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Newsdesk - 2010

Training facility to memorialize former state forester Stan Adams
October 15, 2010

Stan Adams
Stan Adams
RALEIGH – The N.C. Forest Service will honor the late state forester Stanford M. Adams on Wednesday by dedicating a training center in his memory at Jordan Lake Educational State Forest.

The Stanford M. Adams Forestry Training Center will be dedicated at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the educational state forest in Chatham County.

Adams, known to his friends as Stan, served as the state forester and director of the N.C. Forest Service from 1991-2006. He died Dec. 10, 2009 after a lengthy illness.

"It is an honor and privilege to celebrate and recognize Stan for his wonderful leadership and accomplishments within the NC Forest Service," said Wib Owen, the current state forester.

Adams is best known for helping institute a thorough training regimen and emphasizing classroom and practical training as the most efficient way to learn the skills needed to be a good forester and firefighter. Adams' vision and leadership in 15 years as the state forester helped the division earn recognition as one of the nation's top wildfire fighting agencies.

Prior to leading the state forestry agency, Adams spent 34 years with the U.S. Forest Service and served as a forester, district ranger and forest supervisor during that span. In total, his career lasted more than 49 years. In addition, Adams served in the Navy and retired from military service in 1988 as a captain.

The training center named for Adams was completed earlier this year and has already been used for several trainings by the Forest Service and other agencies. The center is the division's first centrally located facility in North Carolina and can handle up to 100 employees in four separate classrooms. The 3,200-square-foot center is also being used to teach school groups that visit the forest about environmental education.

The center was paid for using receipts from the N.C. Forest Service' sale of timber at Jordan Lake Educational State Forest. Jordan Lake Educational State Forest is one of seven forests where division staff host hands-on learning about wildlife, forestry and the environment primarily geared to children.

For more information, contact Brian R. Haines, the division's public information officer, at (919) 218-9728 or

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Wildfire training simulation to be conducted in Sampson County
October 10, 2010

RALEIGH – In preparation for the upcoming fall fire season, firefighters from the N.C. Forest Service and other agencies will participate in the division's annual fire school in Sampson County from Oct. 11-15, to help train individuals for a variety of incident management and support positions involved in battling large wildfires.

About 35 NCFS employees will be involved in the classroom training at the Clinton Fire Department and Halls Volunteer Fire Department in Sampson County throughout the week. The field exercise will be held on Thursday, Oct. 14, from 8 a.m. until mid-afternoon in the southern portion of Sampson County near the town of Harrells. The area around the field exercise sites will be closed to the public during the training. An incident command post will be set up at the Harrells Volunteer Fire Department training building on Wednesday and Thursday. Fire school will end on Oct. 15 at Halls Volunteer Fire Department, where students and coaches will critique and discuss their experiences from the field exercise.

Firefighters will train with a variety of equipment including four-wheel drive vehicles equipped with water tanks, pumps and hoses; tractor plows; scout planes; and single-engine air tankers, used to dump water or retardants on fire.

The air operations personnel will be operating out of the Kinston Regional Airport and will be working to improve ground-to-air communications in firefighting efforts and water drops on the simulated fire.

The field exercise will include more than 100 personnel from NCFS, emergency management and local volunteer fire departments responding to several simulated wildfires. Officials with the N.C. Forest Service chose this area because it has large blocks of forestland and the potential for large fires. A number of emergency vehicles will be operating in the area during the exercise. Residents should be aware that the increased activity is for training purposes only.

North Carolina experiences approximately 5,000 wildfires each year, most of which are small and manageable with local resources; however, when larger, more complex fires occur, the NCFS assembles one of its incident management teams to organize and direct resources to battle the blaze. Training exercises help agencies prepare as a team and respond quickly and safely in the event of a wildfire. NCFS holds three fire schools each year across the state.

For additional information on this fire school contact:

  • Greg Hicks, Assistant Regional Forester/ Region 2 (School Coordinator) (919) 542-1515
  • Michael Good, District Forester, Fayetteville at (910) 437-2620 or
  • Brian Haines, public information officer for NCFS at (919) 857-4828 or by cell at (919) 218-9728.

