Page 1

GEORGIA FORESTRY TODAY Volume 11, Issue 4 July | August 2015



July | August 2015

Georgia Forestry Today


On the Cover:


Volume 11, Issue 4

July | August 2015

Printed in the USA PUBLISHER: A4 Inc. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Alva Hopkins

EDITORIAL BOARD Wendy Burnett Alva Hopkins Stasia Kelly Sandi Martin Roland Petersen-Frey


Georgia’s Forestry for Wildlife Partnership is a voluntary Department of Natural Resources program that helps corporate forest landowners integrate wildlife and natural resources into timber management. To read more, Turn to page 8.



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


DNR Forestry for Wildlife Partnership Where Corporate Forest & Wildlife Management Meet Study Finds Increasing Wood Pellet Demand Boosts Forest Growth, Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Creates Jobs


Forestry Legislation Signed by Governor Deal | Effective July 1


Message from the GFC Director


GFC News


Trees: Mother Nature’s Proven Prescription for Better Health


The Outdoorsman | Georgia Has Great Ocean Fishing


Senator David Perdue Visits South Georgia Tree Farm

Forestry Calendar July 31 - August 2 If you have a forestry event you’d like to see on our calendar, please contact Alva Hopkins at ahopkins@a4inc. com with the subject line ‘Calendar Event.’

2015 GFA Annual Conference & Forestry Expo Westin Jekyll Island Jekyll Island, Georgia Info: Visit for information and registration

September 1-2 Conservation Easements for Forest Landowners and their Advisers – Tifton UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center Tifton, Georgia Info: Ingvar Elle, 706-583-0566,

October 6-8 SFI Annual Conference Resort at Squaw Creek Olympic Valley, California Info: Amy Doty, 202-596-3458,

October 20-22 Forestry for Non-Foresters Flinchum’s Phoenix Athens, Georgia Info: Ingvar Elle, 706-583-0566


July | August 2015

Georgia Forestry Today


List of advertisers American Forest Management ...............................................30

James Bates ....................................................................................7

Beach Timber Company Inc...................................................30

LandMark Spatial Solutions......................................................4

Blanton’s.........................................................................................3 Bodenhamer Farms & Nursery...............................................12 Canal Wood LLC......................................................................30 Cantrell Forest Products Inc. ..................................................30

Lanigan & Associates ...............................................................18 Meeks’ Farms & Nursery ...........................Inside Front Cover Morbark ......................................................................................30

Davis - Garvin ............................................................................26

Outdoor Underwriters.............................................................12

F4 Tech ........................................................................................15


Farm Credit Associations of Georgia....................................15

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

Flint Equipment Company.....................................................29 Forest Resource Services Inc. ..................................................30 F&W Forestry Service..............................................................18 Georgia 811 ...............................................................Back Cover

Rivers Edge Forest Products....................................................30 SuperTree Seedlings ..................................................................13 Weyerhaeuser .............................................................................10


Whitfield Farms & Nursery....................................................10

International Forest Company................................................. 6

Yancey Brothers ............................................Inside Back Cover

Georgia Forestry Today



WILDLIFE PARTNERSHIP Where Corporate Forest & Wildlife Management Meet By Eric Darracq and Steve Raper | Georgia Department of Natural Resources


July | August 2015

Georgia Forestry Today


How FWP Works for Partners

Started in 1996, the FWP program extends an open invitation to corporate forest landowners that own or manage at least 20,000 acres in Georgia. While FWP provides complete details, including the reporting form and application

information, to get started a forest company representative contacts a DNR biologist to discuss the basics and then drafts a brief wildlife conservation plan. Once DNR has reviewed and accepted the plan, the representative works with his or her company on ways to implement the plan.

After two years of implementation, the representative compiles a summary of accomplishments with help from coworkers and submits a biannual report to the Wildlife Resources Division for review and scoring. A few weeks later, FWP biologists meet with foresters and representatives on their company lands for a daylong field tour and discussion of the report. Soon after, the company will receive an evaluation letter highlighting strengths and making suggestions for continued improvement. The letter will also indicate a decision on the company’s FWP membership. FWP partners generally tailor their company management guidelines to improve wildlife conservation based on core principles detailed in the biannual reporting form. These principles focus on: • Involvement with other conservation organizations (ten points). •

Georgia Power discusses forest management activities and integrative options with registered foresters and certified wildlife biologists. The 2014 Forestry for Wildlife Partners had a positive impact for wildlife on more than 1 million acres in Georgia.

Providing opportunities for outdoor recreation (15 points). •

Communicating wildlife conservation outreach and education for the public (20 points).

Conserving sensitive sites (25 points).

