If you know a senior 4-H member who has a true interest in nature, encourage them to apply for a spot in the Kentucky Forest Leadership Program this summer. The weeklong program is an opportunity for youth to explore and immerse themselves in Kentucky’s natural environment under the guidance of some of the state’s leading experts in forestry, entomology and wildlife.

The program is June 5-10 at the University of Kentucky’s Robinson Forest in Breathitt County. It is open to high school age youth who are interested in pursuing a career in some aspect of natural resource management.

Tracks of learning include forestry, entomology or wildlife, and each will allow the students to explore the uniqueness of their field and how all three are intertwined. The week is full of interactive, hands-on learning opportunities. Forestry students will learn about tree and plant identification, forest evaluation and management, soil and water quality, and fire management. Young people focusing on entomology will learn about insect identification, collection, preservation and ecology, and insects’ impacts on Kentucky’s forests. Students pursuing the wildlife track will learn about the different ways to sample, identify and manage wildlife. They will also learn how to conduct species diversity and population surveys.

Program instructors are professionals from UK’s Departments of Entomology and Forestry and Natural Resources, UK Cooperative Extension Service, Kentucky Division of Forestry, Kentucky Division of Conservation and Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Each county can only select two young people for the program. The application deadline is May 20. For more information or to apply, contact the Trimble County office of the UK Cooperative Extension Service.

Source: Laurie Thomas, extension forester

Ralph Hance is Trimble County’s Cooperative Extension agent for 4-H and youth development.