Stone Fence Farm Guild Gathering

Event Date: 
Friday, June 7, 2019 - 16:00 to Saturday, June 8, 2019 - 16:00

Register today!

$60 + optional lodging...see below (hotel reservation deadline April 6). Students register free!

Join this not-to-be-missed Forest Stewards Guild New England Guild Gathering! Hosts Jeremy Turner and Laura French are excited to host fellow Guild members and friends for a spectacular field event. Stone Fence Farm is a 300-acre working forest and farm in the heart of Guild country, a well-managed woodland in a landscape of continuous forest. Come learn in this “playground” and share your own forest wisdom on adaptive forest management! 

Draft agenda

Friday, June 7, 2019

4:00 p.m. Farm tour: Forest and farmland often go hand in hand in New England. Stone Fence Farm is an example of integrated working farm and managed forest. Take a tour of the apple orchards, educational barn, and local food production. 

6:00 p.m. Wood-fired pizza oven dinner (provided): What better way to top off a working farm tour than with a local pizza party? Wood-fired pizza will be baked on site, accompanied by appetizers and salad. This is also the perfect opportunity to bring and show off your favorite local brewed beverages.  

8:00 p.m. Music jam: Bring an instrument and get ready to jam! Test the acoustics of the barn by making music with fellow Guild members. 

Saturday, June 8, 2019 (breakfast, lunch, and snacks included)

6:30 a.m. Bird walk: Meet the winged residents of Stone Fence Farm on an early-morning bird walk.  

7:00 a.m. Hot breakfast: We’ll warm up the oven to help start your day with a buffet of tasty, local breakfast items. 

8:15 a.m. Welcome: With the group gathered in the barn, we will hear an overview of Stone Fence Farm in the context of the landscape, forest types, management history, and objectives for future forest stewardship. We’ll be introduced to each of the sites we’ll be visiting on the field tour. 

8:30 a.m. Field stop 1: Sugarbush thinning - Establishment of a sugarbush on Stone Fence Farm is one of the primary management objectives. We’ll learn about a thinning operation and the decisions made to balance syrup production with wildlife habitat, water quality, and other values.  

10:00 a.m. Field stop 2: Aspen - This aspen stand was managed under an even-aged approach, but the resulting forest is anything but boring. In the three- to eight-acre openings across a 50-acre stand, coarse woody material and other habitat features have been purposefully retained to enrich the biological value of the overall stand. 

11:30 p.m. Lunch: Enjoy a smorgasbord of fresh, local sandwich fixings! 

12:30 p.m. Field stop 3: Spruce-fir silviculture - The spruce-fir forest at Stone Fence Farm faces the same challenges that other spruce-forests face in New England, including the subtle effects of the changing climate. To address the failing spruce, modified shelterwood treatments, as well as group selection, have been implemented to obtain the desired regeneration. This multiple-aged approach was employed as an attempt to increase the resiliency of the stand, while also benefitting forest songbirds at home in northern softwood forest. 

2:00 p.m. Field stop 4: Controlled burn - This 8-acre site was harvested in 2010 with a goal of regenerating white pine. When the blueberries and raspberries did better than the pine, the landowners decided to experiment with the stand. They brought in a professional fire crew in 2016 to conduct a controlled burn with the goals of improving wildlife habitat, enhancing the berry crop, and learning about the fire effects in the stand.

3:30 p.m. Wrap-up: Don’t leave yet! Join Guild members and friends as we share reflections from the day and synthesize thoughts on what Forest Stewards Guild-style management means in the world of forestry today. 

4:00 p.m. Adjourn: Have a safe trip home! Or, stick around to join us at the Regeneration Dinner.

5:30 p.m. Regeneration Dinner ($30 on your own, students free): Are you in the early stage of your career in forest stewardship? Or have you been in the field for a long time and have wisdom to share? Join us for a Regeneration Dinner at the Common Man Restaurant in Claremont, New Hampshire! This dinner gathering is intended to provide a space for you to network and share questions and lessons in growing careers in forest stewardship.  

Registration fee: $60 for non-students, includes meals (dinner Friday, breakfast and lunch Saturday).  

Thanks to the generous support of the French Foundation, we are pleased to report that student registration is FREE! Additionally, some travel scholarships are available to students; contact Amanda Mahaffey for more information.

Scholarships are also available to young professionals (roughly five years out of school). Additionally, we will be pleased to treat you to the Regeneration Dinner on Saturday evening. Contact Amanda Mahaffey for more information.

Lodging: When you register, you will be asked to indicate your preference for lodging. There are unlimited tent camping sites available at Stone Fence Farm, and plenty of floor space in outbuildings to throw a sleeping bag. Additionally, a few beds are available in the barn (note that the music jam may conflict with early bedtimes). There is an outhouse available in addition to (of course) trees. There is no charge to camp.

If camping isn’t your speed, there are lodging options in town, including the popular Common Man Inn in Claremont, about a 20-minute drive. Please note that the Common Man requires a two-night minimum stay.

The Guild has also reserved a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn Express in Springfield, Vermont. The reservation deadline is April 6. To reserve a room, call 802 885-4516 and say you'd like a room under the Forest Stewards Guild room block. The rate is $179/night.

Because this event coincides with Dartmouth College graduation weekend, we recommend making your lodging reservation early.

Travel: Stone Fence Farm is approximately two hours’ drive from the Manchester, New Hampshire airport (MHT), which is served by Southwest and other major airlines. Stone Fence Farm is approximately 3 hours’ drive from Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS).

CEUs: 6/8 program of the Stone Fence Farm Guild Gathering has been assigned 6.0 category 1 CFE credits by the Society of American Foresters.

Thank you to Laura French and Jeremy Turner for the photos used on this event page.