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N.C. Forest Service encourages safety during fall fire season
October 8, 2010

RALEIGH – As National Fire Prevention Week comes to a close, the N.C. Forest Service urges North Carolinians to be careful with fire, especially during the fall fire season.

Fall wildfire season typically lasts from mid-October until mid-December. During the fall, people do a lot of yard work that may include burning leaves and yard debris. Sometimes, those yard fires escape and start wildfires. In fact, debris burning is the No. 1 cause of wildfires in North Carolina. There have been 3,205 fires this year that have burned about 13,066 acres – that's an increase of 231 fires and 1,742 more acres burned this year than at this time last year.

Many factors should be considered before burning debris. The state Forest Service urges people to follow these tips to protect property and prevent wildfires:

  • Make sure you have a valid permit. You can obtain a burning permit at any Forest Service office or authorized permitting agent or online at
  • Keep an eye on the weather. Don't burn on dry, windy days.
  • Local fire officials can recommend a safe way to burn debris. Don't pile vegetation on the ground. Instead, it should be placed in a cleared area and contained in a screened receptacle, away from overhead branches and wires.
  • Check local laws on burning debris. Some communities allow burning only during specified hours. Others forbid it entirely.
  • Consider the alternatives to burning. Some types of debris, such as leaves, grass and stubble may be of more value if they are not burned, but used for mulch instead.
  • Household trash should be hauled away to a recycling station. It is illegal to burn anything other than yard debris.
  • Be sure you are fully prepared before burning. To control the fire, you will need a hose, bucket and a shovel for tossing dirt on the fire.
  • Never use kerosene, gasoline, diesel fuel or other flammable liquids to speed debris burning.
  • Stay with your fire until it is completely out.

Studies have shown that adhering to these and other measures can reduce the possibility for wildfires.

For more information, go to, or contact Brian Haines, public information officer with the Forest Service, at (919) 857-4828.

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Winners of urban forestry awards program announced
September 8, 2010

RALEIGH - The N.C. Forest Service is proud to announce the winners of the 2010 North Carolina Urban Forestry Awards program.

The annual program rewards cities, towns, organizations, businesses and individuals for outstanding work to protect and enhance community forests and raise awareness about the importance of urban forestry projects.

The N.C. Forest Service announces the winners for the following award categories:

  • Outstanding Project Grand Award: City of Winston-Salem Community Roots Day
  • Outstanding Project Merit Award: Town of Boone Urban Forest Master Management Plan
  • Outstanding Individual Grand Award: Mr. Verne Deason of Gastonia
  • Outstanding Professional Grand Award: Mr. David Grant of Monroe
  • Outstanding Professional Merit Award: Mr. John Robards of Whiteville
  • Outstanding Tree Board or Urban Forestry Committee Grand Award: Trees Across Raleigh
  • Outstanding Tree Board or Urban Forestry Committee Merit Award: Fort Bragg Arbor Board
  • Tree City of the Year: Town of Wake Forest

Winners were selected by a panel that included N.C. Forest Service’ urban forestry staff and members of the North Carolina Urban Forest Council. Entries were judged for impact, quality, innovation and the degree to which the work serves as a worthy example for others to follow. The winners may also be nominated for the National Arbor Day Awards program.

"I am very pleased with the response we have received to the awards program," says Jennifer Rall, Urban Forestry program assistant and administrator of the awards program. "The judging committee did not have an easy time deciding on winners. All of the nominees showed a true passion and dedication to advancing urban forestry in their communities."

Award recipients will be recognized at the N.C. Urban Forest Council’s 2010 Annual Conference Awards Banquet on Sept. 14 at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel, 421 South Salisbury St., Raleigh.

For more information, contact Jennifer Rall at (919) 857-4849 or download an application from the N.C. Forest Service website,

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Growing North Carolina's urban forests, one acorn at a time
July 23, 2010

RALEIGH – Population growth is impacting North Carolina’s urban forests, and to help address this issue the N.C. Forest Service is co-hosting a conference in September focused on planning and maintaining sustainable green urban environments.

