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September | October 2011


Georgia Forestry Today

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Georgia Forestry Today

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Woodland Owners Conference set for Oct.31-nov. 2 in Tifton

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he 2011 southern Woodland Owners Conference & solutions Fair will take place in Tifton from October 31 to november 2 at the uGA Tifton Campus Conference Center. The event is designed to provide top-notch education and practical information to timberland owners, particularly smaller non-industrial, private landowners. harris sherman, usdA under secretary for natural resources and Environment, will keynote the opening session of the conference on no-

vember 1. A speaker corps from throughout the south will address topics such as intergenerational land transfer, timberland value trends, reforestation, timber theft, seedling development, forest certification and designing conservation easements. A special ‘Forestry night school’ will feature roundtable, small group discussions. Topics for the tables will include the challenge of invasive species, the federal bCAP program, managing for bobwhite quail, federal cost share programs, the 2012 Farm bill and longleaf/wiregrass restoration. A panel of active tree farmers will discuss their experiences and respond to questions from the attendees, Exhibitors offering woodland management solutions will play a major role in the conference. Continuing education credits for foresters will be earned by those attending the conference. A highlight of the event will be two-preconference field trips on Monday, October 31. Early arrivals can select between a tour of norbord’s oriented strand board (Osb) manufacturing facility in Cordele and a visit to Oakridge Farms in sumner, a 3,200-acre farm known for outstanding work in restoring the longleaf/wiregrass ecosystem. For program details and to register, log on to www.gfagrow.org or visit the uGA conference center Website at www.caes.uga.edu/external/tccc/calendar.html. For more information, please contact Judy Couch at (478) 992-8110.

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September | October 2011


Georgia Tree Farm Program Awards Two scholarships

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he Georgia Tree Farm Program awards college scholarships annually to the legal dependents of Georgia members of the American Tree Farm system. Candidates must submit an application, school transcripts, and an essay on what the Tree Farm program means to them. From applications received for 2011, the Tree Farm scholarship Committee selected the following recipients for $1,500 scholarships: Gregory “Sy” Crumley, of Ty Ty, GA, is attending the university of Georgia and is studying Agriculture and Applied Economics where he is gaining a firm business foundation to promote and develop the timber industry in Georgia. he is an avid sportsman and active manager on his family’s tree farm. sy is the son of Greg and Peggy Crumley, and he writes: “being part of the Tree Farm program has had a significant impact on my life starting in my early childhood years up until the present providing strong work ethics and responsibility. As I mature and grow older I will surely keep the tradition and heritage that

Gregory “Sy” Crumley, of Ty Ty, GA

Ann McCullough, of Claxton, GA

has been passed to me by my family through the Tree Farm program.” The Crumley Family tree farm has been in the Tree Farm program for 11 years.

math educator. Ann writes: “I feel I am blessed to be a member of a family who recognizes the pleasure and benefits of being tree farmers. I will always set my goals high, enjoy the benefits of being a Georgia Tree Farmer, and strive to maintain a healthy and productive life.” Ann is the granddaughter of C. Paul and Linda C. Eason and their tree farm has been in the program for 21 years.

Ann McCullough, of Claxton, GA, will be attending Georgia southern university this fall. she plans to pursue her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Math Education, and become a high school

”As I mature and grow older I will surely keep the tradition and heritage that has been passed to me by my family through the Tree Farm program.” Gregory “Sy” Crumley, of Ty Ty, GA

”I will always set my goals high, enjoy the benefits of being a Georgia Tree Farmer, and strive to maintain a healthy and productive life.” Ann McCullough, of Claxton, GA

Georgia Forestry Today

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1) Adequate year round food, cover and water 2) Increased buck age structure and improved overall herd dynamics To improve food, cover and water requires landscape changes. In most cases, water in Georgia is not an issue with 50+ inches of average annual rainfall and abundant creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes. To improve food and cover may require better prescribed burning efforts in mature pine stands, more aggressive thinning strategies to allow more sunlight on the ground floor, installing food plots on logging decks, and many other practices that do not cost a great deal but can greatly improve whitetail habitat. Timberland owners might allow lease hunters to pay annual per acre fees to reserve some land that they can plant in food plots. One thing that is certain is timber tracts that are planted in trees from land line to land line, the gate locked and the land forgotten about until it is time for the first rotation of cutting rarely provide what

