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FORESTRY TODAY July | August 2012 Volume 8, Issue 4

John Deere: Celebrating 175 years.

See story on page 8


July | August 2012

Georgia Forestry Today


On the Cover:


Publisher: A4 inc. eDiTOr-iN-ChieF Alva hopkins In 2012, John Deere is celebrating its 175th anniversary. One of the oldest continuously operating companies in the United States, John Deere has grown to become a forestry icon. See story on page 8. LAMAR CANTRELL


We buy all types of timber. Bio-fuel producer 1433 Galilee Church Road Jefferson, GA 30549 Office: (706) 367-4813 Mobile: (706) 498-6243 Home: (706) 367-1521


PrODuCTiON MANAger Pamela Petersen-Frey

eDiTOriAl bOArD Wendy burnett Alva hopkins Jesse Johnson stasia Kelly sandi Martin roland Petersen-Frey brain stone steve McWilliams

GEORGIA FORESTRY TODAY is published bi-monthly by A4 inc., 1154 lower birmingham road, Canton, georgia 30115. recipients include participants of the Forest stewardship Program and the American Tree Farm system. Opinions expressed by the authors are not necessarily those of the publisher, A4 inc., nor do they accept responsibility for errors of content or omission and, as a matter of policy, neither do they endorse products or advertisements appearing herein. Part of this magazine may be reproduced with the written consent of the publisher. Correspondence regarding changes of address should be directed to A4 inc. at the address indicated above. Advertising material should be sent to A4 inc. at the e-mail address: Questions on advertising should be directed to the advertising director at the e-mail address provided above. editorial material should be sent to A4 inc. or to Alva hopkins. GEORGIA FORESTRY TODAY 1154 lower birmingham road, Canton, georgia 30115

July | August 2012

Volume 8, Issue 4

July | August 2012



John Deere Celebrates 175th Anniversary


True Confessions of a Gar Fisherman


The Sky’s the Limit Satellite tracking could be future of hydrological modeling GFT News


Grant Harvey: Distinguished Young Alumnus


Message from the Georgia Forestry Commission Director



GFC News

Forestry Calendar


Fred Warnell Following His Forestry Family’s Footsteps


67th Pine Tree Festival & Southeast Timber Expo a Rousing Success


UGA Researchers Awarded $701,000 in State Grants to Study Black Bears in Central Georgia

May 1 - September 30

September 20

Georgia EPD Burn Ban in Effect for 54 Counties

2012 Agroforestry & Wildlife Field Day griffin, georgia

September 12 Prescribed Fire Certification Tifton, georgia rural Development Center Contact: renae Woods 229-386-5993

Georgia Forestry Today

October 3-4 2012 Forest landowners Association Advocacy Day October 3-4 2012 gaylord National resort & Convention Center Washington, DC

If you have a forestry event you’d like to see on our calendar, please contact Alva Hopkins at with the subject line ‘Calendar Event.’



July | August 2012

LisT oF adverTisers Abraham baldwin Agricultural College . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29

hei . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28

American Forest Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30

international Forest Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

Arborgen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

landMark spatial solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

beach Timber Company inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30

lanigan & Associates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29

blanton’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

Meeks’ Farm & Nursery . . . . . . . . . . . . . .inside Front Cover

Canal Wood llC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30

M & h Pinestraw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28

Cantrell Forest Products inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Morbark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30

Davis - garvin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

Outdoor underwriters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

F2M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Plum Creek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Farm Credit Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

Prudential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27

Flint equipment Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30

Quality equipment & Parts inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

Forest resource Consultants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

smith, gambrell & russell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Forest resource services inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30

uPC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .back Cover

Forestar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

Weyerhaeuser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22

F&W Forestry service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26

Vulcan on board scales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

gillis brothers inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30

Yancey brothers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .inside back Cover

Georgia Forestry Today


John Deere

Celebrates 175th Anniversary


n 2012, John Deere is celebrating its 175th anniversary. One of the oldest continuously operating companies in the united states, John Deere has grown to become an icon associated with the American values of hard work, ingenuity, and a commitment to quality. Most people associate John Deere with agriculture, as tractors, combines, and other implements painted in the familiar green and yellow color scheme are ubiquitous on America’s vast expanses of farmland. Others may think of the coveted lawn tractors suburban and rural homeowners use to take care of their acreage, or heavy equipment commonly seen at construction sites. but hidden in the forests of the world are thousands of pieces of John Deere forestry equipment such as skidders, harvesters, forwarders, and feller-bunchers. loggers all over the globe rely on John Deere to keep their operations running smoothly and profitably. John Deere’s heritage is inextricably tied to agriculture, and the company has only officially been in the forestry business for a few generations. but the company’s roots in forestry go back much further than most people realize.

That plow had an inherent tie to logging. it was fashioned from a broken sawmill blade—thus beginning John Deere’s heritage in forestry, generations before the company’s forestry division was created. John Deere’s advancements in forestry continued into the late 1800s, with the company approaching its 50th anniversary. by that time, wood-processing products had made their way into the company’s regular offering. self-reliant farms of the time required the means to process lumber for barns, sheds, implements, and even houses. John Deere filled this need by selling complete sawmills. Despite this heritage, John Deere products had not been used in the actual harvesting of trees until the 1930s, when the company was approaching its 100th anniversary. At that time, John Deere machines started making their way into the woods, but the change had more to do with the ingenuity of John Deere customers and the versatility of the machines. These pioneering loggers modified John Deere tractors to help

them accomplish a variety of forestry tasks more easily, safely, and efficiently. An example from the John Deere archives includes a Model D tractor with the wheels and seat removed, the skids removed, and pressed into service as a logging winch. it wasn’t until a decade later that John Deere began building purpose-built machines designed specifically for logging jobs. The machine that started it all was the MC Crawler, introduced in 1949. This workhorse was prized by loggers for its versatility and ability to negotiate rough terrain. it was used for skidding, loading and other general

Farming Heritage with Forestry Roots John Deere’s first product was, indeed, a farm implement—a plow that Mr. Deere made in his one-man blacksmith shop. This revolutionary plow would go on to play a large role in tilling the land of the Midwest and providing food for a growing nation. 8

July | August 2012

purpose tasks. it has gone down in John Deere lore as one of the most hard-working machines the company has ever built.