Managing timber resources to improve forest habitats for wildlife (30 points). At a minimum, management of timber


July | August 2015

Georgia Forestry Today

resources must meet the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard (www. and Georgia’s Best Management Practices for Forestry. Two high-priority examples of ways a company can reach these wildlife conservation standards are by prescribe burning thinned pine stands on a twoyear rotation and using herbicide application methods and chemical selections that best retain a diversity of native plant species, including those favored by wildlife for food and cover.

When enhanced forest management practices like these are implemented in combination with public outreach, outdoor recreation, and assisting other organizations with conservation initiatives, companies are taking bold and much needed steps toward helping Georgia achieve long-term sustainability of natural resources. Why FWP Is Important for Georgia

The abundance and diversity of our native animals and plants rest largely in the


Plum Creek renewed its voluntary Forestry for Wildlife Partnership with DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division in December 2014.

hands of private landowners: collectively, they own 93 percent of Georgia’s 38 million acres. Forest product companies are among the largest landholders. Registered foresters and other natural resource professionals in Georgia have a major potential to improve forests for wildlife,

outdoor recreation, and other natural resources while managing for timber. FWP encourages partners to manage lands with conservation practices that integrate timber management with wildlife-friendly considerations. Partners are also encouraged to provide the public

with recreational access for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, and camping. These actions help Georgians maintain vital connections to our working farms and wildlands. Also, organizations that qualify for FWP typically work with relatively large,

intact tracts of forestland. These areas, critical for sustaining wildlife populations, have become much less abundant in recent years. Georgia's human population has increased steadily for decades, and grew nearly ten percent from 2000 to 2011. This rapid growth and expansion is resulting in substantial wildlife habitat loss and degradation, underscoring the need for planning to ensure that our wildlife populations remain healthy for future generations to enjoy.

Forestry for Wildlife Partnership aims to help Georgia achieve long-term sustainability of natural resources, providing corporate forest landowners with technical guidance to enhance wildlife conservation through a strong, proactive partnership. Earlier this year, Gov. Deal said that FWP partners CatchMark Timber Trust, Plum Creek, and Georgia Power “have gone beyond industry standards to manage the forest lands they own for the benefit of Georgia’s wildlife. It is clear these

companies are committed to growing and sustaining our forests, and I am grateful for their significant contributions.” To apply or learn more about Forestry for Wildlife Partnership, visit You can also call a FWP biologist at (229) 2275422 or (706)557-3263, or a public relations representative at (770) 557-3327. DNR wildlife biologists Eric Darracq and Steve Raper oversee the Forestry for Wildlife Partnership. v DNR wildlife biologist Eric Darracq, who helps coordinate the Forestry for Wildlife Partnership, discusses evaluating sites for wildlife and forestry management during a Forestry for Wildlife workshop this spring which focused on the revision of Georgia’s State Wildlife Action Plan.


July | August 2015

Georgia Forestry Today


Study Finds Increasing Wood Pellet Demand Boosts Forest Growth, Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Creates Jobs By Robert Johansson | Acting Chief Economist | United States Department of Agriculture An industry that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase forest growth, and create jobs sounds too good to be true. But that is the reality of the emerging wood pellets market in the Southern U.S. That conclusion is supported by independent economic assessments of wood bioenergy, including a recent study that specifically focused on European pellet demand conducted by researchers at Duke and North Carolina State Universities. Those researchers found that increasing demand for wood pellets resulted in more forest area, more forest investment, large greenhouse gas reductions, and little change in forest carbon inventories. So, why is there concern? Some critics have recently argued that land used to produce biomass for energy should instead be permanently protected as forests. ey say that harvesting biomass from forests reduces forest carbon stocks. Instead, they claim that the best way to increase carbon storage is to reduce demand for renewable products that come from the land. ose arguments fail to account for market dynamics and incentives, and do not recognize that these resources are renewable. Importantly, forests with little or no economic value are at greater risk for conversion to non-forest other uses. A key to accelerating forest growth and regeneration is to create strong markets for biomass that will stimulate investments. Farmers and forest land owners, as with all business owners, respond to markets and invest in strategies to produce 14

Wood chips like these are part of the process of turning wood into energy. Photo credit: USDA Forest Service, Forest Operations Research Archive, USDA Forest Service,

more and earn more when facing increasing demand. Biomass energy markets are providing greenhouse gas benefits for Europe and can be a larger part of our domestic strategy as well. e United States has committed to lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent over the next ten years. One component of that strategy could be to expand renewable energy generation from forest and agricultural biomass. e conclusions by the Duke and NC State researchers are not unique to the South. Other studies have found that expanding the use of sustainably grown biomass for electricity production across the U.S. can actually increase forest acreage and carbon storage. ose studies show that as demand for biomass ex-

pands, the resource becomes more valuable at creating an incentive to grow and invest. Expanding the use of biomass for electric power will not result in the devastation of the American forests. Rather, forest owners will more effectively and intensively manage forests to increase their value and optimize biomass production and use over time. For example, USDA Forest Service researchers analyzed the potential effects of greatly expanding biomass electricity markets in the US. ey found meeting eight percent of U.S. electricity production from wood energy would require a 42 percent increase in harvesting; but they also found that a substantial portion of that increase would be offset over 50 years largely because of regrowth and market responses in land use and manageJuly | August 2015

