Gov. Brian and First Lady Marty Kemp and Georgia Department of Natural Resources leaders recognized four corporate forest landowners this week for their stewardship and land management practices benefiting wildlife across the state. Forest Investment Associates, Georgia Power, Weyerhaeuser and PotlatchDeltic were named DNR’s 2024 Forestry for Wildlife partners.
Coordinated by the agency’s Wildlife Resources Division, Forestry for Wildlife Partnership is a voluntary program that has promoted sustainable forestry and wildlife conservation as part of forest management for almost 30 years. Partner projects focus on improvements that sync with Georgia’s Bobwhite Quail Initiative and State Wildlife Action Plan, two statewide strategies.
This year’s partners were introduced at the state Capitol by the governor, first lady and DNR leaders. DNR Commissioner Walter Rabon noted that work by the 2024 Forestry for Wildlife partners benefited wildlife on nearly 1 million acres.
“With more than 90 percent of Georgia lands being held in private ownership, we welcome the opportunity to team up with these private landowners to benefit wildlife,” Rabon said. “We all treasure the wildlife and natural beauty our state offers, but wisely shepherding and protecting those resources is also a tremendous responsibility. Today, we are recognizing this year’s Forestry for Wildlife partners as examples of how forestry and conservation can work together to help meet that responsibility.”
The Wildlife Resources Division honored Georgia Power, Weyerhaeuser, PotlatchDeltic and Forest Investment Associates for:
- Incorporating wildlife management into land-use planning and timber management practices.
- Supplying valuable data for Wildlife Resources Division research projects.
- Providing internal training opportunities for employees on how to blend forestland management with wildlife-friendly practices for multiple natural resource benefits.
- Offering public recreational opportunities on partner forestlands.
- Participating in partnerships with conservation organizations.
- Managing riparian forests for wildlife use and water quality protection.
More specifically, partner projects included:
- Restoring priority habitats such as longleaf and shortleaf pine savannas.
- Supporting research for pollinators, swallow-tailed kites and eastern indigo snakes.
- Protecting and restoring sites for dozens of rare plant species.
- Taking part in Safe Harbor agreements benefiting endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers.
- Managing woodlands to conserve and increase populations of gopher tortoises, Georgia’s state reptile.
- Providing public opportunities to enjoy the outdoors through hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing.
Abundant, healthy woodlands are essential for wildlife. Georgia has more than 24 million acres of forestland, and more than 22 million acres are privately owned. Landowners with at least 10,000 acres can take part in the Forestry for Wildlife Partnership.
For information on recent and ongoing partner projects, see the annual report of DNR’s Wildlife Conservation Section (https://georgiawildlife.com/
All conservation enhancement components and reporting procedures in the Forestry for Wildlife Partnership are compatible with Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc., a voluntary approach in the forest industry to maintain high environmental standards in land management.
FORESTRY FOR WILDLIFE/AT A GLANCE
- Program profile: https://georgiawildlife.com/
- DNR Private Lands initiatives: https://georgiawildlife.com/
- DNR Wildlife Conservation Section annual report: https://georgiawildlife.com/