The Beginning of Modern Machines but the MC was just the beginning. The period of the 1960s and 1970s saw a renaissance in John Deere forestry equipment. in 1961, Timberland Machines released the Timberjack 200 series skidder. Available with a 61 horsepower gasoline engine, the Timberjack would form the blueprint for the modern skidder. John Deere would acquire Timberland in 2000. later in the ’60s, John Deere released the 440 skidder, marking another milestone in modern skidder design. until that point, skidders were little more than an engine in a frame. The operator was not a consideration at all. That changed with the introduction of the 440, which offered a more comfortable operator’s station. That innovation not only made operators happier but it also increased safety and productivity. until this point in history, while John Deere skidders were helping loggers get logs out of the woods, they were not used for the actual felling of trees. Timber was still being cut by workers on foot, armed with chainsaws. That changed in the 1970s with the introduction of the harvester, bringing about a new era in productivity. released in 1977, the John Deere 743 Tree harvester combined the speed of rubber tires with the reach of a boom. Productivity skyrocketed, as a harvester operated by a single worker could harvest two trees per minute. The 743 also formed the basis for today’s modern harvester. Georgia Forestry Today

Focus on the Customer Though John Deere’s customers had always been the catalyst for product innovations, the process formalized in the late 1990s. During that time, customer feedback was incorporated into the design process through the formation of dealer and customer advocacy groups, known as DAgs and CAgs. This user-centric approach was a first in the industry, and became a crucial

The late ’90s and into the turn of the century also saw an expansion of John Deere to a global forestry supplier through strategic partnerships and acquisitions. John Deere partnered with hitachi Construction Machinery Company ltd. in 1998 to manufacturer purpose-built, excavator-based logging machines. in 2000, John Deere acquired Timberjack and Waratah, bringing exciting new technology and products to the brand. in just a short three-year period, John Deere had solidified itself as the clear worldwide leader in forestry.

Looking Forward component of John Deere’s product development process. by listening to the loggers and gaining a better understanding of their needs, John Deere was able to make countless improvements—small and large—to their forestry equipment. The DAgs and CAgs continue to be used by John Deere today.

From a company with humble beginnings in the great Plains of America to a worldwide leader in forestry equipment, John Deere enjoys a rich heritage in the industry. Much has changed in the last 175 years, but there is more to come. With the advent of telematics and other technologies, loggers can look forward to new innovations that will make forestry faster, safer, and more efficient. v


grant harvey: Distinguished Young Warnell Alumnus


rant harvey didn’t pick Warnell at first. The business track was the route he had chosen to follow, but quickly found the classes were not enjoyable. his grandfather had always encouraged him to pursue forestry, and after much pessimism he visited Warnell. “i greatly enjoyed the visit and knew it was the route i wanted to pursue, so i began taking the necessary courses for admission.” That, he says, was a very good decision. Just six years after graduating, harvey was recognized as one of the Warnell school’s most promising young alums. he was named the Warnell school’s Distinguished Young Alumnus at the 2011 homecoming festivities last October. upon graduating from Warnell in 2005 with his bsFr, harvey took a job with Plum Creek and has quickly progressed through the company’s ranks, starting off as a resource forester and moving up to his current position. As resource supervisor for Plum Creek’s brunswick, georgia, district, harvey oversees the resources and financials for 350,000 acres. “it is a great job, with large amounts of responsibility,” he says. “i love that my company trusts me to make decisions which can have a significant impact on our business. Forestry is one of the few industries that i think of

harvey. And harvey has some good advice for students still at Warnell: Find a good mentor. his is Todd reitz, who hired him to work with Plum Creek but is now the unit manager in Mississippi. “Todd did things for me that i did not understand at the time,” harvey says. “he asked me to get involved in many projects, attend meetings, and challenged me to lead projects. All of these things exposed me to more people and more of the business than i ever expected. i was quickly doing more than i ever imagined i would be doing when in school.” it is because of Plum Creek that harvey met his wife rachel. The couple met when she was working in the iT department in Athens, and he was frequenting the Plum Creek office here for gis software system testing. The two married in 2009 and had a son, Weston, in 2010. A second son, William, followed in 2011, while the family was relocating to Coastal georgia for his current position with Plum Creek. harvey says the family is rounded out with their 3-yearold Vizsla. “i greatly enjoy bird hunting with where individuals are given such large amounts of authority over company assets.” his grandfather’s advice to pursue forestry turned out to be a good choice for

him when i have the chance,” he says. “i still fish and hunt every chance i get. i will trade any day of hunting or fishing to see my Warnell buddies.”v

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July | August 2012

Georgia Forestry Commission

Message from the Director Dear gFT reader, very spring, the georgia Forestry Commission honors employees who have made outstanding contributions to the mission, goals, values, and initiatives of our agency. Nominations from fellow employees are tallied in five ‘Public employee recognition Week’ categories that include Customer service, leadership, innovation/suggestions, humanitarianism, and heroism. each entry documents specific, measurable accomplishments and results, which are then evaluated by a team that names the slate of annual award winners. The competition is always tough because our gFC folks are good at going the extra mile in every one of these categories. And each of these categories has a direct impact on the stellar service we strive to deliver to you, our customers and colleagues in the forestry industry.


