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Posts Tagged ‘forest management’

Fall changes hit high gear this past week across the entire north Georgia region and things are progressing rapidly. Georgia’s highest elevations are now past peak, and mid to lower elevations are at, or just past peak, so serious leaf peepers need to be making plans this week!

Northeast Georgia:

This week’s passage of another storm system has resulted in the complete thinning of many of the early turners: the early maples, the yellow poplars, the birches and the sourwoods. However, there are still maples just beginning to turn, and many maples are in full color change showing bright reds, yellows and orange. The hickories are also continuing to provide some excellent yellow and bronze shades, and sweetgums are in full color display with yellows, oranges and even some purples! And the oaks have really started contributing with reds, burgundies, yellows and deep bronze hues. And roadside sumac are displaying some electric shades of bright red this week.

Northwest Georgia:

While the northwest corner of the state normally lags in color change by a week or two, things have also hit full speed in this corner of the state. Maples, sourwoods, and hickories continue to provide some great color and the oaks are beginning to kick it up a notch.  However, as with NE GA, this week’s weather event has thinned out many of the early turners, and fall colors continue to provide showers of color with any wind.

Percentage of color change from green to date:  NE GA 90%-100%  NW GA 90%-100%+

Peak?  Peak is occurring across north Georgia now. Depending on elevation, latitude and aspect, peak may have already occurred or will be another few days getting here. However, this week into next week will likely provide the last opportunities to see widespread color change, though we will still have change occurring into mid/late November.

Scenic drives:

Northeast Georgia – Just about any drive through the mid/lower elevations in NE Georgia should provide some good opportunities. Try old US 123 from Toccoa past Currahee Mountain to the Clarkesville/Cornelia area. From Clarkesville try GA 197 north and then turn back towards Helen on GA 356. And the drive from Cleveland to Dahlonega via GA 115 or some of the more rural country roads connecting the two should provide some good color.

North Central/Northwest Georgia – Good Travel Routes include:

Highway 136 over Lookout Mountain; Highway 27 over Taylors Ridge; Highway 52 Fort Mountain overlooking Grassy Mountain; Highway 136 near Burnt Mountain.

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The 2011 Urban Forestry Best Management Practices have come out.  They can be viewed on the American Public Works Association’s website.  The BMPs were broken down into four different categories:

Budgeting and Funding
Staffing
Ordinances, Regulations, and Public Policies
Urban Forest Management Plan

Check them out and see what you can learn about Urban Forestry!

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On Tuesday, May 17, the USDA Forest Service and the Southern Group of State Foresters met to discuss how southern forests will change in the next 50 years.  By 2060, southern forest land is expected to decrease by 23 million acres due to urbanization, bioenergy use, weather patterns, changes in land ownership, and invasive species.

In addition to the decrease in forest land, some other key findings were brought up in the meeting:

  • Population growth will increase runoff and pollution, which will then decrease the amount of clean drinking water and will impact aquatic habitats
  • More numerous and severe wildfires
  • These wildfires will give rise to more problems for the community and forestry wildfire organizations
  • Spread of plant, insect, and disease pests will negatively impact native species, forest productivity, and wildlife
  • More than 1,000 plant and wildlife species of conservation will be threatened by climate change, urbanization, and invasive species

In Fall 2011, the Forest Service will release plans for forest management and conservation in five sub-regions of the south: Piedmont, Coastal Plain, Appalachian/Cumberland, Mississippi Alluvial Valley, and Mid-South.  The regions are located in 13 southern states, which include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Learn more about this project.

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Now is your chance to provide comments on Georgia’s forest management plan. A draft of the Georgia Statewide Forest Resources Assessment and Strategy can be found at GaTrees.org. Public input will be used to help refine the plan and make it more useful for the protection and conservation of Georgia’s working forests.

Know anyone else with an interest in Georgia’s forests? Be sure to share the link to the online draft with friends and colleagues. All comments must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on May 6, 2010.

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