TREASURE TALKS: Alabama Treasure Forest group meets at Clay Hill Farms in Pronto

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Alabama Treasure Forest Association (ATFA) hosted a meeting of landowners from Pike and surrounding counties at John and Carol Dorrill’s Clay Hill Farms at Pronto Thursday night.

Nearly 50 landowners attended the meeting that highlighted multiple-use management of forest resources and the benefits of ATFA membership.

“It’s encouraging to have this many people at our meeting,” said Deborah Huggins Davis, president of the Pike County TREASURE Forest Association, “We appreciate John and Carol hosting the meeting at their farm, which is designated as a TREASURE Forest.”

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Davis said Alabama forests are one of the state’s most valuable resources as well as one of Pike County’s most valuable resources.

“More than 70 percent of the 429,459 acres in Pike County is in timberland,” she said. “The ATFA and the local chapter help landowners by providing education on management, stewardship and sustainability.”

Davis said TREASURE stands for Timber, Recreation, Environment, Aesthetics, Sustainable, Useable Resource.

“TREASURE represents a land management philosophy which stresses multiple use management of the forest resources,” she said.

The dinner meeting included updates from AFTA staff members, Rick Oates and William Green, who discussed the newly redesigned license plate, “I’d Rather Be in the Woods.” Oates and Green also discussed the ATFA affiliation with the Alabama Farmers Federation and forest management certification programs.

Davis said hopes are to generate more interest among landowners in their woodlands becoming a TREASURE Forest.

“Once a forest is certified, the time has been increased so that it does not have to be recertified for 10 years,” she said.

“We have more women now who own timber and we would like for them to be involved in TREASURE Forest. If you love the forest but don’t own timberland, you can join TREASURE Forest as an associate member.

“We encourage anyone who is interested in our forests to become involved.”

For more information about the Pike County TREASURE Forest Association, call Davis at 334-566-3415.