Georgia Forestry Today


Forestry Legislation Signed By Governor Deal Effective July 1 By Matt Hestad | Director of Public Relations and Communications | Georgia Forestry Association

ment strategies. ey estimated that substituting biomass for fossil fuels to generate electricity could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 40 and 70 percent. Larger trees and higher valued materials such as sawtimber are not likely to be used for energy. ey are simply too valuable for uses such as structural building material, furniture, high end plywood, and veneer. In reality, new markets for biomass energy can help supplement declining markets for low-value, small diameter wood, logging residuals, and the byproducts of manufacturing. In many parts of the country, wood energy can in turn help to reduce the risks of catastrophic wildfire and provide incentives for forest management needed to address the increased risks of insects and disease. A great deal is at stake. e nation’s forests provide us with many services. ey filter the air we breathe, they provide millions of Americans with clean drinking water, they provide habitat and recreation opportunities, and they offset about 13 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions each year. Yet many of those services are at risk, in part due to the challenges of a changing climate: increased exposure to pests, diseases, and wildfire. Over the next few decades holding policies constant, carbon sequestration rates 16

in our nation’s forests are expected to slow, mainly due to a loss of area principally to development. Generating clean and renewable energy from biomass is an important and economic tool in our toolkit to address those challenges. Markets work. Increasing forest productivity and health makes them more valuable and less susceptible to conversion to other uses. Vibrant markets for wood materials raise the value of forest lands and encourage investment, regrowth, and expansion. Using biomass

for energy helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by displacing fossil energy sources. A healthy, productive, well-managed forest has high value, not just to the public and to the environment, but to the owner. Shaping policies that recognize the real benefits of biomass and that provide incentives for continued performance improvements is a challenge, but the economic and environmental benefits that will be realized make this worth the effort. v

Following a successful legislative session for Georgia’s forestry community, Governor Nathan Deal signed two of the Georgia Forestry Association’s legislative initiatives, which went into effect on July 1. During the 40 legislative days of the 153rd Georgia General Assembly, a total of 955 bills were debated, 349 bills were passed by the House, 388 bills were passed by the Senate, and a total of 312 bills were sent to the Governor’s office. Following sine die on April 20, Gov. Deal has vetoed 11 bills and signed 301 into law, including GFA’s legislative initiatives House Bill 255 and House Bill 199. Despite scrutiny from environmental advocacy groups and the U.S. Green Building Council, the Governor continued his support of Georgia grown wood by signing HB 255. e bill codifies the language in Governor Deal’s 2012 Executive Order requiring that green building standards used in the construction of state buildings give equal consideration

to all credible forest certification programs. Consequently, the legislation will ban LEED green building certification in publicly funded buildings, a designation created and promoted by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED criteria and credit scoring give preference to wood from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, of which there is very little in Georgia— only 32,000 acres. Most certified wood in Georgia is certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative or the American Tree Farm System—a combined 4.3 million acres. “We greatly appreciate Governor Deal’s continued support of Georgia grown wood in the construction of state buildings and schools,” GFA President Steve McWilliams said. “It is important that Georgia landowners and manufacturers not have market access limited by any green building standard or program, especially those paid for by Georgia taxpayers.”

Governor Deal also gave his approval for House Bill 199, which amends Georgia’s timber harvest notification law to achieve greater uniformity among counties that have a timber harvest ordinance and to create operational efficiencies for Georgia loggers. e current law is administered differently in counties throughout the state and is onerous in many respects for loggers. e legislation will change several provisions of the current law to be more ‘logger friendly,’ by increasing efficiencies and simplifying the compliance process. HB 199 has already affected counties where unnecessary timber ordinances are being proposed, such as Upson County’s proposed timber ordinance that would require each timber company pay the maximum $5,000 bond per harvesting site in the county. Under the new state law, Upson County is only permitted to require one bond per year—no matter the number of harvesting sites. “I appreciate the work that GFA put

Governor Deal pictured with members of Georgia’s forestry community at the signing ceremony for HB 255 at Gilman Building Products in Blackshear, Georgia, on May 4, 2015. July | August 2015

Georgia Forestry Today


Georgia Forestry Commission into shaping HB 199 and Governor Deal’s support of the bill,” Lyle Taylor, president of Woodlands Enterprises Inc. in Cartersville, said. “is legislation is going to make my life a whole lot easier by simplifying what I have to do to log my clients’ timber.” In addition to the two GFA initiatives, below is an outline of legislation of particular interest to Georgia’s forestry community. For questions about the 2015 legislative session or GFA’s policy initiatives, contact Steve McWilliams at or download GFA’s 2015 Legislative Guide.