Georgia Forestry Today

I or any other whitetail hunter would consider good hunting or wildlife habitat. so you make the landscape changes, install some food plots, open up some canopies to let the sun shine down, and you even start burning but hunter harvest and satisfaction is still down. Chances are you probably need to improve the herd dynamics. This includes trying to balance the sex ratio of does to bucks, increase recruitment rates (# of fawns that survive the summer and make it into the herd in the fall), and most importantly improve age structure in bucks (move more bucks into older age classes of 3.5 years to 5.5 years before they are harvested). The rules and regulations required to make these improvements can sometimes be imposed by landowners, but normally, it is an issue within the lease group that must be addressed internally. It might help improve your properties standing as a quality hunting lease to enlist the help of a private consulting biologist who can make recommendations on harvest strategies to your lease holders. Improving the quality of whitetail

hunting on timberland goes well beyond improving the habitat and the herd. The most common problems come from the timing and execution of timber cutting and other operations. We all know the most important time to a whitetail hunter is in the fall during the deer season. This is when all of our hard work planting food plots, hanging trail cameras, putting up deer stands and a hundred other chores finally pay off. nothing can be more deflating to a deer hunter than to enter the hunting lease gate on opening morning to find a logging crew has moved in or a crew has mobilized to rake pine straw. This has probably caused the drop of more hunting leases in Georgia than any other factor. Even though the market must be followed and timber cut at top value it is very important to communicate the operations with lease holders and even try to work around the hunting seasons. hopefully, implementing these few practices will help timberland owners who desire a better value from the hunting on their lands get a better shot at bigger bucks. v

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September | October 2011


According to the Americus & sumter Payroll development Authority (AsPdA), of the 17,013 people who live in Americus, 12% are unemployed. Currently, Georgia Chopsticks has 81 full time employees that work one of the two ten-hour shifts at the facility which is open 24 hours a day. by the end of the year, Lee hopes to employ up to 150 full time employees. At full production he plans to have approximately 400 full time employees.

“Americus is ideal because of the unemployed,” Lee said. “It has been very easy to find new employees who are willing to work.” Lee predicts that the current lack of supply of wood in China will result in future markets of related products such as toothpicks, popsicle sticks, and matches. Also, with the expansion of his company and others, a new market could potentially develop from the waste of these products.

Currently, Georgia Chopsticks averages at a 30-40% waste, which, after expansion and increase in waste, will allow them to sell the scrap wood to biomass and paper industries. david Garriga, Executive director of AsPdA, is very optimistic about the future of Americus and Georgia Chopsticks. “This is a very unique and beneficial opportunity for our area that has been through some tough economic times.” Garriga said. “It is not very often that a rural community such as Americus can provide a staple to an economic superpower such as China. hopefully, future markets in timber and agriculture will lead us out of this.” There is no doubt that the establishment of this industry in Georgia is a sign of a birth of new markets that have previously not been available to landowners and forest related businesses. hopefully, this new global demand for wood will offer struggling businesses a great opportunity to excel and thrive through the economic turmoil of late. v

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September | October 2011


Coley bryant receives Logger of the year Award By Matt Hestad

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t this year’s GFA Annual Meeting, Coley bryant was honored as the 2011 Logger of the year. The award, which has been given every year since 1986, recognizes a logging contractor who consistently demonstrates exceptional qualities in business, environmental protection, safety, and maintenance operations categories. With bryant’s exceptional business habits and dedicated service to the forest community, it was an easy choice. bryant was born and raised in Coastal Georgia. In 1988, he graduated from bradwell Institute high school in hinesville, GA and attended Mercer university in Macon, Georgia, for 2 years. bryant then transferred to the university of Georgia where he graduated with a bachelors of science in Forest resources in 1994. bryant’s passion for logging developed when he took a part time job for GeorgiaPacific in the land management office in riceboro, Georgia. “While I was working for Georgia-Pacific, I was constantly around the logging industry,” bryant said. “This is where I fell in love with the business.” After working as a consultant for O.d. (dill) Middleton for two years and becoming a registered forester in 1996, bryant started his own business, Flatwoods Forestry services, Inc. At first, bryant primarily did consultant work for private landowners, contract timber cruising, and some wildlife consultation, but he later changed the course of his business. “On a hope, a prayer, and a lot of borrowed money, I decided in 1999 to start buying my own wood and harvesting it,” bryant said. “since then I have never looked back.” In 2005 bryant accepted an opportunity to become a producer for Plum Creek and in January 2010 he became a “core logger” for Plum Creek in their savannah Forest region. Georgia Forestry Today

