AFC says Persimmon not cleared of all timber

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 14, 2006

Special to the Advocate

Individuals concerned about the removal of excessive timber along the banks of the Persimmon Creek need not be, according to the Alabama Forestry Commission.

&#8220There has been much concern in the recent months that the banks of Persimmon Creek have been cleared of all timber between Greenville and Highway 106 east of Georgiana. This is simply not true,” said Jeremy Lowery, BMP Coordinator with the AFC. &#8220There has been some cutting in areas near Persimmon Creek in areas that, in a normal year, would be too wet to cut.”

Lowery said according to Alabama's Best Management Practices for Forestry, an average of 35 feet should be left along the banks of the creek.

This is recommended to protect water quality and within this area, 50 percent of the crown cover can be removed, he said.

&#8220One of the major issues loggers and landowners are facing due to recent storms is that the removal of down timber near or lying across the creek creates open areas,” said Lowery. &#8220Removal of this downed timber makes it look like there has been too much timber removed, and that they have not tried to implement Alabama's BMP's.”

Lowery said the Alabama Forestry Commission has been contacted and investigated these claims.

&#8220We have received multiple complaints from different concerned individuals within the community, and with each complaint, we meet with the landowner, logger and anyone else who may be involved,” he said. &#8220These meetings involve discussion of the complaint, viewing of the possible problem areas and, if necessary, discussion on how to fix any problems found.”

Lowery stated that the commission has not found any notable problems on any of the properties we have viewed.

&#8220Due to community concern, the AFC has flown these areas to insure that all the areas were seen. As discussed earlier, these areas may look too open but upon review are in better shape than before the harvest,” said Lowery.

For More Information Contact: Jeremy Lowery, BMP Coordinator, Alabama Forestry Commission, 334-240-9365.