The gFC 2011 Public employee recognition Winners are: • David epps ~ Customer service • hannah Cowart ~ leadership • steve Chapman, Thomas barrett Mark McClure, Jeremy hughes, Jeff sibley, and Dan Chan ~ innovations/suggestions • robert Dunn ~ humanitarianism • Payton Turner, rusty Carroll, and ron Calhoun ~ heroism Please visit for a profile of each of these winners and the characteristics that earned them this distinction. i guarantee you’ll be inspired. Just as these employees have recorded outstanding achievements in the past year, so has the entire forestry community made notable strides, as evidenced by another set of important standards—the 2011 georgia best Management Practices survey. results Georgia Forestry Today

contained in this recently completed report show that of the 5711 individual bMPs evaluated by the gFC, the statewide percentage of correct implementation was 95.3 percent. This is a 1.2 percent increase in bMP implementation from the 2009 survey. With public attention and legal actions focusing on water and the protection of riparian areas or streamside management zones, there should be much interest in the fact that the forestry community’s bMP implementation rate for streamside management zones (sMZs) is 95.0 percent, with 99.1 percent of sMZ acres in full compliance with bMPs. There was also notable improvement in stream crossing bMP implementation. i urge you to visit and Forest Management to

take a look at the highlights of the report and specifics according to your interests. information contained in this report will be the kind of documentation that can support our forestry community as the ePA makes decisions regarding stormwater runoff from logging roads. in response to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that said certain logging roads were stormwater point sources associated with industrial activity, the ePA is proposing revisions to its Phase i stormwater regulations. The revisions specify that logging roads’ stormwater discharges do not fall into that category. The u.s. supreme

Robert Farris Court has agreed to review the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision during its next session, which begins in October. A link to ePA’s Notice of intent to revise stormwater regulations can be found at ePA is seeking input on examples of successful existing bMP-based state programs, and the gFC is preparing a report demonstrating the great success and effectiveness of your efforts to manage forest water quality. The ePA is also seeking comment on approaches for addressing water quality impacts associated with forest road stormwater discharges. Your expertise and opinions count, and i encourage you to submit your comments to and reference docket number ePA-hQ-OW-2012-0195. And as always, thank you for the important part you play in growing georgia’s forests! sincerely, Robert Farris v 11

GFC News The GFC is working with the Georgia Chapter of the american Chestnut Foundation on a project to grow chestnut trees in dawson County. Pure American chestnut seeds that were planted on a gFC plot this spring have germinated and are being monitored closely for signs of root disease. if the trees remain healthy, gFC will work to establish an orchard of chestnut hybrids. researchers are attempting to breed chestnut trees that are free of the chestnut blight disease that decimated the species in the past. e

Georgia tree professionals gathered in savannah in May to learn about “all Things Live oak.” The workshop and tour, presented by the georgia urban Forest Council, savannah Tree Foundation, and Trees south Carolina, examined live oak species varieties, growing habits and preferences, pests and diseases, and more. A trolley tour gave participants a chance to see outstanding local specimens, including the mile long tree-lined canopy entrance to historic Wormsloe historic site. Attendees were also encouraged to register outstanding live oaks in the southeast by going to and filling out the form under ‘live Oak society.’ e

The Georgia Forestry Commission has installed a series of solar panels to help reduce electric costs at its Flint river Nursery. six 35’ x 11’ mounting structures, composed of 22 260-watt solar modules each, provide energy to sustain pumps that power the nursery’s well.

an improved experience is in store for visitors to GFC’s redesigned Web site at The colorful and easy to use portal provides answers and links to the most commonly sought information about gFC services, including burn permits, maps, seedling sales, statewide forestry contacts, and facts and figures about georgia forestry. interactive help, such as ‘Ask the Arborist’ and links to gFC’s popular Facebook and twitter sites are also featured.e 12

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ot far south of the busy i-16 corridor that bisects central georgia near Pembroke lies a swath of the lower coastal plain, seeped in natural beauty and southern history. Navigating its sandy trails leading past an 1880s homestead, through longleaf, slash, and loblolly forests, by spring-fed ponds, across hay fields and Canoochee river bottomland is special enough. having a third generation family forestry icon as a tour guide? Well, you know what the Visa commercial says. “i never questioned that i’d be in the forestry business,” said Fred Warnell, seated behind the wheel of his well worn jeep. “i’ve been around it all my life. My first 4-h project when i was in sixth grade was ‘how to Plant a Pine seedling.’ it was in a field where the old school house was, and trees there have been cut and planted three times since. No, i just never have had any pull to leave here.” With roots that run this deep, why would he? The family of Warnell’s grandfather, Daniel b. Warnell (for whom the ugA Forestry school is named), came to bryan County in the late 1800s, where he started a turpentine business around 1900. he married into a family “who’d been here forever” and “whose ancestors fought with george Washington,” according to Fred Warnell. Daniel Warnell served in the georgia house and senate in the 1930s and is credited with making significant contributions to rural development, public education, public transportation, and conservation of natural resources.

Fred Warnell surveys conditions at his favorite fishin’ hole. Georgia Forestry Today


Fred Warnell’s father, Charles, was the youngest of five siblings. Charles followed in his father’s boot prints, working in forestry and serving two terms in the state senate. Today, Fred and his brother, David, manage their family’s timber business, a limited partnership named Warnell Timber & land.

Legacy in the Land On a mild spring afternoon in May, Fred Warnell generously unrolled maps and recounted the history of his family’s 8500 acres of forest land in bryan and bulloch Counties. Forest stewardship Plans have been created for some portions of the property, and are divided into two sections: the 1565 acre ‘big Pasture Tract’ and the 2046 acre ‘little Pasture Tract.’ The documents provide valuable specifics about various individual features of this unique rural georgia treasure. The Warnell land is managed primarily for timber, with wildlife (deer, turkey, quail, and non-game species) being a secondary objective. Prescribed burning is conducted on various tracts as needed and best Management Practices are employed by all who work on the property. each stewardship plan details tracts and property features, including timber and soil types, water features, wildlife and food plots, and recommended management practices and timetables for each. Products grown include pine and hardwood pulp, poles, and saw timber. in 2011, a separate 983 acre conservation easement was established. “The decisions i make affect my siblings and family today, and my children and grandchildren in generations to come,” said Fred Warnell. “All i can do is manage to the best of my ability with what i know.” Knowledge and instincts are clearly collaborating here. After graduating from the university of georgia with a forestry degree, Warnell relocated to Fitzgerald to work as a forester for the georgia Forestry Commission. he moved on to manage Ft. stewart’s timber division for several years, and now works as an independent consulting forester. Warnell also served on the gFC board of Directors for nine years. in short, he’s been in the trenches and worked the changing timber markets from many perspectives for a long time.

