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BANDON — A Vegetation Management Winter Education series will be presented in the coming months by Liza Ehle, along with several guest speakers, through Windward Gardens, LLC.

This series of three classes over the winter will focus on many topics relating to management of vegetation on rights of way, homes and private properties as well as on timber, agricultural and public lands. In each class of the series, Ehle and others will take a deeper look into the opportunities and challenges and update participants on the latest in new machinery, tools, methods and best practices specifically for Southern Oregon Coast.

"This series is part of a very serious effort to bring continuing education to our area for all the contractors, utility workers, pesticide applicators, landscapers and excavators, timber and parks personnel as well as geared to our ranchers, farmers and cranberry folks," Ehle said.

The continuing education credits cost $20 per credit hour, and the series will provide a total of the required 15 credits needed for many of these licensed pesticide applicators, as well as hoping for some the classes to qualify for CCB and OLCB credits. The classes are open to the public free of charge through a grant from Wild Rivers Coast Alliance if no credits are needed.

The first class was held from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Sprague Room in the Bandon Public Library and will cover rights of way, looking at how these transportation and utility corridors cross many of private, agricultural and rural landscapes and the difficult job of managing vegetation for the public good where it often impacts landowners with easements. This offers 4 CEC credits, two CORE and two general for ODA pesticide applicators.

The second class is Thursday, Jan. 16, at The Barn/Community Center in Bandon and is an all-day event, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

"We really hope the public will take advantage of our efforts to connect a variety of vegetation contractors with landowners," Ehle said.

This seven-hour continuing education credit class will discuss a variety of topics related to building a workable vegetation management plan, which includes fire, mechanical removal, manual removal, many herbicide options as well as organic approaches. This class includes speakers from OSU and ODA bringing practical information for implementing the City of Bandon gorse abatement plan and discusses "districting" to maximize resources and cut costs for compliance. There will also be a free meet your contractor lunch event where local vegetation management contractors can connect with those who need work done.

The final in the series will be held from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at the OSU Field Station in Port Orford. This session includes a free lunch with representatives from nonprofits, including the Coquille Indian Tribe, state parks and other public agencies who manage local lands, watersheds and natural resources to learn what they are doing and what works in their partnerships and collaborations.

"Many exciting projects have made significant strides in the recent past and this is an opportunity for folks to connect with grants, partner in projects and learn about helpful programs that further our stewardship of the Southern Oregon Coast's resources through cooperation," Ehle said.

For more information and to sign up for the classes, call Ehle at 541-290-1018.

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