The Georgia Tree Farm Program is proud to announce Buckelew Farm, a 1,554-acre tree farm owned by Jim and Jane Adams near Macon, as the 2016 Georgia Tree Farm of the Year.
Annually, the Georgia Tree Farmer of the Year award recognizes private landowners that have done an exceptional job of forest management on their property and are also actively promoting sustainable forestry. Through this award program, these individuals are honored as leaders in good forestry while their land demonstrates the benefits of good forest management.
Buckelew, formerly known as Big-K, is a property worthy of imitation with well graded roads, profitable timber harvests and flourishing wildlife. The farm has been under the forest management plan, written and overseen by forester Lynn Hooven, for 14 years and has been a certified tree farm for 12 years.
“We are proud to recognize Jim and Jane Adams this year for their stewardship and dedication to their Tree Farm,” Phillip Exley, chair of the Georgia Tree Farm Program, said. “Their land is certainly representative of the program’s dedication promoting the sustainable management of forestland for wood, wildlife, water and recreation.”
The Tree Farm committee met Adams, Hooven, the nominating forester, Chris Howell of the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC), Tree Farm District Chair Doug Deloach, GFC District Forester Troy Clymer and Chris Buchannon at the outdoor classroom to learn of the farm’s history, previous management and future plans.
During the inspection, the property provided the group opportunities to see various stages of pine plantation management, hardwood hillsides, protected streamside management zones, a protected slave cemetery, and a constructed walking path with trees identified by their scientific names. Thinning and prescribed burns have been completed each year since 2003.
Buckelew has hosted the Teacher Conservation Workshop for the last ten years, the Billy Lancaster Youth Camp for six consecutive years and four Boy Scout outings. The Adams actively participate in spreading the word about the benefits of forests.
“This program is something that can help ignite a love for forestry, something they may have never viewed as important,” Jim said in reference to the Teacher Conservation Workshop. “And as a result of the programs that we do with students, teachers and some legislators here, I think they see the importance of forestry.”
The committee also visited the nominated properties of Reese Thompson in Lumber City, Ga., and Rosalie J. Morris in Camden County. Jim and Jane Adams will be recognized at the 2016 Georgia Forestry Association’s Annual Conference & Forestry Expo Jekyll Island in July.
The Georgia Tree Farm Program is part of the American Tree Farm System (ATFS). ATFS is the largest and oldest sustainable woodland system in the United States, internationally recognized, meeting strict third-party certification standards.
For 75 years, ATFS has enhanced the quality of America’s woodlands by giving forest owners the tools they need to keep their forests healthy and productive.
More than half the woods and forest in the United States (441 million acres) – mostly located in the east – is owned and managed by some 11 million private ownerships. Of those, 95 percent are classified as “Family and Individual” ownerships, 4 percent are classified as “Corporate” ownerships, and 1 percent is classified as “Other Private” ownerships.
Stemming the loss of America’s woodlands is vital to our country’s clean water and air, wildlife habitat, recreational activities, and producing the jobs, wood and paper products we all need.
Learn more about the Georgia Tree Farm Program at www.gatreefarm.org →