The "Acorns to Mighty Oaks: Growing a Healthy Urban Forest" conference, held in conjunction with the N.C. Urban Forest Council, is scheduled for Sept. 14-16, 2010, in Raleigh. The N.C. Forest Service, the N.C. Urban Forestry Council, N.C. State University and a variety of public interest groups will be participating in this event.

Speakers for the conference include Karen Neill, N.C. Urban Forest Council chairman, who will give the opening address for the two-day conference and one-day pre-conference workshop, and keynote speakers Richard Roti, of the Charlotte Public Tree Fund, and Dr. Kim Coder, of the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources.

More than 200 people are expected to attend and learn about environmental policy and educational issues, as well as the technical tools and resources needed to assure urban forest quality and health throughout North Carolina municipalities. Attendees will include people from local tree boards, elected officials, planning commissions, appearance commissions, tree care companies, the development community, city staff, landscape architects, the general public and other state agencies. They will have the opportunity to meet representatives from arborist services, nonprofit organizations focused on urban and community forestry, urban forestry educators and researchers.

The full agenda and registration information can be found online at; or for more information, call the Forestry and Environmental Outreach Program at N.C. State University at (919) 515-9563. The discounted early registration fee deadline is July 31.

The conference will take place at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel. For more information call Leslie Moorman, Urban Forestry Program coordinator with the N.C. Forest Service, at (919) 857-4842.

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Keep your Independence Day celebration safe with these fire safety tips
June 30, 2010

RALEIGH – Officials with the state Forest Service encourage people to celebrate the Independence Day weekend by viewing public fireworks displays rather than risk setting wildfires with their own fireworks.

Many wildfires that occur during this time of the year start due to the careless use of fireworks such as sparklers, fountains, glow worms, smoke devices, trick noisemakers and other Class C fireworks.

Each year, wildfires in North Carolina endanger peoples’ lives, destroy millions of dollars worth of timber and property, and damage the environment.

If people take the risk of using their own fireworks, here are some simple ways to help keep the holiday safe:

  • Don’t use fireworks such as ground spinners, firecrackers, round spinners, Roman candles, bottle rockets and mortars, which are not legal in North Carolina.
  • Do not use fireworks near woods or any combustible material.
  • Make sure fireworks are always used with adult supervision.
  • Follow the instructions provided with the fireworks.
  • Do not use under the influence of alcohol.
  • Always use in a large, open, preferably paved, area or near a body of water.
  • Have a rake or shovel as well as bucket or two of water on hand.
  • Monitor the area for several hours after use.

An increased number of homes are being built in North Carolina’s wooded areas, and officials with the N.C. Forest Service stress the need to take extra precautions to prevent wildfires in residential areas. In addition to taking measures to use fireworks safely, campfires or grills should never be left unattended and should never be started with gasoline. It is also important when disposing of ashes to never put them in a paper bag or other flammable container, but to instead place them in an outside metal container or bury them in mineral soil in your garden; if you live in an area with organic soils, however, keep in mind that peat can catch fire. Never store ashes in your garage, on your deck or in a wooded area. Double-check the ashes and coals before throwing them away to make sure they won’t start a fire.

For more information, contact your county ranger or Brian R. Haines, public information officer, at (919) 857-4828. For more information on fire safety, visit or

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State agency seeking nominations for 2010 urban forestry awards
June 1, 2010

RALEIGH - The N.C. Forest Service is seeking nominations for its annual urban forestry awards, which honor people, communities and groups for their efforts to protect, enhance and educate others about community forests.

Nominations for the 2010 North Carolina Urban Forestry Awards are due by 5 p.m. June 30. Award recipients will be recognized at the N.C. Urban Forest Council’s 2010 Annual Conference Awards Banquet on Sept. 14 at the Sheraton Hotel, 421 South Salisbury St., Raleigh.

The awards recognize individuals, organizations, corporations and institutions whose work during the past three years has set an example of excellence in urban and community forestry, resulting in significant enhancement of the urban forest. The winners may also be nominated for the National Arbor Day Awards program. Awards for the national program are presented during a ceremony held each April in Nebraska.

The state Forest Service will accept nominations for the following award categories:

  • Outstanding Tree Board or Urban Forestry Committee
  • Outstanding Project
  • Outstanding Individual
  • Outstanding Professional
  • Tree City of the Year

Winners will be judged by a panel comprised of N.C. Forest Service’ urban forestry staff and selected North Carolina Urban Forest Council members. Entries will be judged for impact, quality, innovation and the degree to which the work serves as a worthy example for others to follow.