CAFÉ formula in the bill. •

A $5 per night hotel/motel fee for each calendar day that a room, lodging, or accommodations are rented or leased. ere is an exception for extended stay rentals.

Includes additional oversight by the General Assembly by requiring GDOT to annually submit a ten-year strategic plan outlining the use of department resources for the upcoming fiscal years.

Other Legislation of Interest Signed By the Governor State Budget Appropriations | House Bill 76

e Governor approved HB 76, which deals with general appropriations for the state fiscal year ( July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016). e bill included adding $1.8 million to the Georgia Forestry Commission budget to address pay parity and retention issues and $300,000 to support three new outreach positions in University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources. Transportation Funding Act of 2015 | House Bill 170

House Bill 170 is based on recommendations from the Joint Study Committee on Critical Infrastructure Funding, which was tasked with identifying funding solutions for Georgia’s transportation needs. e new law will generate almost $1 billion in new transportation funding annually. According to ACCG, provisions of the bill include: • A 26 cents-per-gallon state excise tax on gasoline and a 29 cents-per-gallon state excise on diesel. •


Addition of an annual highway impact fee for heavy vehicles at a rate of $50 for vehicles weighing between 15,500-26,000lbs and $100 for vehicles weighing more than 26,001lbs.

Creates a Special Joint Committee on the Georgia Revenue Structure (Tax Reform).

Ad Valorem Tax Reform | House Bill 202 HB 202 is a comprehensive reform of laws related to ad valorem taxation, assessment, and appeal. Ad Valorem Tax Exemption for Farm Equipment Dealers | House Bill 374

exempt from paying ad valorem tax on their inventory. HB 374 clarifies that forestry equipment (and lease-purchase equipment) is included in this exemption. Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission (GSWCC) | House Bill 397 HB 397 amends the code to administratively attach the GSWCC to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. With this administrative change the agency will retain its autonomy as an independent, standalone agency. Workers Compensation | House Bill 412 HB 412 clarifies that workers compensation is the exclusive remedy for work-related injuries, and that exclusive remedy is not nullified by any failure to meet contractual obligations with maintenance, construction, or other contractors on a work site. Feral Hog Control | House Bill 475

HB 475 amends the code to ease restrictions on feral hog hunting. Among other things, the bill allows feral hogs to be hunted year round with certain exceptions. v

Currently, dealers of farm equipment are

e indexing formula was changed to include a variation of CAFÉ standards and Consumer Price Index (CPI) through July 1, 2018, with future indexing being tied only to the July | August 2015

Robert Farris

Message from the Director

Dear GFT Reader,


n addition to the celebration of our country's independence, the Georgia Forestry Commission is proud to join the entire forestry community in marking some special achievements this month. With the help of a lot of concerned and hard-working people, several important milestones were realized with laws that went into effect on July first. In the 2015 session, the Georgia General Assembly and Governor Nathan Deal demonstrated their support for our industry in a number of ways, which include:

Providing funding to UGA's Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources for three new outreach and research positions in forest health, economics and taxation, and wildlife.

Modifying Georgia's timber harvest notification law for more consistent use by counties with timber harvest ordinances, while also simplifying and enhancing the efficiency of the process. (At the time of this writing, we are working through the administrative rules process, which includes public hearings. Visit to download the new notification form and process.)

Georgia Forestry Today

Passing legislation codifying Governor Deal's executive order that any green building standards used in the construction of state buildings must give equal consideration to all credible forest certification programs.

Appropriating a second installment of funds to address pay parity and retention issues within the Georgia Forestry Commission.

The funding for our GFC team is obviously of great significance to me. I have a front row seat for witnessing the professionalism, the skills, the hours, and the very real blood, sweat and tears this team puts into their jobs every single day. Over the past few years, watching our resignation rate double over historic trends, while seeing the experience level of our rangers responding to wildfire drop markedly, was alarming. Thankfully, our forestry community and legislators answered the call and helped bring our employees to a level that more closely matches market averages. We are especially grateful to House Appropriations Vice Chair, Penny Houston, and House Floor Leader, Chad Nimmer, for championing our pay parity needs over the past two years. And of course we are most appreciative of our GFC Board, the Georgia

Forestry Association, and the wide forestry community at large for helping move these initiatives forward. In the spirit of our founding fathers, let's keep the ball moving forward for forestry in Georgia. It provides such tremendous economic, environmental, and social benefits for this great state we call home.

