This year's Private Forest Landowners Conference will be held Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11, at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona. This conference is targeted towards woodland owners of all sizes, from backyard woodlots to conservation-minded landowners to those who view their woodlands as business ventures.

In Pennsylvania, 11.5 million acres of the forest is owned by almost 740,000 individuals, families and other groups. As holders of Pennsylvania's private forest resource, they are vital to the ecological, aesthetic, recreational and economic well-being of Penn's Woods.

There will be displays and exhibits from organizations and vendors recognizing a need to promote healthy forests and who have advice or services for landowners. Approximately 99 concurrent sessions will be offered in the following presentation tracks:

Forest finance, forest legacy, forest history, backyard woods, woods wildlife, forest health, tending your woods, wood products, making your woods accessible, forests and water, forest recreation, aesthetics and biodiversity and forest policy and advocacy.

For information and registration access the conference website at www.ecosystems.psu.edu/private-forests-conference [1], or contact Allyson Muth at (814) 865-3208 or abm173@psu.edu [2].

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A hike of the Crow and Lake View Trails will be held Thursday, at 1 p.m., at Tuscarora State Park, Barnesville. For information call park naturalist Robin Tracey at 570-467-2506 between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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A home firearms safety course taught by National Rifle Association instructors is Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Schuylkill Conservation District office, Route 901, 1206 Ag Center Drive, Pottsville. This basic course requires participants to bring their own firearm, but no ammunition is permitted.

Instruction focuses on safe-handling, cleaning, maintenance and proper storage in the home. Preregistration is required by calling (570) 292-2222, and there is a fee to cover the cost of instruction materials. All other expenses are being underwritten by the Schuylkill County Commissioners, the Schuylkill County Sportsmen's Advisory Board, Ed's Gun Shop, Shakey's Gun Shop, Dave Keefer's Gun Shop, the Target Shop and Tulpehocken Rifle and Pistol Club.

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Free registration is underway for Schuylkill County Youth Field Day, Saturday, May 18, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Friedensburg Fish and Game, 169 Stone Mountain Road, Pine Grove. This hands-on, outdoors educational event includes lunch and is for youth between the ages of 10-15, who must be accompanied by an adult chaperones. For information and registration, contact "Porcupine Pat" McKinney at the Schuylkill County Conservation District at (570) 622-4124, Ext.113, or email porcupinepat@yahoo.com [3].

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A Keystone Wounded Warriors Fishing Day will be held Saturday, May 18, beginning at 10 a.m., at South End Field and Stream, Whippoorwill Dam, Morea Road, Frackville. For information contact Tom Frendak at 410-688-0318 or tomfrendak@hotmail.com [4].

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Sunday's edition of "Experience The Outdoors," hosted by award-winning Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz, at 7 a.m. on 1410-AM WLSH, at 9:30 a.m. on Magic 105.5-FM and on the Web at http://www.wmgh.com/ [5] by clicking the link to the program, features "Turkey THUGS" television program co-host Paul Butski.

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Every Sunday during May and June, a free introductory course to fly fishing is being sponsored by the Federation of Fly Fishers at Cabela's Hamburg location. There are two sessions to the course, beginning at 12:30 p.m. with "Introduction to Fly Fishing" and concluding at 2:30 p.m. with "Introduction to Fly Casting," and participants must pre-register by calling the Cabela's Fly Shop at 610-929-7000.

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A simulated hunting 3D course is open daily through October 12 from dawn to dusk at Bears Head Archery, Delano, off I-81 exit 134. Sundays, the course is closed from 1-4 p.m. for trap. For information, email docblazer@verizon.net [6].

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Registration for individual days of the 112-mile, guided kayak and canoe Schuylkill River Sojourn, from Saturday, June 1, departing from Schuylkill Haven, to Friday, June 7, ending in Philadelphia, is underway by accessing the Schuylkill River Heritage Area website at www.schuylkillriver.org/Sojourn.aspx [7] or call (484) 945-0200.