Coweta forest service annual report

Thu, 08/21/2008 - 3:04pm
By: Ben Nelms

They accomplish a lot with only a few staff. That was the message Aug. 19 as Coweta/South Fulton Forestry Unit Chief Ranger Terry Quigley gave his annual report of forestry unit activities to Coweta County commissioners.

Quigley noted that, with a total of four rangers, the service handles fire suppression activities, burning operations, food plot and roadwork projects, rural fire defense, forest management, reforestation and information and education projects.

Quigley said Coweta in the past year had 37 fires from a variety of reasons that burned 117.25 acres, with an average of 3.17 acres burned per fire.

“That number is low and is getting lower,” Quigley said, comparing the county to some others around the state.

Coweta/South Fulton rangers plowed 643 miles of fire breaks for 64 landowners during the year and conducted or assisted in 111 controlled burns on 3,410 acres.

“These acres won’t burn the next time there is a lightning strike,” Quigley said.

Rangers also issued 10,468 burn permits, with only 34 of those getting out of hand, Quigley said.

In what might be a surprise to some, the forestry service during the 2007-2008 planting season sold 77,680 pine and hardwood seedlings as a part of the reforestation effort. Of that total, 69,500 were species of pine while 8,180 were of a variety of hardwood species such as cedar, poplar, chestnut, oaks, persimmon and crepe myrtle.

“We sell the trees at a good price,” Quigley said, explaining that 1,000 seedlings for less than $40. Down from some previous years, Quigley said the forestry service usually sells around 300,000 seedling per year.

And as part of its community outreach, the local forestry service conducted 27 forestry education programs for 17,357 students and adults and distributed 26,187 brochures, literature, poster and promotional materials.

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