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Seminar offers options for locked land

Messenger Publisher

As a landowner, Malon Murphy knows first-hand the challenges presented by land-locked hunting land and timberland.

"It’s a huge issue," Murphy said Wednesday. "And when it comes to hunting season, it’s an even bigger issue."

As president of the Pike County TREASURE Forest association, he’s working to do something about it.

That’s why Murphy has helped coordinate two seminars on dealing with the landlocked land issue at the upcoming Pike County Outdoor Festival and Game and Tame Cookoff.

Scheduled form 11:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. Aug. 10, the seminars will feature lawyer Malcom McSwain.

"We’re getting an attorney to tell us about the issue," Murphy said during an organizing committee meeting for the festival. "And he’s vice president of the TREASURE Forest association, so he understands the issue."

The seminar is one of several offered by the Pike County TREASURE Forest Chapter and the Alabama Department of Conservation during the Aug. 10 and 11 festival. The topics range from hunting club management to preparing hunting club leases to pond management and wildlife and food plot management. Additional seminars will focus on hunter safety and training for hunting and retrieving dogs.

The seminars are available free of charge, but participation will be limited to 30 people in each session. Forest Masters participants will receive program credits for attending these seminars, and hand-outs will be provided in each class.

Murphy, who volunteers on the Pike County Chamber of Commerce committee which created this new festival, said the seminar on landlocked land management is likely to be one of the best attended.

The issue deals with providing access to landlocked land ­ in other words, property surrounded by land owned by other individuals.

"During hunting season, everybody who has landlocked land deals with this," Murphy said. "They have to go across somebody else’s land to get to their own."

And that can be a challenge, particularly if surrounding landowners have established food plots or denied easements or access across their property.

The issue applies as well to land management for timber growth. "If they’re going to cut that timber, they need access to get in and get it out," Murphy said.

And that means getting access across someone else’s property.

The intricacies of the legalities involved in the issue will be explored during the seminar, he added.

In addition to the seminars, which will be offered from 9:45 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday and again from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, the Outdoor Festival will offer an archery competition, beginning on Saturday afternoon and concluding Sunday afternoon. Prizes will be awarded in two age categories, 10-16 and 17 and older.

The "Game and Tame Cookoff" begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, and spots are still available for teams who want to test their culinary skills. Prizes will be awarded.

And, more than two dozen merchants and vendors will be on hand with exhibits and booths, providing information on services and products ranging from lawn and garden care to farming, fishing and hunting skills.

The festival is sponsored by Ward’s Yamaha, South Alabama Electric Cooperative and Cooperative Propane. It will be held at the Pike County Cattlemen’s Park on U.S. 231 just south of Troy and admission is one can of food donated to a local food bank.

Anyone wanting more information may contact the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, 334.566.2294.