Tom reed, vice President of southern resources at Plum Creek, said, “Coley has been a leader in working with Plum Creek to develop new technology and approaches to running a logging operation. Coley’s willingness to think outside the box has made him key to Plum Creek in southeast Georgia.” bryant continues to work with Plum Creek while maintaining his dealership status with newport Timber for the last five years. bryant also has served on a number of boards over the years including the Liberty County Chamber of Com-

merce, The LeConte-Woodsman Foundation, The Georgia board of the Coastal Conservation Association, the Coastal soil & Water Conservation board, and as the founder and past chairman of the Liberty, Long, and south bryan County Forest Landowners’ Associations. bryant, his wife Lynn, and their two children, Emmaline and Chapman, currently live in richmond hill, Georgia, where they are actively involved in savannah Christian Church. bryant also enjoys watching uGA football, fishing, and bird hunting. v

Steve Alford (Chair of GFA Logging and Transportation Committee) presents the 2011 Logger of Year Award to Coley Bryant 19


2011 GFA Annual Meeting sponsors DIAMOND Davis-Garvin Insurance Agency GOLD CellFor, Corp. Georgia-Pacific Corp. Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP Plum Creek Timber Co. Rayonier, Inc. SILVER CM Wood Products F&W Forestry Services, Inc. Georgia Land & Timber, Inc. Georgia Power Company International Paper Co. Keadle Lumber Enterprises MeadWestvaco Oglethorpe Power Corp. Oldcastle Lawn & Garden Mid-Atlantic Packaging Corp. of America Stuckey Timberland, Inc. Superior Pine Products The Langdale Company Wells Real Estate Funds Weyerhaeuser Co. Yancey Bros. Co. BRONZE Forest Investment Associates Forest Resource Consultants, Inc. Huber Engineered Woods, LLC Ingram Plantations Metlife Timberland Finance Group RMK Timberland Group Temple-Inland BRASS Canal Wood, LLC Crop Production Services Fulghum Fibers/Fulghum Industries Gay Wood Company Gillis Ag & Timber Graphic Packaging International Hill Logging, Inc. Newport Timber Corp. Pinova, Inc. Sullivan Forestry Consultants, Inc. TGC Publishing LLC

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The Coca-Cola Company Timber Mart-South Tolleson Lumber Co. Yeomans Wood & Timber, Inc. FRIEND ABCD Farms, Inc. Atlantic Wood Industries B&S Air, Inc. Baxter Forest Products Beasley Forest Products Benjie Tarbutton Dasher Industries, Inc. Dupont Yard, Inc. Evergreen Timber, Inc. Flatwoods Forestry Services Inc. Georgia Pine Straw Hugh M. Tarbutton Johnson Tree Planting Meeks Farm & Nursery, Inc. Nelson & Dixon, LLC Peach State Timber Co. Rocky Comfort Forest Products Co. Inc. Rozier Forest Products Savannah River Trading Company Timberline Forest Services Timbervest, LLC Varn, Inc. Wall Timber Products, Inc. Wilson Brothers, Inc. Woodard Land and Timber CONTRIBUTOR Bailey Timber Co. Beach Timber Co., Inc. Callahan Timber Co. Cedar Creek Logging, Inc, Forest Resource Services, Inc. Grist Oil Company J. Gilbert Thompson Logging, Inc. Pierce Timber Co. Pine Timber Wood Production, Inc. Preston Forest Products Savannah River Timber Co., Inc. Southern Forest Industries, Inc. Sustainable Solutions Georgia Timber Management, Inc. Toledo Manufacturing Co. Ware Forest, Inc. Williams Brothers Trucking, Inc.