The N.C. Urban Forestry Council is a nonprofit organization that promotes and educates elected officials, decision-makers and the public about the benefits of urban forest management and healthy community forests. They also serve as a resource for networking and discussing urban forestry, while supporting communities in their urban forest management efforts. To learn more, visit them online at

For more information about the North Carolina Urban Forestry Awards Program, please visit our website at or contact Jennifer Rall at (919) 857-4849 or

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State officials training in airborne firefighting system
April 27, 2010

RALEIGH – North Carolina forestry officials have joined other state, federal and local firefighters for training this week on how to respond to multiple wildfires using one of the world’s largest firefighting aircraft.

Nearly 400 staff with firefighting agencies, including the N.C. Forest Service, are at the South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center in Greenville this week for the annual Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System, or MAFFS, training. The training started Monday and ends Saturday.

Crews will train by practicing what it would be like to use a MAFFS unit, which is equipment that is placed aboard a military Lockheed C-130 aircraft and is capable of dropping up to 3,000 gallons of retardant or water on wildfires. To illustrate the point for reporters and others, crews will drop water twice during a media event Thursday at the Greenville aviation center. During the training, they will also make drops on six targets in national forests in North and South Carolina as well as Georgia.

Many states have aircraft for battling wildfires. However, using the MAFFS units enhances firefighters’ abilities, especially when resources are limited due to an increase in fires. Trained military units with the MAFFS equipment are activated to supplement the civilian or government aircraft programs during periods of high wildfire activity. North Carolina is one of three states that can activate a MAFFS unit for its fires. Neighboring states can request the MAFFS units through the federal dispatch system.

MAFFS support specialists and aviators from the N.C. Forest Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and CAL FIRE will be leading the weeklong event that includes classroom, flight training and recertification for military flight crews, civilian lead plane pilots and support personnel.

Military personnel involved in the training include air and ground personnel from the 153rd Airlift Wing of the Wyoming Air National Guard, the 145th Air Wing of the North Carolina Air National Guard based in Charlotte, the 146th Air Wing of the California Air National Guard and the 302nd Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserves from Colorado Springs.

Congress established the MAFFS program in the early 1970s to support wildfire fighting through an agreement with the U.S. Forest service. The military aircraft are requested by the National Interagency Fire Center and activated through the U.S. Northern Command, based on an agreement with the Department of Defense. A media event has been scheduled from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday. Reporters and photographers will receive a safety briefing and information about MAFFS. This will be followed by two test drops and an opportunity for the media to get a close up view of the C-130 aircraft that houses the MAFFS unit.

Please contact Lt. Col. Rose Dunlap at (980) 721-4032 or Lynn Ballard at (208) 313-7737 for access requirements. To learn more about the N.C. Forest Service’ involvement, call Diane Steltz, acting public information officer at the training, at (864) 299-5619 or (864) 299-5784.

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The N.C. Forest Service launches team to prevent wildfires
April 13, 2010

RALEIGH - State forestry officials today are launching a team of wildfire prevention staff to reinforce their message that dry, windy weather has made it unsafe to conduct open burning in North Carolina.

The N.C. Forest Service continues to discourage people statewide from open burning but is sending a Fire Prevention Education Team to western North Carolina, where weather conditions are most conducive to fire activity.

The team, made up of three fire prevention specialists in the state agency, will be going into mountain communities to educate residents on the dangers of careless debris burning, which remains the No. 1 cause of wildfires in the state.

The team will preach fire prevention by talking to the media and people in communities about not burning leaves, twigs and other vegetation. They will also provide residents with information about Community Wildfire Protection Plans, or actions they can take to reduce hazards around their homes should a wildfire start and how those community plans can help crews fight fires. The objective is to assess communities so they can put in place techniques outlined in Firewise, a program that teaches people how using landscaping and fire-resistant building materials can prevent wildfires from damaging homes.