“i try to diversify,” he said. “We’ve got short term, mid term, and long term rotations. but you can’t see how things are going to do unless you’re willing to try.” Warnell recounted a string of successes and a few failures as he negotiated the property’s rugged terrain and provided running commentary—pointing out the ages and histories of specific stands, wildlife highlights, and soil types. With a neighborly southern drawl, he exudes an educated ‘go with the flow’ persona and a real appreciation for his surroundings.

Control what you can...then go with the flow “Things are unstable and difficult to predict,” he said. “it used to be that having land was an asset, and now it’s almost a liability. but everything goes back to supply and demand; continuing to replant and thin. For a long time people watched too closely what the industry was doing. You’ve got to watch out and control what you’re doing.” Warnell says watching and studying are important strategies, but so is experimenting. And waiting.

’Cat faces’ serve as reminders that this land was once home to naval stores operations. 14

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“We swam here as kids and so did my children. it’s the only beach we ever had. i want to keep it in its original pristine way.” Noting lower than usual water levels because of the ongoing drought, Warnell continued with trademark optimism.

“It’ll come back, it always does. Nature has its way of refurbishing.” Patience is another virtue that Warnell keeps close at hand. “This is not a short term business,” he said. “Our markets are built on spikes. You’ve got to be prepared and be ready to go when the market is right.”

The trail up ahead

Long leaf pine thrives in the sandy soil adjacent to pastures that will soon be planted with more of the native species. “Mother Nature really does know best,” he said. “leave her alone and she’ll take care of things. loblolly’s important, it’s just another product. There’s certain places it really thrives. if slash grows better on one site, and longleaf grows better on another site, then that’s what you plant. You learn as you go.” Warnell said the land that is now in conservation easement provided another learning opportunity for him. “it consists of mainly Kershaw sand and is unproductive for timber,” he said, “but i tried to do some forestry around the edges. it didn’t work. i’d have been better off to have kept the money!” Warnell is proud, however, to be preserving the threatened eastern indigo snakes and gopher tortoises, cypress groves, and several miles of the Canoochee river on the conservation easement property.

The sound of the approaching jeep created opportunities for this visitor to enjoy a glimpse of the wildlife and vistas Warnell holds most dear. A gopher tortoise did an about face and dove down his waiting burrow. A deer bounced through the understory. some wild turkey scattered in front of us as we stopped the jeep for an unrestricted view of pastures that at one time were home to cattle. Plans, Warnell said, are in the works to convert about 44 acres of it to long leaf pine, because “there’s no future in cattle.” best of all, Warnell’s explanations provided a glimpse into a fascinating personal history that can only be recorded in a southern forest. “it’s the little things that i love about this place,” Warnell said. “Fishing on the river bank with a cold drink. The old cat faces, left from the naval stores era. even that log over there; it’s been here forever!” Clearly Fred Warnell has enjoyed following in his family’s forestry footsteps, and he doesn’t plan to stop creating his own imprints anytime soon. “i don’t know how you retire from something you’re supposed to do. it’s in your blood,” he said. “i have a vested interest in our company and you just do it. i feel like i have a lot to live up to.” v

Sand hill rosemary is a rare native plant that thrives in the Kershaw sand on Warnell’s land. Georgia Forestry Today


67th Pine Tree Festival and southeast Timber expo a rousing success by Jen Meadows |


his year’s Pine Tree Festival was a huge success in downtown swainsboro, with crowd estimates of over 7,000 people, more than 160 parade entries, and 70+ arts, crafts, and food vendors. The streets were full of laughter, dancing, and entertainment all through the day despite the blazing heat! Participants and spectators came from across georgia and throughout the southeast region of the u.s. to partake in the down-home southern charm of the 67th Pine Tree Festival and southeast Timber eXPO. At the crack of dawn, downtown swainsboro was alive with vendors and competitors setting up and checking in for the day. some of the first to arrive were the runners of the Pine Tree Festival 5K race, hosted by the swainsboro Kiwanis Club. Winners of the 5K were: 1st Place 5K Overall Male and 1st Place Overall, Jimmy harris from statesboro; 1st Place 5K Overall Female, Dedra Kearson from garfield; 1st Place 5K Masters Male, Tom lamb from Wadley; 1st Place 5K Masters Female, Denise Warnock from swainsboro; 1st Place Fun run Male, bryce Kearson from garfield; and 1st Place Fun run Female and 1st Place Overall, Tykia Kingsberry from swainsboro. Mayor Charles schwabe officially began the Pine Tree Festival with opening ceremonies by awarding The grand Marshal green Jacket to former president of east georgia College, Dr. John black. eight past grand Marshals were present and participated in the parade as well. Athen Walden recognized winners of the Pine Tree Festival rotary Club beauty Pageants. Walden also acknowledged the Pine Tree Festival slogan Contest Winner, Jacob ellis, and the Pine Tree Festival Poster Contest Winner, Joshua hannah. Johnny Payne spoke briefly about the value of timber to the economy of emanuel County, and the day officially began. 16

