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‘Know Your Land’ workshop successful

The “Know Your Land” workshop on Aug. 21 exceeded all expectations in that it was the most well attended of the four annual workshops designed specifically for women forest landowners and other interested landowners.

“We were very excited by the large number of participants and the presenters were all outstanding,” said Claire Murphy, president of the Pike County Chapter of the Alabama TREASURE Forest Association.

Murphy and her husband, Malon, own Autumnwood Farm, event sponsor along with the Pike County Chapter of the Alabama TREASURE Forest Association.

Alabama Forester Linda Casey led the meeting with an update on the reorganization of the Alabama Forestry Commission and its emphasis on establishing working partnerships with other agencies and the individual forest owners.

“The Alabama Forestry Commission is focusing on landowners who are not aware of the services available, who haven’t participated in cost share programs or who need forest management assistance from a forester and those underserved landowners with small acreage, women and minorities,” Murphy said. “The Commission encourages individuals to take ownership in learning what programs are out there that will help them meet their goals and objectives for their forestland.”

Teresa Paglione, a general archeologist with NRCS, showed photographs of dig sites and artifacts to demonstrate what landowners might find on their land.

“Teresa has gone to many sites, under government programs, to make assessments of the land,” Murphy said. “She can visit any landowners as long as they are participating in a government program such as CRP.”

Randall Thompson, a chapter member, spoke about the Hunting Lease Network (HLN).

“The HLN is an internet-based service for landowners, hunters and anglers to use to arrive at a fair hunting or fishing lease arrangement,” Murphy said. “Also, the landowner, by posting his or her land on this site, can make the sporting public aware of their interest in leasing the hunting or fishing rights to their property.”

Walt Steil, with Environmental Precision Surveying, answered questions concerning monuments, deeds and solving disputes.

“Some of the participants were not aware of the original surveys in the 1800s and how these surveys were conducted,” Murphy said. “As Walt stated, surveying is not an exact science as some people think it is and want it to be.”

Each annual workshop features a female landowner who shares her story of land ownership. Hilda Thomas of Troy was this year’s guest speaker.

“Hilda spoke about the land she acquired from her mother’s side of the family,” Murphy said. “Some of the land has been in the family for five generations. The primary goal for her land involves trees and conservation. She and her husband are working to improve what God has given them.”

Murphy said she was more than pleased with the workshop attendance, the excellent presentations and the positive comments from the participants.

“Of course, I have to thank our executive board for the giving of their time, especially Nelda Price, Keith Roling and Deborah Davis,” she said.

For more information about the Pike County Chapter of ATFA, call Murphy at 334-566-1213.