Gov. Nathan Deal recognized three corporate forest landowners Thursday for their stewardship in land management and practices benefiting Georgia’s wildlife.
Plum Creek, Georgia Power and CatchMark Timber Trust were honored by Gov. Deal as 2013 partners in Forestry for Wildlife Partnership, a program administered by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
Forestry for Wildlife Partnership is a voluntary program that promotes sustainable forest and wildlife conservation in corporate forestry practices. Partners select and tailor guidelines to improve management for reforestation, harvesting techniques, recreation, sensitive sites and outreach.
Representatives were recognized in a brief ceremony Thursday at the State Capitol. DNR Deputy Commissioner Homer Bryson, Wildlife Resources Division Assistant Director Mark Whitney and others joined the presentation. Partners received copies of “The Natural Communities of Georgia,” signed by the authors and photographers.
According to DNR Commissioner Mark Williams, with more than 90 percent of Georgia forestland in private ownership, successful wildlife management requires conservation leadership in the state’s private and corporate sector. “Our 2013 Forestry for Wildlife partners have shown such leadership, improving 1 million acres for wildlife in our state,” Williams said.
The Wildlife Resources Division recognized Georgia Power, CatchMark Timber Trust and Plum Creek as Forestry for Wildlife Partners for:
Habitat is the key to wildlife abundance. Georgia has more than 24 million acres of forestland. Of that, corporate forest landowners manage about 12 percent.
Efforts benefiting from Forestry for Wildlife include management of endangered red-cockaded woodpecker habitats, bald eagle and swallow-tailed kite nesting, isolated wetlands critical to protected reptiles and amphibians, and rare remnant Coosa Valley prairie and Black Belt prairie habitats containing endangered plants. The partnerships also provide the public with many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, including hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing.
Some examples of partners’ work in 2013 include:
All of the conservation enhancement components and reporting procedures are compatible with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc., a voluntary approach in the forest industry to maintain high environmental standards on lands managed by corporate landowners.
Article produced by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.