Alabama Cougars: Sorting Fact From Fiction

Across the eastern united states, there are frequently reports of cougar sightings in areas where the big cat is thought to no longer exist. Alabama is no different, and wildlife officials regularly receive calls and e-mails about cougars seen in the state. However, there has not been a reliable, verified sighting in Alabama in over 50 years. is there really a population of these big cats roaming the wilderness of Alabama, or is it all just a myth?

Beaver Control in Alabama

In the 1930s, beaver population in Alabama were reduced to about 500 animals as a result of trapping, hunting, and the demand for fur. Stocking of beaver in suitable habitats, low fur prices, and a reduction in trapping presure have resulted in an increased beaver population throughout the Southeast. Today, beaver are plentiful in Alabama and beaver swamps may be seen even in suburban areas of the state.

Estimating Land Value for Growing Timber on Agricultural Land

Due to the lack of rain during the growing seasons and a reduction in both price and number of pounds of quota in recent years, many peanut and cotton farmers across the state (especially in southeast Alabama) have been forced to look for areas in which to cut costs and ways to diversify their operations. Some landowners are considering growing timber on some of their lands.

Forest Roads and Construction of Associated Water Diversion Devices

The importance of forest roads and consideration of their proper design is frequently neglected by forest landowners. Some forests such as wilderness areas and other forests managed on a custodial management regime do not permit or require road access. But, most forest landowners like to drive into or through their forest. In many cases, existing roads were located and constructed many decades ago, and the landowners feel no cause for concern. But, many of these old roads are improperly located and constructed. Roads having obvious maintenance and environmental problems should be evaluated for usability and closed or relocated as necessary.

Here’s to Your Health… Plant a Tree!

Looking for another reason to promote urban forestry in your community or neighborhood? How about encouraging urban forestry activities as a way of improving peoples’ health?

Identification of Snakes in Alabama for Forest Workers

As a forest worker in the southeast, you are likely to encounter a variety of wildlife while on the job. in Alabama, you may encounter deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, and coyotes. Another species of wildlife that you may encounter in the forest is snakes. The ability to identify snakes while in the forest — venomous, nonvenomous, and endangered snakes — is important for a number of reasons, but primarily to keep you safe on the job.

In Alabama, Money Does Grow on Trees: Forestry and Its Economic Importance to Alabama

The largest wood-supplying region in the United States is the South, and Alabama figures prominently among southern states in timber production. based on 2002 estimates, almost 56 percent of the total timber harvest in the United States was from southern states, and that trend is predicted to continue through the next 50 years. It was also estimated that between the years 2002 and 2050 the majority of the timber produced will be harvested from forested acres owned by private landowners.

A Key to Common Trees of Alabama

This key can help you easily identify any of the 66 most common trees found in Alabama. Keys such as this one, which is based on a series of choices between two statements, are called dichotomous keys. This key was designed for use during the growing season. Leaf and bark characteristics are the primary features used for identifying trees.

Logging Efficiency and Cost

Productivity of logging operations increased steadily through the 1970s and 1980s as mechanized logging operations expanded to include most types of logging. Since the early 1990s, productivity growth slowed as few new technologies and methods were introduced and adopted in the United States. Also, during that time, logging has become a more complex business with the expansion of rules and regulations, the adoption of certification, and a more competitive marketplace for wood products.

Portable Bridges for Forest Road Stream Crossings

Stream crossings on forest roads frequently create problems for loggers and many landowners. Stream crossings are costly to build and time-consuming to install. They are also subject to failure during storms, and soil erosion from stream crossings is a major source of pollution in our streams.

Prescribed Burning in Alabama Forests

Early settlers in Alabama found that Indians used fire in the virgin pine stands and learned that they too could use fire to improve hunting, to keep down brush for improved access to the forest, and to clear land for farming. Although wildfires can completely destroy timber stands, the deliberate use of fire by professional foresters under controlled conditions can help accomplish several of the objectives of multiple-use forest management. This deliberate use of fire is called “prescribed burning.”

Reforestation Contracts

The reforestation of a plot of land can often be a complicated process. It may include site preparation by chemical or mechanical means, tree planting, prescribed burning, and cull tree removal. Many forest landowners are unable to perform these tasks on their own and must hire a vendor with the manpower and equipment to do the job for them.

Stop Cogongrass Hitchhikers

Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) continues its rapid spread across Alabama and the southeast, reducing forest productivity, destroying wildlife habitat, and affecting rights-of-way. this aggressive weed is spreading quickly by hitchhiking around the state, attached to skidders, road graders, mowers, food plot equipment, and other forest and road maintenance equipment.

Timber Sale and Harvesting Contracts

A timber sale can be a source of great satisfaction to a landowner, or it may be a source of surprise, frustration, and stress. Unfortunately, the latter is often true for landowners who make timber sales infrequently.

Understanding Wetlands and Endangered Species: Definitions and Relationships

We all know that the whys and hows of wetlands and endangered species protection are among the more controversial and actively debated natural resource issues of our day. Many people, even those who have a great love for wildlife, have been taught that wetlands are “wastelands” which serve no purpose unless they are drained and “put to use.” My purpose here is to explain, in general terms, what wetlands and endangered species are and to discuss the relationships which often exist between the two. This explanation will emphasize the role wetlands play in providing habitat for many plants and animals and the consequences loss of wetland habitat has had on many species.

Learn more about the Alabama Cooperative Extension System at their web site: http://www.aces.edu/