The parade, hosted by the shriners, kicked off shortly after 10:30 a.m. Judges picked the best three floats with prizes awarded to first place to Dellwood baptist Church, second place to Mt. shady baptist Church, and third place awarded to Changes salon. Main stage entertainment was provided by DJ James Mosely, who mixed it up with a variety of popular dance music. hard labor Creek, a popular local band, provided live music before the parade. Cloggers from georgia Dance explosion and south georgia Countyline Cloggers offered a variety of entertainment. emanuel Arts Council line Dancers and sounds of gabriel performed as well. r.J. Molinere, from the history Channel’s ‘swamp People’ was a crowd-pleaser, with eager fans waiting in line for up to three hours to get their autograph. Magic Mike gilliland, from Magic With a Twist, wowed kids of all ages with his feats of illusion mixed with healthy doses of comedy. between shows, gilliland and his sidekick, lollipop the Clown, entertained festival goers with even more magic and laughs. southeastern reptile rescue and their reptile Wagon offered an educational and entertaining program with a real life display of snakes and reptiles. The Freestyle Connection bMX bikes amazed the crowd with impossible looking stunts such as double loops, turns, and handstands, even jumping over audience members! Matt Wheeler was the winner of the bMX bike raffle. A Kids Zone with slides, jumping gyms, and more kept kids entertained between shows. A super splash on Main street allowed festival goers relief from the scorching heat. Civic organizations, churches, and local businesses helped bring down-home southern charm to the festival by organizing several activities throughout the day. The swainsboro Jaycees hosted an attempt to break the guinness book of World records

long Toss. While several attempts came close to breaking the record, none were able to do so. The exchange Club hosted a Corn hole Tournament, beta sigma Phi hosted a Pet show, a Tricycle grand Prix was hosted by the rotary Club, and a Dunking booth was hosted by the swainsboro Junior Women’s Club. The relay for life Team, sugar and spice, won $200 for winning the sonic/Jaycee hot dog eating contest. Ty Moore was the 2012 Pinetree Festival Competition eating Winner. The boneyard was also packed with entertainment and activities with competitions, with Pine Tree events sponsored by local radio station, WXrs. The battle of the bands, Pine Tree grill Off and Pine Tree bake Off kept the crowd coming and going throughout the day and into the evening. Also going on throughout downtown swainsboro during the Pine Tree Festival was The Peddler’s Museum, “The Way We Were,” with memorabilia from times gone by. The emanuel County historic Preservation society was on site with sam’s Drive in Display. The loader Competition, sponsored by Yancey Cat, offered festival goers a chance to test their skills against the best of the best. With 27 participants, first place went to Marshall Powell with Jeff Powell logging, second to lincoln Kettles with KC logging, and third place to Marty smith with ben Faircloth logging. Forestry equipment was on display along with georgia Forestry Association Fire suppression equipment, the swainsboro/ emanuel County burn house and haz Mat equipment. A shooting simulator from the Department of Natural resources was also set up. The Pine Tree Festival and southeast Timber eXPO promises to be even bigger and better next year. For more information about these and other events, visit, or call the swainsboro/ emanuel County Chamber of Commerce at 478-237-6426. v July | August 2012

Georgia Forestry Today


By Sandi Martin | Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Photo Credit: Joseph Hinton/UGA 18

July | August 2012

UGA Researchers Awarded $701,000 in State Grants to Study Black Bears in Central Georgia ~ Proposed road widening has prompted concerns about impact on the isolated bear population niversity of georgia researchers have received a combined $701,000 in state grants to study the black bear population in middle georgia, of particular concern in light of plans to widen a 15mile stretch of road through a portion of this animal’s habitat. The joint project, headed by scientists in ugA’s Warnell school of Forestry and Natural resources, will focus on evaluating the effects of widening state route 96 on bear movements while also estimating the size of the population in several counties, assessing their survival rates, and studying their reproductive patterns. The georgia Wildlife resources Division through the Wildlife restoration Program has committed $324,000, and the georgia Department of Transportation is funding the research at $377,000. The joint project is expected to take three years. Michael Chamberlain, Karl Miller, and robert Warren - all wildlife researchers at the Warnell school—will be conducting the study with graduate students Mike hooker and Josh sylvest. As part of the research, black bears will be trapped, tagged for radio-telemetry tracking, identified via DNA of hair samples, and their dens monitored. “The bear population in middle georgia is among the most isolated populations in the southeastern u.s., so it is particularly susceptible to changes in land use and human activities. To ensure sustainable management of this bear population, it is critical to keep tabs on patterns of survival and reproduction, and to assess how environmental factors influence this sustainability,” said Chamberlain. Chamberlain said that the black bear population in the u.s. is very fragmented, and the area it once occupied is now 90 percent uninhabitable to it. Most black bear populations are found on public land, and georgia has three distinct bear populations: in the Appalachian Mountains, near the Ocmulgee river drainage system, and near the Okefenokee swamp. The Ocmulgee population numbers about 300 bears although an earlier estimate put that figure at about 200. The Warnell school researchers plan to conduct another population estimate on black bears within the Ocmulgee river region, including private land in Twiggs, houston, bibb, bleckley, and Pulaski counties. They also plan to assess the survival rates and the reproductive ecology by studying den selection, cub production, and cub survival. but researchers are also investigating ways to minimize potential effects of the widening of s.r. 96. This 15-mile section will be ex-


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panded from two lanes to a four-lane connection between interstate16 and i-75, passing through a known habitat area for the central georgia black bear population, which is the smallest in the state. between 2003 and 2009, ten of the 20 confirmed black bears killed by collisions with vehicles were along this stretch of road. Widening the road will increase how much paved surface bears must cross. because of this, the georgia DOT included seven underpasses in the design with the hopes of providing bears with safer crossings. The ugA researchers will monitor the movements of a sample of collared bears to verify that the bear underpasses are placed in the appropriate locations. “This is an important public safety issue. For the underpasses to be effective, it only makes logical sense that their locations are determined by first understanding the natural movement paths of bears in this region,” said Miller. The team plans to track the bears to determine their movements, particularly around the roadway corridor. upon concluding this evaluation, the team will present the georgia DOT with suggestions on wildlife corridors, underpass locations, and recommendations of where to place fences that would funnel the bears to safer crossing locations. Following the completion of this study and the construction of the underpasses, a proposed second phase of this project will assess the effectiveness of the underpasses allowing the bears to safely cross the roadway. “Our joint research project will provide multiple benefits," said Warren. "Our results will enable georgia DOT to improve s.r. 96 in such a manner to decrease bear-vehicle collisions, avoid economic losses from damage to vehicles, and reduce injuries or death to both motorists and bears. Our data also will enable georgia WrD to better document the population ecology of this isolated bear population so that it can be managed sustainably in the future for the benefit of all georgians.”