Wood-Mizer Products, Inc. PRAYER BREAKFAST Dale and Jeanna Greene Earl & Wanda Barrs Geoff & Anne Hill Jesse Johnson Steve & Fran McWilliams Steve and Becky Worthington Sullivan Forestry Consultants, Inc. The Price Companies, Inc. Wells Real Estate Funds 2011 GFA ANNUAL MEETING EXHIBITORS Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College American Forest Management - AFM Land Sales Aquatic Vegetation Control, Inc. ArborGen, LLC - SuperTree Seedlings Blanton’s Longleaf Container Nursery Bodenhamer Farms and Nursery CellFor, Inc. Davis-Garvin Ins. Agency DuPont Fourstar Real Estate Group Georgia Farm Credit Association Georgia Forestry Commission Georgia SFI Implementation Committee International Forest Company Kut Kwick Landmark Spatial Solutions Meeks Farms & Nursery, Inc. Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP NC State Tree Improvement Program Plum Creek Timber Project Learning Tree Red River Specialties, Inc. Schaeffer - Specialized Lubricant SuperTrak, Inc. TGC Publishing Tide Water/Morbark Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources Weyerhaeuser Company Yancey Bros. Company

September | October 2011


Georgia Teachers Explore Forestry & Wildlife By Tammy Hyder

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GFC’S Kenny Thompson demonstrates grafting.

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he room buzzes with excitement as teachers arrive to participate in the 2011 Georgia Teacher Conservation Workshop. Tables are stacked with Project Learning Tree, Project Wet, Project Wild curriculum, hard hats, stickers, and bags. As teachers check in they receive their name tags for the week along with the 2011 T-shirt. They meet new people, including workshop facilitators and other educators, who have gathered for the week to learn more about the Georgia’s forests and wildlife. Committee members from a variety of agencies and organization have invested many hours in planning and preparing for the week’s activities. The workshop is hosted by the Georgia Forestry Foundation and workshop partners include the Georgia Forestry Commission, the department of natural resources (dnr), Wildlife resources division and Environmental Protection division as well as the Warnell school of Forestry and natural resources at the university of Georgia. The workshop is held at dnr’s Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield. Teachers are asked to share their perceptions about natural resources in Georgia by filling out a “viewpoints” survey. The survey is also given at the end of the week to see if their “viewpoints” have changed. One teacher’s perspective for the start of the week is shared by many as they think about the topics: “There were many conversations at our home when my grandmother was talking about managing her

September | October 2011


plantation. she said many times how she did not want a skidder company in her forest. They make too many roads and large bare spots.” After completing the survey a whirlwind of activities begin! The opening skit, “Who you Gonna Call?” is a big success in helping to identify all the partners and sponsors for the workshop and then it’s time for icebreakers and other activities such as habitat Lap sit, Oh deer!, A drop in the bucket, to mention a few. After a live wildlife program and dinner, the participants are given their assignments for the week to prepare a presentation of a Project Learning Tree, Project Wet, or Project Wild activity from the curriculum materials to share with the group on Friday. Then it’s off to bed. The next three days are spent on the bus traveling to a variety of locations. The teachers are able to see the entire cycle of growing trees from a seedling to final product and the management of the trees for wildlife, recreation and water conservation. From watching the harvesting of trees by Plum Creek Timber Company, seeing pulp made from trees at the Weyerhaeuser’s Flint river Pulp Mill that will go into diapers and other products, to visiting Jordan Forest Products to see how the trees are cut into lumber, teachers are continually amazed. The following comments were made after these unique experiences: “My most memorable experience

Georgia Forestry Today

was the first day out at Plum Creek. I was blown away by the equipment, skill, and management that was used to harvest trees.” “The self-contained Weyerhaeuser Pulp Mill operation was amazing! The recycling of chemicals and overproduction of power by burning bark to run the plant, with virtually no pollution output was a real eye opener.” “The Jordan saw Mill was also very informative. I had no idea at the amount of technology that went into producing wood products.” These three days are also filled with visits to the Georgia Forestry Commission’s Flint river nursery, big K and Gully branch Tree farms. Teachers see a grafting and pollinating demonstration of trees, are treated to a display of how helicopters are used in fighting forest fires, and experience firsthand the workings of a tree farm. Comments by teachers reflect the effectiveness of these visits: “The thing that stands out the most this week was observing tree farm practices, i.e. pollinating and grafting.” “ryan Klesko and the barr’s willingness to open up their farms as outdoor classrooms stands out. It would be great if every school had a landowner that would allow part of their land to be used as an outdoor classroom.” The last day the teachers come together to present their activities from the three curriculums (PLT, Project WET, and