Historically, North Carolina's busiest fire season starts in March and ends in June - a time when many people decide to burn yard vegetation. It is always illegal to burn garbage, tires and other man-made materials. State and local firefighters have been busy, as the N.C. Forest Service reports more than 1,600 wildfires so far in 2010. As of Tuesday, those fires had burned 6,565 acres and destroyed five homes and 79 other structures.

Interested in knowing more? Check out the Forest Service' Web site,, or contact Brian Haines, public information officer with the N.C. Forest Service, at (919) 218-9728. To reach the fire prevention team, call (919) 218-3179. More information about Firewise can be found at

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State officials discouraging outdoor burning due to dry, windy weather
April 6, 2010

RALEIGH - The N.C. Forest Service is discouraging people from outdoor burning for the next few days as weather officials have issued warnings about dangerous fire conditions for almost all of North Carolina.

The National Weather Service is predicting breezy southwest winds coupled with near-record warmth and relatively dry conditions. Those conditions have created high probability for wildfires. Meteorologists are also forecasting the possibility of strong thunderstorms Thursday night through the pre-dawn hours of Friday as a cold front approaches from the west. Wind gusts associated with these storms may reach 45 mph, which can cause a fire to spread quickly.

Careless burning of leaves, twigs and other outdoor debris is the No. 1 cause of wildfires in North Carolina.

Weather in recent weeks has dried downed trees and created conditions that could be dangerous for outdoor burning. Historically, North Carolina’s busiest fire season starts in March and ends in June – a time when many people decide to burn yard debris.

This year, 1,329 wildfires have burned 5,045 acres in North Carolina. In recent days, state and local firefighters battled two wildfires in Robeson County that combined to burn 450 acres plus a 160-acre fire in Bladen County and a 40-acre fire at Morrow Mountain State Park in Stanly County.

For more information on preventing wildfires, go to, or contact Brian Haines, public information officer with the N.C. Forest Service, at (919) 857-4828.

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Woodland steward series expands statewide
March 31, 2010

RALEIGH – A team of land management experts from federal and state agencies, universities and the private sector are offering a series of workshops to woodland owners interested in managing their land and developing an understanding of the basic principles of woodland stewardship.

The N.C. Forest Service is once again joining forces with the Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association, the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, the U.S. Forest Service Cradle of Forestry in America and additional partners to host the Woodland Steward Series through the Biltmore Forest School.

The workshop series will consist of four 1.5 day sessions led by natural resource and land management specialists, including both hands-on activities in the field and instruction in the classroom. The courses include:

  • Discovering Your Land: Basic Land Management Skills introduces participants to setting goals and objectives, understanding local wildlife, and basic skills such as map and compass use, tree identification and soil sampling. This workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 9 and from 9 a.m. to noon April 10 at Dan Nicholas Park in Salisbury.
  • Native Landscaping & Water Management focuses on designing with and planting native plants, urban forestry techniques, stormwater best management practices and other water features such as ponds and streams. This workshop will be held at the N.C. Zoological Park in Asheboro from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 23 and from 9 a.m. to noon April 24.
  • Woodscaping Your Woodlands & Firewise Management gives an overview of managing forest land, insects and diseases, secondary forest products, and the protection of home and property by becoming Firewise. This workshop will be held at Jordan Lake Educational State Forest near Chapel Hill from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 7 and from 9 a.m. to noon May 8.
  • Stewardship, Recreation, & Liability covers the basics of land ownership liability, planning trails, finalizing goals and applying new knowledge and skills in the field. This workshop will be held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 21 and from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. May 22 at Montgomery Community College in Troy.

Participants in the workshops are required to register and attendance in at least three of the four workshops is required to graduate. The cost for each workshop is $50 per participant and $25 per spouse or family member. One set of educational materials is provided for the family. Lunch will be provided on the first day of each workshop.

Credit toward N.C. Environmental Education Certification is available, as well as CEU credits. The workshops will also count as electives toward Asheville Board of Realtors ECO Certification.

For more information and registration materials, visit or contact Amy Garascia, program coordinator, at or (828) 884-5713 ext. 26.

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State offers safety tips for post-storm tree inspections
March 29, 2010

RALEIGH – The N.C. Forest Service is encouraging people to be safe by inspecting their trees for damage after last night's storm.