CONFESSIONS by John Trussell

This gar was caught on a medium action 7’ rod with an Ambassadeur 6500 reel spooled with 50# Spiderwire Stealth braided line. (No wire leader) 20

July | August 2012

of a gar fisherman

The long jaw and sharp teeth of a gar.

There will probably never be such a devoted group of gar fishermen that they would want to start a ‘Gar Unlimited.’ Heck, most fishermen will never admit catching one! To almost any angler's definition, gar fish fit the lowly category of trash fish. But does the gar fish really deserve his lowly and disgusting reputation? If you have a sharp mind you have already noticed that the gar fish doesn't look like other fish. You might surmise that the gar fish's whole family tree is out of kilter, and you wouldn't be far from the truth. Fisheries biologist Richard Schleiger of the DNR's Fort Valley office says that gar fish are a throwback to prehistoric times.

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Gar fish probably evolved during the Devonian period (405 million years ago), which is known as the age of fishes. Armored fish and lungfish can be traced back to this time period, traits that the gar fish have today. So when you catch a gar, momentarily appreciate that you have within your grasp an ancient bit of history. Laugh if you must, but the gar is a survivor. Its simple lung is really just an air bladder, but it serves the gar very well. It allows the gar to survive in waters that are too warm or polluted for other fish. While other ‘more modern’ fish must move water across for their gills to absorb oxygen, the gar comes to the surface and gulps air. is is a trait common among whales but rare among fish. To supply its nutritional needs, the gar is an awesome eating machine. If you need some convincing, just take a look at those teeth! A gar's got rows of very sharp and long teeth that would make any shark proud. With its natural camouflage coloring and long, slender shape, it can move swily and quietly upon small fish, the food of choice. A gar’s jaws are not flexible so they can not extend much beyond their natural width. is limits a Georgia-grown gar’s food choices to small fry and fingerling bream for the most part. Remember the last time you were out fishing and you caught a glimpse of some big fish break the surface near the boat? You probably imagined a large bass you wished was on the end of your line. Well, it might have been a bass, but the chances are much greater that the surfacing fish was a gar. Good gar fishermen are the strong, silent type. at is, they normally smell like a gar and never admit that they are actually fishing for what is widely regarded as a trash fish. In fish-


ing lingo, this is known as ‘slummin.’ Although few anglers intentionally go gar fishing, from time to time, many of us will find ourselves ‘slummin’ with a gar on the end of the line. It begins innocently. You cast your beautiful, new, and shiny rapala surface lure into a quiet eddy and expect the cousin of George Perry’s fish to swallow your lure with reckless abandonment. As anticipated, the water boils and splashes everywhere, and then the reel screams with excitement as line is stolen from its drag. e arc in the rod lets you know that it's ‘a good one.’ As you finally work the fish to the boat, your buddy puts the net into the water and eases it under the huge, slender, three-foot long fish. “What the heck is that,” you yell at anyone within a half mile. You sir, have caught a gar! e question now is: what do you do with it? e average, accidental gar fisherman takes a look at the trashing monster that is destroying his net and quickly cuts his line, but there are other possibilities that we’ll discuss later. At this point, I have a deep, dark secret that I must confess. On occasion, I have purposefully, with malice aforethought, actually fished for gar! In fact, they say that confession is good for the soul, so I really admit an occasional cast intended to entice a gar. ere, I feel better about it already. But good gar fishermen are made, not born, into this lowlife pursuit. We all go aer our species of choice, whether it be bass, trout, bream, or hybrid, but alas, the fish don't always cooperate, as all fishermen have discovered from time to time. When your fishing luck is at its lowest ebb and you’re totally frustrated at your inability to catch anything that swims,

you are approaching the proper mind set to effective gar fishing. I’m convinced that total fishing frustration is the key to successful gar fishing, or at least it’s been for me. Let me give you an example: A few years ago Robert F. ‘Bob’ Gray of Macon and I put in the Ocmulgee River at Juliette to do some leisurely river bass fishing. Bob has had good luck in the past just casting among the abundant river structure with his Texas rigged worm while he floated along down the river, so I decided to join him for a trip. We had fair luck early in the morning, but things slowed down considerably by 10:00 A.M. on what turned out to be a very hot late July day. By noon, the sun was hot, and the fishing was terrible, as could be expected. Since we were driing down the river and we had a long way to go to our take out location, we had nothing to do but try and fish. Aer about three hours without a strike we rounded a bend in the river and came upon a deep, wide spot with a shallow cave attached to it. I stood up in the boat and could see about 30 gar sunning themselves in the warm, shallow water. So the scene is set--one frustrated angler and lots of trash fish. I pulled a ratty looking old silver rapala lure out of my tackle box and chucked it out in front of the largest gar I could see. e fish immediately attacked the line with reckless abandon, and I had a solid hookup. e gar was a big one and he stripped line off the reel so fast it hummed. It was music to my ears. My rod was bent in a half circle, and I quickly noticed our small boat was being pulled around the river cove by the sheer strength of the gar! I can't remember the last bass I had to do that.

July | August 2012

e gar fought like a tiger and completely cleared the water three times in spectacular jumps that would have made any bone fish proud. It took 20 minutes to bring that 20pound gar to the boat, and I count it as one of my more memorable fish battles. So, do you want to catch a gar, other than accidentally? Well, if you’re going to wander into the world of the depraved, let me help you. Gar are common in most Georgia rivers, especially in the Piedmont and southward. Lakes Jackson, Oconee, and Sinclair have lots of gar, and during the summer they frequently pile up behind the dams, although they can be found in standing timber or in coves, usually cruising just below the surface. Any medium duty bass rig will handle a gar, but make sure the drag is set properly. Small shad or bream make good bait, but fish them shallow, usually only about two feet below the surface. Use a sturdy 15-20 pound test line, and a steel leader

is not a bad idea to prevent the gar from breaking off. Because of the gar’s narrow mouth, give him plenty of time to swallow the bait before you attempt to set the hook. Gar will also hit artificials, like a chrome rattletrap, but I’ve found surface lures like a chrome rapala in four- to six-inch size to work better. Two unusual rigs will also catch gar.