Robert Farris GFC Commissioner e


GFC News Orders are now being accepted for the 2015-16 planting season. New seedling varieties being offered include the GFC exclusive Georgia Giant (third cycle coastal loblolly pine) that produces 54 percent more volume per acre than local unimproved check lots, which is ideal for areas in the fall line and southward. Historically, these trees sell out quickly, along with another popular variety, the Elite Straight Loblolly, ranked very highly for straightness and resistance to fusiform rust. For more information and to place an order, visit, call 1-800-GATREES, or contact your local GFC county unit. e Landowners whose property is on two watersheds that lead to proposed dams and reservoirs on Hard Labor Creek in Walton County and Bear Creek in Newton County learned more about GFC services in May. A special seminar was held at Newton's historic Gaither Plantation, where information about forest management, Best Management Practices, water quality, wildlife, cost-share programs, and more was shared with the group, many of whom are new to land management concepts. To facilitate communication among all parties involved in the process, the GFC has proposed establishing a forest landowner association in the watershed where the reservoirs will be built. e A weather warning siren linked to Bibb County's 911 service has been installed on the Georgia Forestry Commission Dry Branch campus. The siren is activated by radio signal when the National Weather Service issues a severe weather warning for the area, providing another layer of emergency notification to GFC employees and to businesses and citizens who live and work in the immediate area. The siren is made of fiberglass, steel, and aluminum, and weighs about 450 pounds. It is mounted on a 42 foot above-grade pole and rotates 360-degrees to produce 127 decibels at 100 feet for a 1+ mile range. It is connected to a backup generator for the transmitter building so it can function during power outages.e The popular Georgia Forestry Commission planner is now available for distribution. The 18-month calendar that covers July, 2015-December, 2016 features a variety of information related to forestry and services of the GFC. The planners are complimentary and may be picked up at your local GFC county unit. e 20

July | August 2015

By Stasia Kelly Feeling stressed? Being with nature has proven health benefits!

trees: Mother Nature's Proven Prescription for Better Health For three years, journalist Cathy Cobbs’ job had her commuting bi-monthly between Columbia, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia. She’d make the three and a half hour trip west on Sunday mornings when traffic was usually light, work at her managing editor job for a suburban newspaper until aer the weekly paper had gone to press on Monday aernoon, then return to Columbia. “Absolutely everything depended on traffic. One misstep and I was toast,” said Cobbs. “If for some reason I couldn’t leave Columbia on Sunday and had to drive in on Monday morning, I could literally feel my blood pressure go up when I hit Covington.” She added that her Monday night antidote was always a rest on her patio, surrounded by trees, shrubs, and flowers. Cobbs’ physical response to her surroundings is no surprise to those who have ever tackled city traffic or enjoyed a walk in the woods. It is also the stuff of a growing amount of research linking our environment to mental and physical health. “e bottom line is, trees and green space will change a life for the better, health-wise,” said Mary Lynn Beckley, Executive Director of the Georgia Urban Forest Council, a nonprofit whose mission is to sustain Georgia’s green legacy by helping Georgia Forestry Today

communities grow healthy trees. “Trees and green space also make better communities and residents.” But how do green space advocates communicate that message to local officials, urban planners, and the health community? “With patience and perseverance,” said Susan Granbery, Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator for the Georgia Forestry Commission. “Sometimes it feels like we’re preaching to the choir at our conferences and meetings, sharing information about all the good things trees and forests do. But there's so much science proving those benefits now, we’ve all got to do a better job of reaching out to the groups that can help move us forward,” Granbery said. New connections through stronger research

Granbery and Beckley are organizers of the Georgia Urban Forest Council’s Annual Conference, coming up on November 4 and 5 in Savannah. e meeting's theme is “e Forest Pharmacy: Nature’s Prescription for Healthy Communities,” and the planners are excited about the new information that will be presented. 21

Soaking up health benefits is easier when parks and green space are close to city homes.

“Two of the nation’s leading experts on canopy cover and health are going to be featured at the conference,” said Granbery. “Kathleen Wolf and Ray Trethaway have spent years researching the very real implications green spaces have for human beings. eir studies provide clear evidence that we have an obligation to share,” Granbery said. Kathleen Wolf, PhD, Research Social Scientist at the University of Washington College of the Environment, will lead several conference sessions. In addition to presenting her team’s most recent work on the economic valuation of nature/health benefits in the US, Wolf will discuss ways that project design elements contribute to human health outcomes. She’ll cover her experiences with green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) in urban neighborhoods for health co-benefits and EPA requirements, and guide participants in identifying partners that can help put research into practice. Wolf has gained further national attention as project director of the Web site, ‘Green Cities: Good Health,’ which she 22

envisioned while visiting Japan in 2010. “While there I learned of interesting research being done in horticulture therapy, community design, and urban environmental stewardship,” she writes at “My Japanese colleagues and I worked in the summer of 2008 to translate their research and present it to English speaking audiences using a Web site. e Web-based research outreach approach carried over to this project when I returned to the U.S.” Today, the ‘Green Cities: Good Health’ Web site is one of the most userfriendly places visitors can find detailing the myriad and wide-ranging benefits of ‘metro nature,’ as Wolf prefers to call it. e site represents a database of more than 3,000 scientific articles. “‘Green Cities Good Health’ is organized by benefits themes, and describes evidence we can talk about with confidence;” said Wolf, “scientific evidence that can translate into programs and policies.” “For a long time we were discussing environmental services, but there’s something about the ‘it’s all about me’ health