State emergency management officials are reporting that severe storms brought heavy rain, hail, damaging winds, flooding and tornadoes to North Carolina Sunday evening.

Although your trees may look severely damaged, restorative pruning and care may increase the chance of your trees regaining their original health and beauty. If the basic structure of your trees is intact, it may be in your best interest to save the tree.

Damaged trees should be inspected by a tree care professional. Hiring a reputable tree care service with a certified arborist is the best solution to professionally restore, maintain and prevent future damage to your trees.

If you choose to do the clean up yourself, you should work with a partner, particularly when operating equipment such as chainsaws. If you are not familiar with chainsaws, you should consult a professional for your tree work. If you use a chain saw, follow these guidelines:

  • Work only on the ground and always use personal protective equipment such as a hard hat, eye protection, chainsaw chaps and appropriate footwear.
  • Keep both hands on the chainsaw handle at all times.
  • Use caution when cutting with the tip of the chainsaw to avoid kickback.
  • Cut at waist level or below.
  • Before any work begins, survey the site for hazards such as downed electrical wires, leaning trees or broken limbs hanging in the canopy.
  • If electrical wires are an issue, do not attempt the tree work. Contact your utility company and let them remove the electrical wires.

Tree topping is not a viable solution to storm damage recovery or prevention. The sprouts that occur after topping are fast-growing, weakly-attached branches that are more likely to break off in a future storm.

Most tree work should be done only by those trained and equipped to work safely in trees. Arborists are knowledgeable about the needs of trees and are trained and equipped to provide proper care. Local tree companies will often note their professional affiliation in their yellow pages advertisement. To learn more about certified arborists in your area, visit The International Society of Arboriculture at , the American Society of Consulting Arborists at , or the Tree Care Industry Association at

For advice on proper tree care and tree assessment following a storm, contact your county Forest Service office. You can also find more information by logging on to and following the links to "Why Hire an Arborist" under the Urban and Community Forestry heading.

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Celebrate Arbor Day on friday by planting a tree
March 16, 2010

RALEIGH – The N.C. Forest Service is encouraging all North Carolinians to plant a tree on Friday, which is Arbor Day in the Tar Heel State.

Arbor Day is an opportunity to celebrate trees because they make communities better. Trees keep the air and water clean, provide shade, save energy, reduce carbon dioxide and look good. Trees also filter rainfall and reduce the amount of sediment and other pollutants entering waterways and drinking water sources.

Residents in North Carolina should consider planting native trees. Native plants typically require less maintenance because they are suited to the local soils and climate. Remember to plant trees in an appropriate and safe location. Before you plant a tree, know what it looks like at maturity and its site requirements such as height, crown spread and proximity to electrical wires and buildings. When planting a tree, the available planting space above and below ground is crucial to its survival.

The N.C. Forest Service collects seeds, grows and sells about 50 different native North Carolina tree species. This year, the agency collected the largest amount of seeds in its nursery program's history with 77,265 pounds of seeds and 1,183 bushels of walnuts collected. You can order seedlings through the N.C. Forest Service online at, by phone at (888) NC-TREES, at any division office, or from one of the agency's free catalogs. The catalogs can be found at a county ranger's office.

The division also will be celebrating with the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at N.C. State University at the university's Arbor Day Celebration from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. March 27 on the Raleigh campus. Events include a tree seedling give-away, a plant adoption center for youth as well as presentations from faculty and graduate students.

During the celebration at N.C. State University, this year's 2010 N.C. Arbor Day Poster contest winner Adrian Dailey, a fifth grader from Village Christian Academy in Fayetteville, will receive a framed copy of her poster depicting this year's theme "Trees are Terrific...and Energy Wise." She also will receive a $250 savings bond donated by the N.C. Forestry Association. Her teacher, Julia Aber, will receive a framed copy of the poster and a $200 check from Duke Energy. The prizes will be awarded at noon. All the poster contest entries will be on display. For a schedule, please visit

The official North Carolina Arbor Day is celebrated on the first Friday after March 15. National Arbor Day is on the last Friday in April. Municipalities may celebrate Arbor Day at different times, depending on the best time of the year to plant trees in that area.

