FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2010
LOCAL WOODLAND OWNER RECOGNIZED FOR FOREST STEWARDSHIP BY STATE AGENCY
(McCormick, SC) — The woodlands owned by Brett Brannon were recently recognized as a “Stewardship Forest” in South Carolina. Mr. Brannon received the award for his forest and wildlife management accomplishments. Forester Jaime Jones of the South Carolina Forestry Commission and Stephen Cockrell, a private forestry consultant, recently presented the award. Mr. Brannon’s farm is one of only five in South Carolina to receive “Stewardship Forest” recognition for 2009.
The Forest Stewardship Program is a national program of the USDA Forest Service, administered in South Carolina by the Forestry Commission. The program assists the landowner in identifying his or her management objectives for timber, wildlife, recreation, water, and soil protection. Because the program is a cooperative effort among several agencies, a landowner can receive free expert advice and a written management plan prepared by a management team comprised of a forester, wildlife biologist, and soil conservationists.
After receiving the Stewardship Plan, a landowner who actively manages his property in the spirit of the program can be nominated to become a South Carolina Forest Steward.
Mr. Brannon purchased the property about five years ago and has worked extensively to enhance it. He said that one of the most meaningful accomplishments which have happened since purchasing the property has been the fact that his son now enjoys the outdoors and loves being in the woods. Several management practices which have enhanced the property include rebuilding a pond that was on the property, but was in poor condition, performing prescribed burns on the property to enhance wildlife and reduce competition with his timber from other species. He as also performed one thinning of his loblolly pines, installed drainage culverts to improve water quality on the property as well as installing fire breaks throughout the property to improve access to the woods as well as reducing the susceptibility to wildfire.
Mr. Brannon’s advice to other landowners is to get a professional to assist you; either thru the SC Forestry Commission or a private consultant. “The results,” Brannon says, “are well worth it.”
More than 4,000 South Carolina landowners have enrolled in the Forest Stewardship Program; fewer than 200 properties have been recognized as a “Stewardship Forest”. Anyone who owns ten or more acres with at least five acres in woodlands is qualified to participate in the program.
For more information, contact Scott Hawkins at (803) 896-8820.
For more information about Forest Stewardship, contact your county office of the South Carolina Forestry Commission, Department of Natural Resources, or Natural Resources Conservation Service. In McCormick County, the Stewardship forester is Jaime Jones at 803-276-0205.
The SC Forestry Commission’s mission is to protect and develop South Carolina’s forest resource. For every $1.00 invested by SC in the Commission, the industry produces more than $1,300.00 of economic impact.
Photo caption (from left to right): Scott Phillips, SCFC; Jaime Jones, SCFC; Brett Brannon; Steven Cockrell, American Forest Management