Project WILd). Each group shares ideas for modifications they can use to teach the lessons in their individual classrooms. The ideas flow in the room and even though it has been a full week with long hours, one can sense the excitement as the teachers talk about how they plan to share the information they have gathered. One last time the teachers are asked to complete the “viewpoints” survey to see if their perceptions have changed about Georgia’s natural resources and fills out a workshop evaluation to see how effective the workshop has been. What facilitators and sponsors want to know…is this workshop valuable? Is it changing attitudes? Is it making an impact on students? The answers to these questions are reflected by the teachers’ own comments. “I appreciate the time each person took to explain how his/her place operated. Everyone was so happy and excited, which is motivating. I think I will be able to express that to my students “The thing that impressed me the most and the thing I will remember forever was how passionate the people we met were about the environment and the conservation of our resources. From the loggers to the sawmill workers, from the state professionals to the pulp mills, these people love the forests and wildlife and want to preserve them for future generations. This was probably most evident with the tree farm owners that we met, but was a common thread with everyone.” Armed with their PLT, Project Wet, and Project Wild curriculums and the information gathered from a variety of sources teachers will now be able to connect their students to the Georgia’s natural resources; the abundant forests and wildlife. They are helping prepare future generations to make informative decisions regarding forestry, wildlife and take proactive stands concerning water usage and conserving the environment. For information on the June 25th 29th, 2012, Teacher Conservation Workshop, visit www.gfagrow.org/education.asp or contact Carla rapp at carla@gfagrow.org, 478-992-8810. v 23


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September | October 2011


GEORGIA FORESTRY COMMISSION

Message from the Director Dear GFT Reader,

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nniversaries and birthdays are perfect times to slow down. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, these events almost force us to take stock as well as look ahead, and that’s a good thing. This year, the Georgia Forestry Commission marks the 90th anniversary of the establishment of state forestry in Georgia, and in preparation for agency-wide meetings to recognize this milestone, our staff did a lot of digging through the history books. We found some amazing facts and photos, and had a wonderful opportunity to chronicle the GFC’s history with a special presentation for employees. We’ve come an awfully long way since: 1921, when the state board of Forestry was created...1925, when our original budget was $1,000...the 1940s, when operators drove bulldozers with open cabs...1951, when our first hydraulic plow went into service and 1959, when the first aerial water dump was made in Georgia...1965, when we got our first GFC uniforms and held our first annual Teacher’s Conservation Workshop in ’66...1969, when we developed the rural Fire department program...1980, when the Water Quality Program was established and ’87, when the Flint river nursery was opened and 1990 when the Forest stewardship Program was initiated. And those are just a tiny glimpse of the events that have shaped our agency.

As we looked at our legacy, some major themes emerged. It was clear that since the beginning, our people had been successfully dealing with change—and that’s because they've always been dedicated. Without doubt, those very same qualities will take us into the future. so where are we headed in the next 90 years? I can’t predict the distant future, but I can tell you about the plans we have for the near future. We are currently following up on one of Georgia’s worst fire seasons on record with detailed After Action reviews (which helped us tremendously after the fires of ’07 and prepared us for this year’s challenges) and are installing Gobal Positioning system units on our fire suppression vehicles. We are also considering: real time GPs tracking systems to aid direct attack and closest resource dispatching...detailed financial and operational analyses of existing Enhanced Fuel management grants and fuel mitigation practices to determine how cost effective they were between the ’07 and ’11 fires...ways to further build on our eight percent reduction in arson fires...procurement of new bambi water buckets to expand operational capacity...expanding the existing fuel mitigation program...enhancing the GFC supplemental firefighter program...and changing our suppression equipment replacement model to allow for additional, larger tractors in the upper coastal plain and piedmont that can also

Robert Farris be used as resources in the flat woods and lower coastal plain. And those are just a few of our team’s great ideas for the next few years! It is clear that the Georgia Forestry Commission could not have survived the last 90 years without you, our valued forestry partners. On behalf of every colleague who is part of our GFC family, thank you. We look forward to working side by side with you and serving you for the next 90 years and beyond.

sincerely, Robert Farris

“Stay abreast of GFC activities and services at GaTrees.org” Georgia Forestry Today

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