The surprising thing is so few people have heard of Leon Neel.
Here’s a very interesting biography of this very influential
pioneer in southeastern forestry and agriculture, including
many interesting stories of south Georgia and north Florida
life and politics:
The Art of Managing Longleaf:
A Personal History of the Stoddard-Neel Approach,
by Leon Neel, with Paul S. Sutter and Albert G. Way.
Leon Neel was a atudent, apprentice, and successor of Herbert Stoddard,
who was originally hired by quail plantation owners around
Thomasville to figure out why their quail populations were
The answer included a need to thin and especially to burn
their longleaf pine tree forests.
Stoddard and Neel studied and practiced for almost a century
between them on how to preserve and increase the amount of standing
timber and species diversity while also selectively harvesting trees
to pay for the whole thing.
Their Stoddard-Neel Approach is written up in textbooks.
In this book we learn how it came about, and how it is basically
different from the clearcut-thin-thin-clearcut “efficient” timbering
cycle that is the current fad among pine tree growers in the southeast.
It starts back in the old days of Leon Neel’s youth when his daddy taught
him to hunt quail:
Continue reading →
Nor does any of this have to adversely affect the Georgia lumber industry.
It’s well established that the currently popular method of clearcutting
isn’t the only way. Pine forests can be managed profitably
via selective logging;
more about that.
That permits the forest to remain a forest, with native vegetation,
wildlife, hunting, recreation, flood control, etc., all for more
forests than we have now.
Plus carbon sequestration credits.
Cotton farmers might like growing trees better under such economic conditions.
All this is shovel-ready for stimulus. There’s no new technolgy
to develop for forest planting or management. Just implement
carbon-sequestration credits for ongoing sustainability, and perhaps
use stimulus funding to speed planting trees.