Thursday, April 21, 2016

Kershaw County Forest Landowners - Spring Meeting Speaker

Betty Slade, Speaker Jeff Dennis and Rep. Funderburk
Explaining about my Polyphemous Moth photo
The Spring Meeting of the Kershaw Country Forest Landowners Association was held in downtown Camden on Monday April 18. I was asked to be their featured speaker to share my photos and knowledge of Forestry and Wildlife, and to promote my work with LowcountryOutdoors. I have been active in the Tree Farm system and it was at the 2016 S.C. Tree Farm Lobby Day that Mrs. Betty Slade asked me to visit with the Kershaw County landowners. I also was pleased to learn that my friend S.C. Representative Laurie Slade Funderburk, Betty's daughter, was a fellow private landowner who can speak up for Tree Farmers in the S.C. General Assembly.

Mature pine woods are always a good topic for discussion
The 7 p.m. meeting began with a covered dish supper to feed the 35 folks in attendance, ranging from 23-years old and up. Sliced ham, macaroni and cheese, butter beans, sweet potato and a biscuit were washed down with sweet tea and water. After a blessing of the food, I was asked to go through the line first so that I could begin speaking when ready. Thanks to Rep. Funderburk for the kind words during her introduction, and for taking the time to be present, since this was not her only engagement of the night.

Thanks for the Intro Laurie!
My slideshow began with several wildlife-oriented slides in order to ask the audience to try and identify the critters. As we moved through the forestry-related images, the audience participation began coming up with a larger percentage of the correct answers. So my informal conclusion would be that this group really knows about pine tree thinning, hardwood tree clearcutting, site-preparation for re-planting, and also about prescribed fire. As for the wildlife, I urged them to keep a sharp eye out every day around the beginning of May looking for migratory songbirds and other wildlife sightings.

A question and answer period raised questions that continue to perplex private landowners. How do you utilize prescribed fire to enhance your acreage? Conversely, How do you learn to not be wary of any fire at all on the landscape. My answer was that I had studied to become a Certified prescribed Fire Manager and then spent years on the landscape practicing with active fire, and taken field trips to see successful burning results. Another popular question regarding wildlife was about the status of quail populations. My answer involved that I believe that quail can still rebound, and that attending classes focusing on wildlife management and being a naturalist can give insight on these subjects.

To view past blog entries on landowner meetings click ACE BasinS.C. Prescribed Fire CouncilSavannah River PreserveHerbicide - Mayfield Garden Club

To view past blog entries on wildlife click on Field Notes - Birding Journal Observations

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