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Forestry executive guest at annual meeting

By By Steve Strong / area horticulture extension agent
Oct. 2, 2002
The Lauderdale County Forestry Association is hosting its annual gathering at 7 p.m. Oct. 17 in Meridian at the Mississippi State University-Meridian Campus auditorium.
The county forestry association invites the public to attend a special program for forest landowners, with guest speaker Bruce Alt, executive vice president of the Mississippi Forestry Association.
Alt has provided leadership for the state association the past two years, working closely with the state Legislature to ensure the rights of private landowners, loggers and other organizations involved in the Mississippi timber industry.
The Mississippi Forestry Association is the largest nonprofit group of forest landowners in the state, with a majority of its members affiliated with county forestry associations like Lauderdale.
The Lauderdale County Forestry Association and other active county programs help support the efforts of the state association. By joining with the state association, our local county groups have a stronger voice for better education and legislation and for the tree farmers who fuel a large part of our state's economy.
Forest production is second only to poultry as Mississippi's leading agricultural commodity, and it remains our primary renewable resource. It is vital for individual property owners (who control a majority of more than 70 percent of the forestland in Lauderdale and nearby counties) to take an active role in the forestry decision-making process.
The Lauderdale County Forestry Association provides one of the best ways for landowners to learn more about managing their own forestland, and to help ensure that private timber production remains a viable income for their family's future.
The county association is also a nonprofit group, with a membership of nearly 300 timber growers and industry professionals that meets regularly to discuss forest management issues and plan educational programs.
Landowner short courses, field days and other programs are sponsored through the county MSU Extension Service; county association members receive updated mailings about local forestry events they can attend.
Dues are just $10 per year for county membership; state association dues are only an extra $40 annually. There is no better investment in your timberland than becoming more informed through involvement in these local organizations.
Nearly every county in East Mississippi has an active county forestry association, and they each have several local events planned, like the Clarke County Wildlife and Forestry Festival this weekend.
Call 776-3951 for more details about this family event held in Quitman, which features a chain saw carving competition and other fun stuff.
Call the Lauderdale County Extension office at 482-9764 to preregister for the Oct. 17 annual meeting; the deadline to sign-up is Oct. 14.
For other forestry programs around the state, and free online forestry publications, tap into the MSU Extension Web site at http://www.msucares.com.
More information about the Mississippi Forestry Association and its annual conference Oct. 22-24 in Jackson is available at http://msforestry.net or (601) 354-4936.