benefit message that’s getting more traction with listeners these days. Stress response, improvement in creativity, children doing better in schools. ese outcomes get the attention of public health and medical communities,” Wolf said. Changing the mindset of where to find these remedies is also critical, according to Wolf. “e American perception has always been that if we’re in need of nature’s respite, we have to go to the ocean, the river, or the mountains, beyond the city,” said Wolf. “Now we know that being in nearby gardens, parks, and places with trees is just as valuable and effective as big get-aways.” Ray Trethaway, Executive Director of the Sacramento Tree Foundation in Sacramento, California, will also be featured at the conference. He will present new data from a project that details the association between urban greening, expressed primarily as canopy cover, and major health behaviors and outcomes. e study was conducted in a six county region of Sacramento. “e results of the study haven’t been officially released, pending journal publication,” said Trethaway, “so there will be fresh new data for the meeting!” Trethaway said he will present evidence that an increase in neighborhood tree canopy mirrors a dramatic increase in better health. Locally rooted success stories Trethaway and Wolf both hail from the west, “where new ideas oen start before heading east,” said Beckley. “at’s true of a lot of things related to arboriculture and laws having to do with trees. But there’s a lot going on here in Georgia, too, that we’ll be sharing at the conference!” Karen Jenkins, Executive Director of the Savannah Tree Foundation, will discuss the challenges of development along the Georgia coast and how it has impacted natural spaces and water resources. Jenkins is a leading proponent of collaboJuly | August 2015

Savannah is famous for its parks and trees, which research proves contribute to people's well being.

ration with groups one might not immediately identify as tree champions, but which should be included in urban forestry outreach. “Good citizen advocacy is very important,” said Jenkins. “It’s all about caring, and about educating people.” e Savannah Tree Foundation has teamed with a number of organizations to support those goals at the new Web site, Healthy e site states that its mission is to create an environment that “makes a healthy choice an easy choice; build a collaborative network that identifies and shares resources; collect and disseminate information; promote best practices and support innovative proGeorgia Forestry Today

grams and advocate for effective policies.” “e Web site pulls together all the organizations concerned about health,” Jenkins said, adding that the tree/health message is a perfect fit, and she hopes it resonates with new audiences. “We need more members of the medical community to be direct and forthright,” she said. “Doctors can write, ‘Take your child for a walk’ on their prescription pad, and can bring attention to shaded parks and sidewalks. Moms can get the PTA to spend two hours working at a camp caring for trees, rather than spend two hours making another batch of cupcakes!” Jenkins said “it’s a coup” for Savan-

nah to host the GUFC conference and to attract the caliber of speakers slated to attend. She and Beckley are hoping the conference agenda will compel the urban forestry community to reach out to partners they may not have previously considered, and ask them to come to this important gathering. “Everyone’s invited,” said Beckley, “and they’ll go home with ideas, facts, and scientific proof that trees and green space change lives for the better.” e Georgia Urban Forest Council will hold its annual conference at the Hilton Savannah DeSoto on November 4 and 5. To review the agenda and to register, visit v 23

The OUTDOORSMAN By John Trussell

Georgia Has Great Ocean Fishing 24

eorgia is often overlooked as a saltwater fishing destination, but I have several Florida fishing buddies that often fish off the Georgia Coast. They say our waters are a lot less crowded and the fishing is better for some species. Georgia is blessed with approximately 100 miles of ocean fishing shoreline and much if it is a myriad of rivers, creeks, and inlets waiting to be explored. Several major islands and island groups comprise this expanse of coast between the Savannah and St. Marys rivers. These are Cumberland, Jekyll, St. Simons, Sea Island, Little St. Simons, Sapelo, Blackbeard, St. Catherines, Ossabaw, Wassaw, and Tybee. Let’s start with the most simple coastal fishing method first. Many salt water anglers started off fishing off the pier at St Simons or Jekyll Island, and that’s a great way to get into the sport cheaply. A simple bait caster reel and rod, nylon leader, one ounce weight, and number two hook will catch many small to medium size fish. Primary bait is live or dead shrimp. The bulk of fish caught will be croaker, spots, whiting, red drum, seatrout, weakfish, black drum, sheepshead, cobia, grunts, mackerel, bluefish, king mackerel, flounder, bonito, false albacore, sharks, and an occasional tarpon. Anglers can also access the same species by surf fishing with a minimum of expense. The six Georgia coastal counties all provide numerous opportunities to fish from piers and docks. Many of the docks and piers are on these rivers and inlets. Some are old highway bridges that have been converted to fishing piers. Others are docks built specifically for fishing. Wherever located, they are easily accessible. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Resources Division lists over 35 public access piers and docks. For detailed driving instructions, visit the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Web pages at Whether you’re on a quest for a 200-pound shark off the coast of St. Marys or a 50 pound Cobia while on vacation at Jekyll Island, a deep-sea fishing trip can provide a real adrenaline rush. Deep-sea or offshore fishing involves fishing out on the open ocean, farther from shore where weather conditions and navigational charts should be carefully evaluated to ensure a safe trip. This type of fishing is best suited for intermediate or advanced anglers if you plan to go without a charter or guide, although new technology in boats, motors, electronics, safety equipment, and fishing tackle has made it more accessible than ever before. If you welcome a challenge, deep-sea fishing may be just what


