The Pineland campus of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Home was recently honored as an outstanding Forest Steward by Georgia’s Forest Stewardship Program. Pineland achieved this recognition for exceptional forest management on its 2,500-acre Troup County property.
The Forest Steward designation is recognition for landowners who practice stewardship management to enhance the resources of timber, wildlife, soil, water, recreation and aesthetics through the implementation of a Forest Stewardship plan. That plan is prepared by professional resource managers from the Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
To be eligible for Forest Steward designation, landowners are required to:
• Demonstrate a commitment to the practice of stewardship management;
• Make significant progress towards their primary and secondary management
• Meet minimum guidelines for the management of all natural resources on the property.
Once all requirements are met, the landowner’s accomplishments are reviewed by a team of local resource managers and approved by the state Forest Steward certification team.
“The Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Home at Pineland received its Forest Stewardship plan in 1993,” said Jeff Sibley of the Georgia Forestry Commission. “Since then, landowners have faithfully implemented the plan’s various recommendations, including planting, thinning and prescribed burning in their woodlands; establishing and maintaining wildlife plantings; identifying and protecting areas vital to wildlife habitat; providing for a variety of recreational and educational activities for visitors; and carrying out all of their management activities so as to protect soil and water quality.”
More information about the Forest Stewardship Program is available by contacting the Georgia Forestry Commission at 770-254-7218 or GaTrees.org.