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Veneer Technologies Names Judges Panel for 2011 Craftsman’s Challenge

Veneer Technologies Names Judges Panel for 2011 Craftsman’s Challenge

NEWPORT, NC:  The pace is accelerating for the seventh annual Veneer Tech Craftsman’s ChallengeTM, as the judging panel is announced for this national design competition that highlights achievement in the use of natural wood veneer products. The trio of industry experts serving as judges for 2011 are Robert Lang (photographed) author, professional woodworker and executive editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine; Bill Esler, member of the WoodLINKS USA board of directors and associate publisher for Vance Publishing/Wood Interiors Media Group; and Keith Yow, a member of the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) Carolinas Chapter and founder of the furniture and cabinetmaking program at Cedar Ridge High School, Hillsborough, NC.

The 2011 Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge rewards excellence in the use of veneer and wood products through cash awards and other recognition for the entire supply chain including craftsmen, distributors and distributor sales representatives, and also for student designers. The competition is co-sponsored this year by CabinetMaker+FDM.

Past grand prizewinners include Wilkie Sanderson, Architectural Woodworking; Kent Townsend Fine Furniture; Paul Schurch, Schurch Woodworking; Gregg Novosad, Divine Design; and Scott Grove, Green Grove Design.

Robert Lang is the author of several books including Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture, named in 2005 by Fine Woodworking magazine as one of the “Books Every Woodworker Should Read.” His experience includes building custom furniture and cabinets as well as managing large architectural millwork projects. “I’m looking forward to returning to the panel,” said Lang. “We had a great time last year reviewing the entries.”

Bill Esler is responsible for editing Custom Woodworking Business and coordinating content for Wood & Wood Products, CLOSETS, and related online publications. He is particularly focused on helping WoodLINKS USA market the successes that schools and students are achieving with the help of the wood industry.

Keith Yow’s professional career began at North Carolina State University’s School of Design. He has been involved with Orange County, NC, Schools since 1994 and is currently department chair for Cedar Ridge’s Career Technical Education Program. Yow was named WoodLINKS USA teacher of the year in 2006. His students have successfully participated in many competitions including AWFS Student Design, IWF Design Emphasis, and SkillsUSA. His student Andrew Prioli won grand prize in the 2009 Veneer Tech Craftsman’s Challenge.

Craftsman’s Challenge entries are accepted through June 1, 2011. Competition categories include Cabinetry, Architectural Woodworking, Furniture, Specialty Products, Store Fixtures, and Student Design. Entry materials are available online through www.veneertech.com and from Veneer Technologies sales representatives and distributors.

A cash award of $3000 will be made to the creator of the grand prize winning entry. The distributor of the veneer for the grand prize winning entry will receive $2000, and the corresponding distributor salesman will receive $1000. Winners of each of the six categories receive $1000. There is also an additional $1000 award to the grand prizewinner for early entry by March 31, 2011. Awards will be announced at AWFS® Las Vegas, July 20-23.

Veneer Technologies is located in Newport, NC, and specializes in natural face veneers, sheet veneer and edgebanding. The company also offers exotic hardwood lumber and reconstituted veneer products.  Inquiries can be made by telephoning 800-593-5601.

Duck Egg County Forest, Vernon Co., Wisconsin

Duck Egg County Forest, Vernon Co., Wisconsin

The primary benefit of this project is the establishment of productive and desirable hardwood forest on non-forested areas.  With oak becoming scarce on the local landscape and oak being the primary seedling planted in this project, a younger size class of oak will be represented for future generations and management.  A secondary benefit of this project is the enhancement of habitat for the forest interior songbirds, like the Acadian Flycatcher and Cerulean Warbler that call Duck Egg their home.  These sites are adjacent to large tracts of forest, and planting them to trees would provide corridors for this specific wildlife.  Hunting will also be enhanced as oaks will eventually provide a food source for many game species including deer, squirrels, and wild turkey. Another benefit of this project will be the protection of the watershed from soil erosion.  Hardwood trees  absorb and hold a greater amount of water than the current cover of cool season grasses and forbs.  Trees also store greater amounts of carbon versus cool season grasses, making this project a benefit for carbon sequestration.

