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Podcast shares insights for healthy, safe forests

USDA ARS WFP-ARS-forest.jpg
Forest Overstory will examine issues and discoveries about wildfire, forest health, genetics and ecosystems, other topics.

Washington State University Extension Foresters launched a new podcast this fall to help Pacific Northwest landowners, and anyone who loves the woods, better understand and protect our forests.

Co-hosts Sean Alexander and Patrick Shults, foresters for northeast and southwest Washington, respectively, created the Forest Overstory podcast as a new avenue for woodland education.

“WSU Extension Forestry is focused on continuing education for the public, and that includes adapting to new ways of sharing information,” Alexander said. “Podcasts let you have an informal conversation, really get down to the bottom of a subject in a way that you can’t in traditional presentations.”

Forest Overstory will examine issues and discoveries about wildfire, forest health, genetics and ecosystems, wildlife habitat, sustainable harvests, agroforestry, and other relevant topics.

The name is a play on words, referring to the overstory of forests—foliage, canopy, and crowns—as well as the broad stories hosts plan to explore.

“We want to interview professionals and talk about what they do, introduce lesser known fields, and bring in active landowners to share success stories and insights that people can apply to their land,” Alexander said.

“The field of forestry is changing all the time,” said Shults. “We’re always learning new things, and the podcast is a great opportunity to bring professionals and landowners who are doing something different into the limelight.”

“All of the information will help forest owners, but anybody who loves trees is going to be interested,” he added.

Hosts will release a new episode every month, and welcome show ideas and feedback. Their first episode, posted Oct. 1, 2021, discussed fire and the landscape with U.S. Forest Service scientist Paul Hessburg. The series is funded by the Foresters Fund of the Society of American Foresters, which promotes education for sustainable forest management.

Listen to the Forest Overstory on SoundcloudSpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and Stitcher, or visit the podcast web site on WSU Extension Forestry.

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