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2019 Annual Forest Stewardship Meeting

On Saturday, August 3, 2019, the N.C. Forest Service Program held its 2019 North Carolina Stewardship Forestry Recognition Program and Annual Awards Meeting in Pittsboro, NC. A landowner from each of the three North Carolina Regions, a NCFS Forester and one Partner were recognized as 2019 Outstanding Woodland Stewards (OWLS) for their work in to enhance forests they managed for wildlife, soil and water quality, timber production, recreational opportunities and natural beauty.

Meeting participants had the opportunity to speak with natural resource professionals about becoming good stewards of their land. Eighty-five forest landowners and natural resource professionals attended the meeting.

The North Carolina Forest Stewardship Program is a cooperative effort to help landowners realize the objective of managing their forests for the benefits they desire. The program is resource management.

Funding for the event was provided by the USDA Forest Service and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Learn more about the N.C. Forest Stewardship Program

Regional Outstanding Woodland Stewards (OWLS)

Landowner Thomas J. Livingston of Craven County was recognized as the 2019 Coastal Region Outstanding Woodland Steward. Craven County Ranger, Greg Riggs accepted the award on his behalf at the meeting and presented it to him later in the week.

Landowners John and Linda Sigmon of Granville County were recognized as the 2019 Piedmont Region Outstanding Woodland Stewards. Granville County Ranger, Rob Montague commented on the positive effects the Sigmons had on the Granville forestry community.

Landowners James and John Phillips of Avery County were recognized as the 2019 Mountain Region Outstanding Woodland Stewards. NCFS District 2 Service Forester, Joe Franklin commented on the undertakings the brothers had accomplished while following their Forest Stewardship Plan.

N.C. Forest Service Steward

NCFS District 11 Service Forester, Rob Roberson is the N.C. Forest Service 2019 Outstanding Forest Steward. Rob was warmly nominated by Wake County Ranger, Chris Frey and NCFS District 11 Forester, Jennifer Roach.

Partnering Organizations

Orange County Water and Sewer Authority (AWASA), based in Chapel Hill, NC is the 2019 Forest Stewardship Agency Partner of the Year. Ruth Rouse, Planning and Development Manager for OWASA, and Consulting Forester, Dave Halley, accepted the award on behalf of OWASA.

Mark Megalos, Extension Forestry Specialist and meeting moderator opened the meeting and introduced the lineup of speakers.

Les Hunter, Forest Stewardship Coordinator was first up to speak and gave a brief history of the N.C Forest Stewardship Program and how it assisted the forest landowner to have a multiple-use plan to achieve their objectives by providing access to a broad range of natural resource professionals geared towards helping landowners.

Lynn Lewis, USFS Landowner Assistance Program Manager was a special guest from Atlanta, GA and spoke on the overall benefits of the Forest Stewardship Program to landowners on the national level.

Sam Cook, Executive Director of Forest Assets at N.C. State University College of Natural Resources and keynote speaker gave an engaging presentation on the economics of owing forest land. He explained how landowners benefit having a forest management plan as a business plan to economically address and achieve their management objectives.

Forest Landowners and this year’s Piedmont Region OWLS, John and Linda Sigmon spoke on how they realized the importance of restoration and conservation from the time they purchased their farm and 19th century farmhouse in Granville County. They rely on several agencies to help them manage their land responsibly and sustainably.

Ruth Rouse and David Halley spoke of land management under the scrutiny of the OWASA board of directors while balancing the challenges of public perception. Together they demonstrated that it was possible while keeping an ecologically friendly and sustainable approach to forest management.

Aimee Tomcho, Audubon North Carolina Conservation Biologist presented the topic of Stewarding Your Forest with Birds in Mind. She discussed the needs of good forest management practices that provided edge effects, tree height stratification and spacing that was conducive to good bird habitat. Examples of local bird songs and sightings were demonstrated.

Eric Galamb, Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Manager for the N.C. Department of Agriculture’s Division of Soil and Water Conservation presented the topic of CREP – An Overlooked Tool in Your Toolbox. The program provides many opportunities to cost-share land management activities to help landowners implement and achieve their land management objectives.

Todd Ewing and John Carpenter with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission discussed Threatened and Endangered Species on Private Lands. What to look for and who to call was very helpful information to landowners.

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