Vernon County, Wisconsin is dedicated to the sustainable forest management of its county forest properties for optimum production of forest products together with recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat, and watershed protection.  The Vernon County Forest program also partners with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – Forestry, Wildlife, Nurseries, and Endangered Resources Division with the planning and management of its resources. 

The sites planted in April 2010 were used as “borrow” areas for construction of the flood control dam completed in 1987 at the Duck Egg.  To prevent erosion, the sites were seeded to a mix of fast growing grasses and forbs that are still dominating the site today.  The soils of these sites are predominantly silt loam and clay, making them ideal sites for oak seedlings.  Generally, the slopes of these sites face west and north.  The Duck Egg compartment is also home to numerous threatened and endangered wildlife species, including forest interior songbirds.  Site productivity can be measured by the neighboring stands on similar soils and slopes.  These adjacent stands are currently producing 5200 board feet per acre.  Without planting desirable hardwood species on these sites, it is likely they will naturally succeed to less desirable species such as elm, box elder, and bitternut hickory.  Site preparation of the sites will require treatment of the heavy grass sod layer with emergent and pre-emergent herbicides.  Because of the steeper slopes, backpack sprayers will be utilized to apply the needed site preparation herbicides.  To fully capture the site and because future maintenance (mowing) would be problematic due to steep slopes, high density planting of 1000 seedlings per acre will be used.  This will capture the site sooner, and create dense early successional habitat for wildlife such as the ruffed grouse.

The Duck Egg County Forest compartment has been utilized in the past for many landowner forestry field days including meetings of the Bad Axe chapter of the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association, Southwest Badger Resource Conservation & Development, and the Kickapoo Woods Cooperative.  It is anticipated that further meetings will be held at the Duck Egg.  The Duck Egg is also a frequent destination for hiking, trout fishing, hunters, horseback riding, and snowshoeing.  An interpretative sign to educate and inform the users about the tree planting project and eventual forest management activities would provide a year-round education source about this project.

Project Partners:
WI DNR aids Vernon County employees in oversight of contract tree planters as well as labor for the machine planting field day.
Vernon County is responsible for the site preparation, oversight of contract tree planting, machine planting portion, release treatments, and long term management of these plantings for productive, vigorous forest.
Hardwood Forestry Fund provides funding for the project.

Update from the Forester: The status of the HFF tree planting at the Duck Egg in Vernon County, Wisconsin is this: Spring 2010 – 1,000 Red oak & 1,000 White Oak were planted via tree planting machine at the Duck Egg. 
Summer 2010 -  Plantations mowed twice to maintain rows, reduce competition, and eliminate habitat for tree-damaging wildlife (mice, voles). Fall 2010 – weed control; Fall 2010 – Remaining 5,000 hardwoods ordered from the WI DNR nursery (walnut, cherry, red oak, white oak); Spring 2011 – Contract tree planters will hand plant remaining 5,000 hardwoods on the designated sites.

Photo – The HFF project manager is riding in the tree planting machine. He puts each seeding individually in the planter, the machine places the seedling at the proper ground level, and the wheels at the back close the soil tightly over the seedlings’ roots. During planting, the forester will occasionally stop to give the newly planted trees a gentle tug to make sure they are firmly planted, and are at the correct depth and spacing.

This project is funded with general support funds from all Hardwood Forestry Fund members.

  • Project Type: Planting Project
  • Project Initiation Date: Spring 2010
  • Location: Duck Egg County Forest Compartment , WI
  • Number of Trees: 7,000
  • Number of Acres: 7
  • Tree Species: White oak, Red oak, Black cherry, Black walnut, Swamp white oak
  • Project Partner: Vernon County

The Hardwood Forestry Fund is a 501 (c) (3) educational foundation that establishes sustainable forests for future generations' natural resource needs. Contributions are tax-deductible.

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