Officers from the Georgia Forestry Commission recently paid a visit to Bass Pro Shops - Macon. They were on-hand publicizing their spring campaigns. Some of their campaigns are "Dont Move Your Firewood," "Selling Your Timber" and "Invasive Plants."
"Don't Move Your Firewood" is a simple exercise in invasive species control. Anytime you move firewood from one location to another, you are potentially moving insects and disease to a new location, where it may not be currently present. Examples are Dutch elm disease, Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer. Once transported to a new area, these insects/diseases can become established and kill local trees.
There are three ways to help with this initiative:
1. Leave firewood at home - do not transport it to campgrounds or parks.
2. Use firewood from local sources (i.e., buy where you burn)
3. If you have moved firewood, burn all of it before leaving your campsite.
For more detailed information, please visit: www.dontmovefirewood.org.
Selling your timber can be a complex financial matter. There are several key steps to protect past timber growth and future productivity. First, hire a registered consulting forerester to help with the planning and sale of the timber; develop a management plan and plan the pre-harvest. Then, determine the selling method; establish a contract that defines: description of harvest, type of harvest, payment/penalties and logging access. Finally, execute the sale and harvest; monitor the harvest and closeout the with the buyer/logger.
Invasive plant species was another topic the officers discussed with our shoppers. Plants, like animals/insects, are considerd invasive if it is not native to an area and causes economic or environmental harm. Invasive plants have no natural predators, parasites or competitors and will choke out native species. Invasive plant species are spread by planting and through contaminated equipment, soil, pine straw and mulch.
Examples of invasive plant species include autumn olive, Chinese privet, kudzu, tallow tree, cogongrass, mimosa, and English ivy. Herbicides are typically used to control infestations, but most will kill all surrounding vegetation and may harm aquatic systems. Always check with your county extension agent for the best way to combat an invasive plant species. You can also check www.invasive.org.
For more information on the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit their website at: http://www.gfc.state.ga.us. For more information on activities and programs at Bass Pro Shops - Macon, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bpsmacon.