One is nothing but a two hook do-nothing worm wrapped up in aluminum foil. Another is a short, six-inch piece of yellow poly rope rigged up with two hooks on a steel wire through the center. I know these rigs sound trashy, but hey, they work for these trash fish. Both rigs should be fished slowly on the surface with no weights. Well, if you catch a gar, what do you do with it? I must admit I’ve never knowingly eaten gar, but with all the fish camp dinners I’ve had in the past, I probably had some and didn’t realize it. e Indians found gar useful at the dinner table as well as under corn plants for fertilizer. Personally, I’m a catch and release gar fisherman because aer the thrill of the catch, I just want to catch another one. If I never take one home or try to eat one, maybe no one will ever find out what a trashy fisherman I am. v

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e Sky’s the Limit Satellite tracking could be the future of hydrological modeling

ydrological modeling would be so much easier, Dr. Todd Rasmussen knows, if only researchers could get the data they need for every place they need it from. Modeling allows researchers to anticipate water resource needs, manage water quality, and predict natural hazards. But for many regions, the data just aren’t there— either because the area is too remote, or because a natural disaster has cut off the area. “We face enormous difficulties getting into disaster areas during and after large events, and this data is essential for knowing what’s going on,” said Rasmussen So Rasmussen and his colleagues in Atmospheric Sciences at UGA are looking to the sky to assess what’s on the ground. They are proposing that modelers use a system from NASA called Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Multi-Satellite Precipitation Analysis (TRMM MPA) to track rainfall reaching the ground. The satellite project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, could help predict streamflow by remotely sensing meteorological observations



needed for modeling. The study region for the project, which started in 2009, is currently targeting the Savannah River watershed, but will be extended to the entire Southeast and beyond. Satellite tracking in science is not new. Researchers in other fields use it to track sea turtles and other wildlife, for instance. Should satellite tracking prove to accurately assess hydrological conditions on the ground, Rasmussen said, it could be useful in more than just making models. It can help predict natural hazards, such as floods and spills. “Being able to predict where and how fast a disaster unfolds provides vital information for first responders,” said Dr. Rasmussen. NASA’s satellite program, which began in 1998, uses equipment that is 250 miles in the air. It measures precipitation 16 times per day, every 92.5 minutes, by using a space-borne weather radar system much like those we now have on the ground. The advantage of the space-based weather system is that it covers the globe, and peering down from above provides better detail, especially in mountainous areas.

Rasmussen’s team—which includes Professors Andrew Grundstein, Tom Mote, Marshall Shepherd, and John and Pam Know at the University of Georgia—have already tested the satellite on both the Savannah River and a smaller stream, Pen Branch, at the Savannah River Site. The effort compares ground-observed streamflow with forecasts from space, and, in some cases, has found errors in the ground-based data. This implies that the spacebased method may be more accurate - and cheaper - than ground-based methods. But there are many other reasons why remotely sensing hydrological conditions is beneficial. Because rugged terrain and other inaccessible areas often mean scarce data, satellites can offer near realtime information. “Satellites provide high-resolution information from remote areas that contribute to major damage in urban areas,” Rasmussen said. “Our goal is to tap into this information in order to prepare and respond to disasters of the future.”v July | August 2012

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Forest Owners & ePA Agree: no permits for forest roads, legal certainty still needed


he National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) agreed with the objective of a u.s. environmental Protection Agency (ePA) proposal to manage forest roads under the Clean Water Act (CWA) using state administered best Management Practices (bMPs) rather than industrial permits. Despite agreement with the objective, NAFO expressed the need for legal certainty to ensure a bMP approach is not undone by the u.s. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. “Forest owners, the ePA, and Congress all agree that using best management practices rather than permits is the right policy for forest roads,” said Dave Tenny, NAFO President and CeO. “This has been a Clean Water Act success story for more than 35 years. ePA’s effort to preserve its existing policy is a step in the right direction.” ePA’s Notice of intent for a rulemaking published in the May 23 Federal register seeks to maintain ePA’s long-standing approach of using bMPs, rather than permits to regulate forest road systems under the CWA. The ePA action responds to a novel ruling from the u.s. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in NeCD v. brown holding, for the first time in CWA history, that forest roads are ‘point sources’ of water pollution requiring industrial discharge permits typically used for factories and sewage plants. 26

While the ePA action addresses whether forest roads require permits, it does not address the Ninth Circuit’s determination that forest roads are point sources. The supreme Court will decide whether to review the Ninth Circuit ruling by mid-June, after receiving input from the solicitor general which is expected by Friday, May 25. “While there is broad agreement on the policy objective, we need legal certainty to make it stick,” Tenny stated. “We know litigators lie in wait to bring anything ePA does back to the Ninth Circuit as quickly as possible, because the court has little regard for supreme Court precedent or ePA’s longstanding policy. last year, Congress and the Administration provided short-term relief through bipartisan legislation preventing the Ninth Circuit ruling from taking effect. if the supreme Court reviews the case, Congress and the Administration must extend this legislation for another year. if the high Court does not review the case, they must make it permanent. That is the only way to provide certainty against Ninth Circuit overreaching.” economic impact studies reveal that Clean Water Act permits for forest roads would impose significant costs on forest owners, loggers, haulers, and mills causing the loss of tens of thousands of jobs. Additionally, new permit requirements would expose forest management to substantial legal

costs associated with challenges and lawsuits from private citizens. “if allowed to stand, the Ninth Circuit approach will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, kill thousands of jobs, and invite protracted litigation over permit technicalities without any corresponding environmental benefit. Federal, state, tribal, and private resource professionals agree that complicated and costly federal permits will not make our rivers and streams any cleaner,” Tenny concluded. v