The coastal Georgia area is loaded with sharks. Brandon Trussell caught this nice sand shark while fishing with Captain Eric Moody of Coastal Expeditions, off Jekyll Island." July | August 2015

Georgia Forestry Today

Susan Baker, of Tifton, with one of the best eating fish in the ocean, a flounder. you need. But if you lack the big boat and expertise to go it alone, don’t hesitate to book a trip with one of Georgia’s many experienced coastal fishing guides. Recently, I had a great fishing trip with St Marys fishing guide Cal Lang. Contact Cal at Other great guides in the area are Ken Olson at and Warren Hupman at Within close proximity to St Marys is Crooked River State Park and Cumberland National Seashore. For more info contact Due to the number of deep-sea game fish species and fishing techniques for catching them, there are many different types of fishing tackle and gear that can be used. Offshore fishing may involve trolling with artificial fishing lures or live baits, jigging with lures, or bottom fishing with baits. If you are deep-sea trolling for sailfish, you might use the following tackle and gear as an example. Start with a sixto seven-foot medium action offshore fishing rod, heavy or 25

large saltwater-specific baitcaster reel with high line capacity, loaded with minimum 20-pound test monofilament line. You would need a six to ten feet of 40 to 80-pound test monofilament leader with a 5/-7/0 hook on the end. To entice a bite, you’ll need live baits such as goggle eyes or threadfin herring. If you hook up with a guide, they will provide the equipment for you. Saltwater pier and surf fishing are very similar in terms of the species you may catch, but they can be different in terms of space, technique, and tackle. Fishing from the beach means you have the ability to move along the shoreline by foot, and can even wade into the water in order to get to the areas where baitfish may be located, and the larger fish are feeding. Saltwater species such as redfish, snook, striped bass, pompano, flounder, and sea trout are a few examples of fish you may find. Rocks, reefs, and wrecks are great places to start looking for fish when offshore fishing. These types of structures provide a haven for every species in the food chain and offer a place for fish to hide from the strong ocean currents. Reef dwelling fish can usually be enticed to bite by sending a vertical jig to the bottom and quickly working it back to the boat. Outside the barrier islands of coastal Georgia, the continental shelf slopes gradually eastward for over 80 miles before reaching the Gulf Stream and the continental slope. This broad, shallow shelf consists largely of dynamic sand/shell expanses that do not provide the firm foundation needed for the development of reef fish communities, which include popular gamefish such as grouper, snapper, sea bass, and amberjack. Offshore substrate largely consists of fine sand and silt where only about five percent of the adjacent shelf features natural reefs or ‘live bottoms,’ most of which occur more than 40 miles offshore. 26

Fish habitat enhancement continues to be a priority for the Coastal Resources Division (CRD). With 30 artificial reef sites from three to 55 miles offshore, 15 inshore artificial reef sites and over a dozen ongoing oyster reef restoration projects, CRD is working hard to ensure that anglers of all skill levels will have abundant and diverse fishing opportunities for years to come. Several fish habitat enhancement projects have been scheduled for the remainder of 2015, including placement of 1,500 bags of recycled oyster shells at Jointer Creek near Brunswick, aerial and side scan sonar surveys of all inshore artificial reef sites, and de-

ployment of donated materials, including recycled poultry transport cages. Visit the Web site as many exciting changes have occurred lately. The offshore artificial reef sites now have an icon linking to a library of videos containing above and below water images of the various types of materials deployed at Georgia offshore artificial reefs. Specific information about inshore and offshore artificial reefs sites including coordinates for various materials can be found at Coordinates are presented in a GPX file format allowing for direct transfer to most GPS units. Another great recreational oppor-

tunity exists for cast netting shrimp. According to the Georgia DNR, recreational cast netters collecting bait shrimp are limited to two quarts per person at any time, provided that person may take a maximum of four quarts of bait shrimp per day. When two or more persons occupy the same boat, there may be no more than four quarts of bait on board the boat at any time, and the persons occupying the boat may take no more than eight quarts of bait shrimp per day. Bait shrimp may be alive or dead when caught with a cast. No person taking food shrimp with a cast net may possess more than 48 quarts of heads-on shrimp or 30 quarts of shrimp tails in any day. Check the DNR regs for full details. The Georgia coast has great fishing, so try it soon! v

Susan Baker, right,of Tion, pulled a very nice sea trout om the St Marys river while live shrimp fishing with Guide Cal Lang.

