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Alabama field day helps educate hundreds

Thanks to its relationship with Saloom Properties LLC, Conecuh County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is able to educate Alabama landowners about a variety of programs available for their forestland.

Conecuh County SWCD coordinated with Saloom Tree Farms to hold a field day in September that drew more than 300 people on a rainy day.

“It’s very important for us to be able to do that,” District Administrative Coordinator Shelly Hyde said. “It helps people know who we are and where to come. We tell them about our programs and where to find us.”

The field day consisted of several speakers, a tour and a luncheon, including time to ask questions of nearly 30 vendors, including Conecuh County SWCD, Saloom Properties LLC, Longleaf Alliance, Alabama Tree Farm and Alabama Forestry Commission.

New this year was a presentation on how landowners can utilize drone technology for technical aspects like mapping.

Hyde provided information on cogongrass, which afflicts southeastern states and spreads by both seed and root fragmentation. She referenced the SWCD spraying program and the importance of small landowners preventing the cogongrass from spreading.

Conecuh County SWCD and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) hold positions on the Conecuh County Forest Planning Committee, which plans the annual field days and other forestry events, allowing the SWCD to maintain a pulse on what is important to landowners. The Alabama Forestry Commission and Alabama Cooperative Extension Service play a big role in planning and implementing these field days, as well.

Working with Dr. Dalem Saloom, a co-executive with the Saloom Properties LLC, also is beneficial, Hyde said.

“He is very particular about what he puts on his land,” she said. “He’s good about following up on his plans and working with NRCS and us.”

For Saloom, it is about educating the community and ensuring that private landowners are aware of not only the program options available, but how they can be applied and what the results might look like.

“It takes a concerted effort on everyone’s part to make these events productive, educational and a real value to landowners,” Saloom said.

Conecuh County SWCD and Saloom also team up to work with future landowners. The two plan a ‘Classroom in the Forest’ day for fifth-graders in April, allowing students to tour the land and see through different stations the various aspects of a forest and the importance of being good stewards of the land.

“It’s working together for the common good of our natural resources,” Saloom said.

Visit NACD’s Forestry Notes webpage to learn more about stories like this.

Tags: Forestry Notes

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