Forest management workshop set for local groups

Published 12:22 am Saturday, November 22, 2014

Loggers, foresters and property owners have an opportunity to educate themselves at a workshop for forest resource management, and a chance to earn continuing education points.

The meeting is planned for Dec. 9, at the USDA Building in Andalusia from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“This is an excellent opportunity for landowners, loggers, registered foresters and such, to learn more about such forestry topics,” said Janet Wofford, zone captain of the Conecuh-Sepulga & Blackwater Rivers Clean Water Partnership. “There will be forestry professionals discussing best management practices, prescribed burning, non-timber forest products such as pine straw, stumps, bees, water quality and invasive species, and plant identification.”

Wofford said the meeting will provide members of this sector with updated info on how forest practices effects water quality and how to diversify the products available in forests.

“Pine plantations grown for revenue can be used in other means than just logging,” Wofford said. “Owners can keep the ground under the pines clear and harvest that pine straw.

“There are people that also rent sections of pine plantations and harvest the pine straw and sell it,” she said. “It eliminates the landowner’s need for equipment to harvest it.”

There is also a big interest in having beekeepers in forested areas, she said.

The meeting is sponsored by the Alabama Forestry Commission, Alabama Clean Water Partnership, Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the Covington County Forestry Committee.

“We partner with the forestry commission a lot, and harvesting trees affects water quality,” Wofford said. “South Alabama is such a major forested area, with 2.5 million acres in the Conecuh-Sepulga and Blackwater watershed and two-thirds of that area is forest.

“It’s a good thing,” she said. “It also provides a lot of jobs. It’s big income.”

And it’s not just my watershed, it’s also the Choctawhatchee, the Pea and the Yellow River watersheds,” she said. “Half of Covington County is in the Conecuh and the other is in the Yellow River watershed.”

She also said one of the main reasons this area has such great water quality, is because it is heavily forested. There is a better wildlife habitat and better air quality.

Wofford said the main gist of this meeting is to provide loggers and registered foresters to earn credit for attending the meeting.

“The workshop qualifies for continuing education credits for foresters and loggers, and certificates will be available for both at the close of the meeting,” Wofford said.

The meeting is free and a lunch will be provided.

“A lot of times loggers and such have to pay $50 to $100 for these type of conferences, but we’re providing this as a service,” she said.

To allow organizers to plan for lunch, please register no later than Mon., Dec. 8, by calling the local Alabama Cooperative Extension System office at 334-222-1125, the Alabama Clean Water Partnership with Janet S. Wofford at 334-488-4511 or email at or Lisa Harris at 334-301-9603 or email