Author John Trussell, displays a nice Red Fish that was caught in the St Marys river. July | August 2015

Georgia Forestry Today



Senator David Perdue Visits South Georgia Tree Farm On May 2, Senator David Perdue traveled to the forestland owned by Toledo Manufacturing Company in Charlton County to meet with several members of the forestry community. Joe Hopkins, President of the company, invited Senator Perdue to visit the property and discuss forestry issues following his election, and when the Senator was named Chairman of the Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry, and Natural Resources, the visit became even more opportune. Joe Hopkins said of the visit, “We were fortunate to have the opportunity to have Senator Perdue in the woods where we could discuss the issues facing forestry face to face. Being able to first-hand demonstrate the ramifications of how decisions out of Washington affect landowners on the ground to someone in his position is a rare opportunity. roughout our discussion, we emphasized that all of these issues ultimately tie back into markets. Without strong, vital markets, the industry collapses; they are essential to our very existence.” During his visit, Senator Perdue spent a little over five hours touring the property and discussing the challenges and opportunities that face the forest industry. In addition to Joe Hopkins, Perdue also met with Wesley Langdale, Will Varn, Andy Stone, Alva Hopkins, Chris Gowen, and Forest Landowners Association CEO Scott Jones. e tour concluded with a lunch at Toledo’s hunting cabin where more general and casual discussions could take place. roughout the course of the fivehour tour, several different topics were discussed, but a few were foremost—endangered species, sustainability, taxes, and markets. At their first stop of the day, Perdue was taken to a stand of timber that had 28

(l-r) Chris Gowen, Alva Hopkins, David Perdue, Joe Hopkins, Wesley Langdale, Andy Stone, Will Varn, and Scott Jones.

been completely destroyed by forest fire in 2000. At the time, the wood was pre-merchantable at ten years of age. at stand had been been replanted, and it was ravaged by wildfire again in 2011—again at age ten. e impact of such a natural disaster was plainly evident in terms of revenue, but there is something to be said for seeing that much devastation in person. On one tract, Perdue was shown an area containing red-cockaded woodpecker cavity trees. e group explained to Perdue that the current endangered species act did little to help the landowner participate in the recovery of the species, something most landowners would gladly do. Unfortunately, the ESA primarily had provisions to punish landowners and restrict their actions. e group emphasized how much land had to be set aside— largely unused—for each tree. When discussing the issue of sustainability, Joe Hopkins noted that his family business, Toledo Manufacturing, had weathered two World Wars, the Great Depression, natural disasters, and many other hardships. But the singular factor that kept the family growing trees was strong markets. e point was empha-

sized that markets were far more essential to keeping the land planted in trees than sustainability programs. ough the group discussed regulation, Senator Perdue, himself, is no stranger to regulatory issues. When appointed to chair the Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry, and Natural Resources, Perdue said, “I’m proud to represent Georgia’s strong and vibrant agricultural community. My goal is to make sure that the EPA doesn’t insidiously burden our farmers, and that we continue to foster growth and innovation across our largest industry.” Perdue referred to the EPA’s proposed rule to redefine the “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act as “nothing short of blatant government overreach.” Everyone who attended the meeting expressed their appreciation for Senator Perdue taking time from his busy schedule to meet with them in the woods. Perdue, himself, seemed eager to speak, ask questions, and listen. Events such as this one ensure that the voice of the forestry community is heard in Washington, something essential to our future. v July | August 2015

Georgia Forestry Today



BeaCH tiMBer CoMPaNY iNC. 128 Beach Timber Road Alma, Ga 31510 Office: (912) 632-2800 Gary Strickland We Buy Wood! Owner Foresters Available


FOREST RESOURCE SERVICES INC. Specializing in Land and

Buyers of Land and Timber in Georgia and the South Canal Wood LLC 601 North Belair Square, Suite 21 Evans, Georgia 30809 Phone: (800) 833-8178 E-mail:

Timber Management & Sales

BOBBY D. BROWN Registered Forester GA Number: 2164 Licensed Realtor GA Number: 165520 20364 GA Hwy #3 Thomasville, GA 31792

(229) 221-3016

Helping Grow Your Future LAMAR CANTRELL


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

30 Todd Hipp

(803) 924-0978

Eric Hipp

(803) 924-4131

Chad Hipp

(803) 924-5940 July | August 2015

Georgia Forestry Today


Georgia Forestry Today

Georgia Forestry Today (July | August 2015)  
Georgia Forestry Today (July | August 2015)