Toftrees Conference Center in State College, PA, or virtually.

Download the Registration Form (PDF) or Register Online

View the Program Schedule (PDF)

Toftrees Resort and Conference Center - (814)234-8000

Special Room Rate $99 plus tax.

Deadline for Reservations - September 9, 2021

Register Early And Save!

This year we will explore new technology and tools that are useful and available to woodland owners as well as forestry and natural resource professionals. We’ll look at how and where to find apps. Explore the use of story maps to share the story of your woods. We’ll learn how to prepare for working with a consulting forester. And see how woodland owners, foresters, and natural resource professionals are using drones and remote sensing. We know you will enjoy all our informative presenters. As a highlight for in-person attendees, there will be hands-on equipment demonstrations following the classsroom programs.


John Hudson

John Hudson

John Hudson is the owner of Hudson Forestry Services in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania.

Presentation Title: How to Prepare for Your First Meeting with A Consulting Forester - What you can do for the forester and what they can do for you.

Presentation Description: The role of a consulting forester is to assist forest owners in defining their goals; then developing plans to accomplish them. The initial meeting between the landowner and a forester begins a process of discovery for both. John will discuss what a landowner can and should do to prepare for that initial meeting with a forester, to start the relationship in the right direction, and lead to the best outcome for all those involved.



Matt Sampson

Matt Sampson

Matt Sampson is the Northeast Regional Director of Forest Operations for The Forestland Group.

Presentation Title: There’s an App for That! – Practical apps for managing your woodlot.

Presentation Description: The more you know about your woodlot, the better you’ll be able to assist the resource professionals helping you. In this presentation we will look a variety of handy apps that allow the user (professional to novice) to become better acquainted with their lands and forests. Outdoor Demonstration: Apps and all That!



Harold Thistle

Harold Thistle, PhD

Harold Thistle, PhD and his wife, Gay, currently own TEALS, LLC consulting, which uses Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems.

Presentation Title: Drones (Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems, RPAS) in Forestry: Applications, Regulations and the Future Presentation Description: The use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) or drones has expanded dramatically in recent years as technology, operational innovation and regulation of these systems has come together to provide a powerful tool for land managers. This talk will examine the history of this technology from its inception well over 100 years ago, through development, primarily as military systems, on to the consumer systems available to foresters today.



Clare Boerigter

Clare Boerigter

Clare Boerigter is the Communications Intern at the Minnesota Forest Resources Council.

Presentation Title: New Ways to Tell the Story of Your Woods

Presentation Description: Rummage through those old boxes of photographs, gather remembered stories, employ maps and video footage, add natural soundscapes and voices, and integrate the multimedia content into a cohesive story of your woods that will be a treasure for all those who enjoy them.



Jeff Hershey

Jeff Hershey

Jeff Hershey is a Graduate Assistant at Penn State University.

Presentation Title: LiDAR-based Individual Tree Detection for Forest Inventory and Carbon Quantification

Presentation Description: Remote sensing technologies like light detection and ranging (LiDAR) have the opportunity to revolutionize forest inventory practices. Airborne LiDAR could not only fundamentally alter how timber is inventoried, but also enable emerging markets for carbon offsets that will benefit landowners. This presentation will explore our research into individual tree detection methods that are effective in eastern hardwood forests and discuss implications for Pennsylvania forest landowners and the forest industry. We will provide predictions for how this technology could impact Pennsylvania forests in the near future.



Merlin Benner

Merlin Benner

Merlin Benner is Co-Founder and President of Remote Intelligence and Co-founder of Wildlife Specialists.

Outdoor Demonstration, Q&A: Drones

Presentation description: Drone technology is receiving a lot of publicity from the great advances made in both technology and the regulatory framework, but generating useful outputs from the use of this technology can be a challenge. This presentation will focus on the most useful outputs for forest and land management and how to make the most of this new tool.