July | August 2012

Lawsuit Launched to Speed Protection for Dozens of Rare and Vanishing Amphibians & Reptiles in the Southeast


he Center for biological Diversity filed a formal notice of intent to sue the u.s. Fish and Wildlife service today for the agency’s failure to decide whether to give endangered species Act protection to 25 amphibian and reptile species found in the southeastern united states. Nine turtles, two snakes, one skink, and 13 salamanders are named in today’s notice. “endangered species Act protection is the only hope for saving these amphibians and reptiles, which are being driven to extinction by habitat loss, pollution, and other threats,” said Collette Adkins giese, a Center lawyer and biologist who works to save imperiled amphibians and reptiles. “saving these animals will also protect rivers and streams that are a source of drinking water and recreation for millions of people in the southeast.” in 2010, the Center and its allies petitioned for endangered species Act protection for dozens of amphibians and reptiles, as well as hundreds of other aquatic species, in the southeast. in 2011, the Fish and Wildlife service determined that 25 of these

amphibians and reptiles ‘may warrant’ protection as endangered species but has failed to make required 12-month findings to decide whether to give them federal protection. “Amphibians and reptiles are facing an extinction crisis in the southeast and across the globe,” said Adkins giese. “These animals simply cannot afford any more bureaucratic delays.”

in the united states, scores of amphibian and reptile species are at risk of extinction. Yet reptiles and amphibians make up just 58 of the 1,400 species protected under the endangered species Act, the country’s most powerful law for saving species from extinction and putting them on the road to recovery. v

New Forestry best Management Practices survey released


y designation from the georgia environmental Protection Division (gAePD), the georgia Forestry Commission (gFC) is the lead agency for statewide development, education, implementation, and monitoring of forestry best Management Practices (bMPs). beginning in March of 2011, the gFC began the eighth statewide Forestry bMP implementation and Compliance survey. The objectives of the 2011 statewide Forestry bMP survey were to determine the: rates of bMP implementation, acres in bMP compliance, effectiveness of bMPs for any

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needed modifications, actual miles of streams that may have forestry water quality impairments, and ownerships and regions to target for future training. The 2011 bMP survey evaluated 187 sites that were selected in a stratified random sample. These sites had to have been silviculturally treated within the past two years, preferably within the previous six months. by ownership, 110 sites occurred on non-industrial private forest land (NiPF), 21 sites on forest industry land, 46 sites on corporate (TiMO) land, and ten sites on public land. by region, 18 sites were in the mountains, 51 sites in the Piedmont, 35 sites in the

upper Coastal Plain and 83 sites in the lower Coastal Plain. bMP implementation was determined by dividing the total number of individual bMPs that were applicable and fully implemented on the sites by the total number of applicable bMPs and summarized for each practice or category, overall site, region, and statewide. Of the 5711 individual bMPs evaluated, the statewide percentage of correct implementation was 95.3 percent. This is a 1.2 percent increase in bMP implementation from the 2009 survey. v 27

sFi, AFF Applaud Members of Congress for urging leeD to Accept all Certification Programs


bipartisan group of Members of Congress sent a letter this week to Rick Fedrizzi, President & CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council, urging the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to “accept all credible forest management certification systems for qualification under the LEED rating system,” because it “will provide a great incentive for the utilization of domestically produced forest products.” e letter was signed by Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ ompson (RPA), chair of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry, Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), and six other Members. e letter also mentioned that the Members are encouraged by LEED’s new proposed credits for Life Cycle Assessment because it “provides a pathway for wood’s environmental benefits to be recognized.” Rep. Kurt Schrader released the following statement: “Wood and wood products represent one of the greenest renewable resources available for building materials. e Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the American Tree Farm System are two of the largest wood certification standards in the country. e USGBC should immediately recognize and adopt both standards as part of their LEED certified rating system to ensure that we are supporting domestically produced wood products in LEED certified buildings.” SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow released the following statement: “We applaud Rep. ompson, Rep. Schrader and all the other signatories to the letter that urges USGBC to recognize SFI and other credible forest certification standards in LEED. e proposed changes to LEED still fall well short of supporting the future of our forests. When will USGBC heed the repeated calls of Members of Congress, federal agencies, governors, state foresters, conservation groups, academics, and countless others to stop discriminating against well-managed domestic forests?” Just last year the US Department of Agriculture, in announcing their program to pro28

mote wood in green building said, “Sustainability of forest products can be verified using any credible third-party rating system, such as Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Forest Stewardship Council or American Tree Farm System certification.” Related: e Georgia Forestry Association continues to pursue an Executive Order

from Governor Nathan Deal which would urge USGBC to accept Sustainable Forestry Initiative and American Tree Farm System certified wood on an equal footing with Forest Stewardship Council wood, which the group now favors in its rating system. Last year, Maine’s Governor issued such an order in his state. v

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New Web Site Promotes the Forestry Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition 2012


he southern Forest Products Association (sFPA) has launched a new Web site announcing the next Forest Products Machinery & equipment exposition—expo 2013. Check out Featuring easy navigation, the new site is an online resource, providing all the details an exhibitor or attendee needs to know about this premiere event. Coming June 6-7 next year to Atlanta’s georgia World Congress Center, the show will be a first-class marketplace for the wood products industry’s equipment and services. expo 2013 presents a unique face-to-face networking opportunity. exhibitors will greet an audience of top management and purchasing executives from around the globe. “Where else can you test-drive so many

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different products in one place and at one time?” asks eric gee, sFPA’s exposition director. “expo continues to evolve with technological advances in our industry, and the 2013 event will be another great opportunity to see what’s new to help boost an operation’s efficiency,” he adds. More than 130 companies exhibited and participated in expo 2011, displaying equipment and services covering more than four dozen product categories. As the show draws near, look for updates and newsletters to be posted on the show site, plus tips for exhibitors and travel hints for fun activities to enjoy in the Atlanta area the week of the show. For more information about eXPO 2013, contact eric gee at (504) 443-4464, ext. 214 or by e-mail at v



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Georgia Forestry July - Aug 2012  
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In 2012, John Deere is celebrating its 175th anniversary. One of the oldest continuously operating companies in the united states, John Deer...