Landowners got a first-hand look at how good forest management enhances Georgia’s woods, water, wildlife and recreation recently at a special event in Madison County. The Georgia Forestry Commission and Georgia Tree Farm Program put on a field day at “Plantation Partners” Tree Farm to highlight the resources available that support sustainable forestry.

“The American Tree Farm program works to give people the tools they need to be effective stewards of America’s forests,” said Georgia Tree Farm Program Administrator Frank Green. “It was great to see so many passionate landowners taking advantage of this learning opportunity on one of Georgia’s finest tree farms.”

Georgia Tree Farm Program State Chair Jim McGurn kicked off the May 16 occasion. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp welcomed visitors to Plantation Partners Tree Farm, which he co-owns and takes an active part in managing. At stations throughout the property, participants got an up close look at methods being used to protect waterways, and enhance wildlife and forest health. A shooting sports demonstration by Elbert County Gun Club underscored the role recreation plays in forest stewardship. Industry partners making field day presentations included American Tree Farm Program, Quality Deer Management Association, Firewise, Georgia Forestry Association, NRCS, Stuckey Timberlands for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and TimberMart-South.

“Education is the bedrock of forest sustainability,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Chuck Williams, “and it’s one of the core missions of the Georgia Forestry Commission. Landowner events such as this are huge opportunities for learning from the experts, learning from each other and learning from the land.”

The American Tree Farm System is one of the systems recognized by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, which provides established mechanisms for third-party verification of sustainable forest management. Georgia Tree Farm representatives shared information at the field day about the national effort underway to increase landowner participation in the American Tree Farm System.

“The Tree Farm sign is a symbol of true stewardship for the land,” said Green. “It says these landowners have the tools and support they need to keep their woods thriving for generations to come. These landowners are dedicated to sustaining America’s forests, right here in Georgia.”

To learn more about Georgia Tree Farm and the American Tree Farm System, go to