What is a Covert?
- A thicket providing sheltering cover for wildlife.
- A special educational program of the UConn Cooperative Extension System. Since 1983, The Coverts Project has been reaching out to Connecticut's individual woodland owners and teaching them how sound management practices can make wildlife healthier, more diverse, and more abundant.
Education Through Demonstration
The Coverts Project began simultaneously in Vermont and Connecticut in 1983. Since that time it has spread to 11 other states across the northeastern U.S. Its goals are to teach forest owners how good forest stewardship can:
- Earn the woodland owner a long-term financial return, and
- Improve the health and productivity of both the forest and the wildlife that live in it.
Actively managed demonstration areas are used as outdoor classrooms during our annual, in-depth Coverts Project training seminar and follow-up workshops. Each year, a select group of 30 woodland owners and/or environmentally concerned individuals are accepted to participate in the three-day training seminar, held at the beautiful and remote Yale Forestry Camp in Norfolk, CT. There they learn about different types of Connecticut forests and about where, how, and why they grow as they do. They learn about different wildlife species, their needs, and how to provide for them. They learn about the many natural resource professionals and organizations available to help them. And they learn how to put this knowledge to work on their own woodland.
The seminar (meals, lodging, training, and reference materials), periodic follow-up workshops, and the quarterly Coverts Project Newsletter are free to participants. All costs are paid for by the Ruffed Grouse Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to forest wildlife conservation.
In exchange, participants agree to become Coverts Project Cooperators, to return to their communities and share what they've learned with others. Specifically, cooperators agree to:
- Develop a sound forest and wildlife management plan for their own woodland and/or woodland which they are involved in managing;
- Maintain for at least one year an up-to-date set of reference materials (provided by the Coverts Project) and be available to answer questions other landowners have;
- Make an active effort to reach out to and motivate other woodland owners in their community.
- Through this network of informed individuals, thousands of landowners are learning about and beginning to practice sound forest and wildlife conservation.
Breaking a Cycle of Abuse and Neglect
For over 300 years, Connecticut's forests have been cutover, burned and otherwise abused for human profit. Decades of neglect have alternated with intense periods of indiscriminate cutting and abuse. Genetic depletion, poor health and productivity, and loss of wildlife species have been the result. Today, rapid development and land fragmentation, as well as poor cutting practices, continue to threaten our forest and wildlife resources.
Coverts Project Cooperators are working to break this vicious cycle. They know the time has come when we must recognize the forest and the land as a community of which we are a part, rather than a commodity we are free to abuse. Together, by taking the time to learn and to share their knowledge with others, they are making a difference.
Will You Join Us?
Each year, woodland owners and others involved with the care of wooded properties are invited to apply for one of the 30 slots available in the annual September seminar. We look for people who are, or who have the potential to be, informal educators in their communities: people who others will come to when they have questions about forests or wildlife; people who can find time in their busy schedules for the seminar and some volunteer activities during the coming year; people who want to get to know and to work with natural resource professionals from around the state; people who would like their own woodland to be healthy and productive; people who care about Connecticut's forests and the wildlife that live in them.
The University of Connecticut
Cooperative Extension System
1066 Saybrook Road, PO Box 70
Haddam, CT 06438-0070
Phone toll-free 1-888-30WOODS
Or e-mail: email@example.com