Lake Martin Branch (Ala.) Offers Habitat Tour

Participants in the Lake Martin Branch's Habitat Tour

The Lake Martin Branch partnered with the Tallapoosa County Treasure Forest Association to offer a Timber and Wildlife Habitat Tour at Jerry and Genelle Brown’s farm near Hackneyville. The focus of the tour was to show how planting supplemental crops like fruit trees, thinning stands of timber, prescribed burning and planting native warm season grasses can enhance wildlife habitat and, in some cases, timber production.

To demonstrate these processes, the Branch transported participants to multiple sites. At each site, an expert was there to explain a different habitat improvement technique. Allen Deese talked to the group about the value of planting fruit trees for wildlife. Next, Kyle Marable, a biologist working with the Alabama Wildlife Federation, explained the benefits and life history of growing longleaf pines. Marable also talked about planting native warm season grasses and creating open spaces to allow forbs and other nutritious plants to grow for browse. At the last site, Ted Devos explained the differences in a couple of areas that were recently burned. The tour ended with a catered meal.

The overall goal of the tour was to show landowners how easily cost-effective measures could be used to enhance wildlife habitat through timber management and prescribed burning. Many of the native plants so useful to wildlife are already out there just waiting for a little nudge to grow.