To find out more about the benefits of trees, visit The International Society of Arboriculture Web site at, or contact Leslie Moorman, the state's Urban Forestry Program coordinator, at (919) 857-4842. For information on indigenous plants and trees, check out N.C. State University's Web page "Going Native" at

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Prescribed fire awareness week
February 9, 2010

Raleigh – Gov. Beverly Perdue has proclaimed Feb. 7-13 as "Prescribed Fire Awareness Week," adding North Carolina to a handful of other states that have such recognition.

"Prescribed fire is an important management tool for forests and wildlife and an effective practice for reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire throughout North Carolina's 18 million acres of forestlands." said Wib Owen, N.C. State Forester.

A prescribed fire is a planned fire conducted to achieve specific natural resource objectives. Fueled by grass, leaves, pine straw, and other forest debris, low-intensity fires once naturally occurred every few years in many fire-adapted ecosystems across North Carolina. These fires reduced buildup of dangerous fuel loads, such as pine straw, sticks, and other forest litter that could otherwise put people and communities in jeopardy from wildfire. They also reduced competition from invading species and added nutrients back into the soil allowing native plants and animals to thrive. Unburned forests can experience an unnatural buildup of shrubs and dead wood, endangering native plants and animals due to lack of food and habitat needed for them to exist.

Prescribed fire is a safe forest management tool used for native fire adapted ecosystems and fire dependent species. Burning the same tract of land every three to seven years reduces the buildup of hazardous fuel, decreasing the chance of severe wildfire. Without these recurrent burns, forest fuel buildup can lead to large and dangerous wildfires. The smoke from wildfires can also adversely impact air quality in communities close by and far away as occurred during the 40,000 acre Evans Road wildfire in 2008.

Prescribed burn managers or burn bosses as they are commonly referred to receive extensive training to ensure that they are careful to protect surrounding communities and the land they are managing. Burn bosses create a burn plan for the fire, which includes smoke management details, fire control measures, acceptable fuel moisture and weather parameters, and the necessary equipment and personnel required to safely conduct the burn. The plan also details how the forestlands and ecosystem will benefit from the fire.

For more information on Prescribed Fire Awareness Week, contact the N.C. Prescribed Fire Council at or call Cynthia Van Der Wiele at 919-545-8394.

For more detailed information on prescribed fire, go to the N.C Forest Service web site at:

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Cleveland County resident recognized for land stewardship
January 8, 2010

RALEIGH – A Cleveland County resident has been honored for land stewardship for her work with local forestry officials to manage her 164-acre farm for timber and wildlife.

Lynda Beam worked with division personnel to draft a plan for how to better manage a mix of hardwoods and softwoods with streams and a pond on her farm in Casar. Beam received a plaque for stewardship certification from N.C. Forest Service' Cleveland County Ranger Travis Shidal.

A forest stewardship plan is made by agency and resource professionals and gives landowners recommendations that focus on practical modifications of existing conditions rather than costly investment. The landowner decides which activities to pursue based on a time schedule that is compatible with her resources and ability to conduct the work.

The forest stewardship program helps landowners realize the objective of managing their forests for the benefits they desire by providing technical assistance in developing a stewardship management plan. The voluntary program recognizes the landowner's achievements in promoting total forest resource management. The forest stewardship plan is based on the landowner's objectives, and activities are scheduled to enhance the forest for wildlife, soil and water quality, timber production, recreational opportunities, and natural beauty.

For Beam, the plan calls for harvesting 29 acres of 21-year-old white pines in nine years.

In 2000, southern pine beetles had made a home in 28 acres of 40-year-old loblolly pine. The infested trees were cut along with a sufficient buffer. The remaining trees are now 50 years old and ready to be harvested, along with 8.2 acres of hardwoods. Another 30.6 acres of 15-to-20-year-old loblolly and shortleaf pines are also scheduled for commercial thinning to rid the forestland of the diseased and poorly formed pines, red maples and sweetgums, according to Beam's stewardship plan.

To learn more about the N.C. Forest Stewardship Program log onto and follow the links under "Managing Your Forest" or call your local county ranger's office for more information.

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This page updated: Monday, November 14, 2016 15:41

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