Archive for wildlife

2015 Prescribed Burn Workshop in SW Louisiana


2015 Prescribed Burn Workshop in SW Louisiana

Keith Hawkins, Area Extension Forester

The LSU AgCenter in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry had a prescribed burn workshop to enable attendees to become “Certified Burn Managers”. Dr. Niels de Hoop, LSU Forestry Professor, was the lead instructor. Mark Davis and Darrell Eaves, both of the LDAF, also provided instruction.

2015 PB field exercise

Attendees cutting a firebreak during a field exercise.

Topics will include: fuels, burning techniques, proper tools, optimal weather conditions, smoke management, liability management, planning, fire behavior and more.

The successful graduates of this workshop are:

  1. Anderson, Becky
  2. Anderson, Harold
  3. Battaglia, Charles,
  4. Breland, Bradley
  5. Cooke, Dan
  6. Doffitt, Chris
  7. Fitzsimmons, Robert
  8. Garrett, Cody
  9. Gutierrez, Mariamar
  10. Holten, Ben
  11. Koepp, Russell
  12. Lawson, RaHarold
  13. LeJeune, Aubrey
  14. Parker, Kenneth
  15. Perkins, Robert Shane
  16. Reynolds, Matthew
  17. Richmond, Cecilia
  18. Rose, Gardner
  19. Shirley, Charleston
  20. Smith Vivian
  21. Sonnier, Cliff
  22. Tate, Jon

Congratulations to all students.

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Drones for Forest Landowners


Drones for Forest Landowners

By George Giltner

 One of the newest evolving gadgets for farmers is camera drones. The technology has recently changed into “smart” flying cameras that offer a multitude of uses. Even a first glace at a one of these visual choppers scares off many potential users, but the flying has been greatly simplified and is reportedly fun to operate. A quick search on the internet yields numerous videos of instructions, flight trials, and aerial views that seeds landowner’s usage.

drone pic

DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Quadcopter

Forest landowners need close aerial, visual information. For example – When smoke is in the air, a quick flight of a 20 minute battery operated flying camera could spot the location and extent of a local fire.  Then response time could be minimized to reduce damage and intensity.  With state fire teams stretched to extremely low numbers, a quick response by local landowners equipped with plows, sprayers, and rakes could put out initial small fires.


The eye in the sky can also observe suspicious activity. Trespassers, illegal hunters, parked cars around the property boundary, nearby logging operations, etc. can be viewed without risk and the effort of time.  These cameras can range to 300 yards.  Also they can be fitted with wide angle to narrow vision lens.

Some four-legged animals can really be a pest around a tree farm. Feral hogs, loose cows from a busted fence, coyotes, and even deer can be located easily from an above live camera video feed to an iPhone attached to the flight controller.  On the ground this would be impossible, as bushes just a few yards away can hide a piney woods rooter.  However, you would not want to launch a Quadcopter around trees, especially in winds.

Your investment for a good camera system is usually beyond $1000, therefore having it hung up 100 feet into a Longleaf pine, and then dropping to ground would be a disaster. A cleared out loading zone is ideal for launches and retrievals.  If you drop the controller and the power is lost, no problem – a GPS system like the Phantom 2 goes into auto-retrieve mode and flies back to the launch site for a landing.  This also applies when the limit range is overreached.

With a high visual view, problem bug sites can be identified. Also the quickest route can be determined and saved for an up-close examination of the infection. In years of outbreaks of southern pine beetles, this can be a priceless tool for the landowner.  In two weeks time a 40 acre plot could be destroyed within two weeks time, like in the late 70’s and 80’s.

In our Louisiana woods, slews, creeks, marshes, and other obstacles make havoc of a “quick walk in the woods”. A man plowing fire lanes became lost overnight in a creek bottom as he went for a diesel can ‘just across the creek’.  Other stories were common until the age of cell phones, GPS, and updated aerial maps.

Therefore with a little investment in time and a moderate investment in technology, a modern forest manager can have an excellent tool for aerial observation and historical photography. Beyond the forest business, aerial cameras are used for outstanding photography, hobbies, security, and family fun. They are definitely worth investigating for your use.







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Brief Photo Essay on Prescribed Burn Workshop



Brief Photo Essay On Prescribed Burn Workshop

Jimmy Earl Cooley, Master Gardener, and Keith Hawkins, SW Area Extension Forester


Dr. Niels d Hoop, LSU AgCenter, was the lead instructor of this year’s workshop.


This field exercise included a test burn.


After the test burn, the class evaluated to site and decided to burn a small area.


The field exercise included the mop-up of the burn site.


Graduates and Instructors of the 2014 Prescribed Burn Workshop in SW Louisiana.

The graduates of this year’s Prescribed Burn Workshop include, in alphabetic order:

  • Stewart Bailey
  • “Doc” Calcote
  • Joe Chaney
  • Steve Coleman
  • Douglas Dowden
  • Ashton Dupre
  • George Giltner
  • Bret Hardisty
  • Ronny Jones
  • James Love
  • Bryce Mae
  • Wendell Marcantel
  • David Meaux
  • Dick Meaux
  • Gaston Messer
  • Luke Parlier
  • Jonathon Perkins
  • Wayne Pleasant
  • Todd Strother
  • Clint Travis
  • James Turner

Instructors were Mark Davis, District Forester, LDAF, Darrell Eaves, Firefighter, LDAF, Dr. Niels de Hoop, Forestry Professor, LSU AgCenter, and Keith Hawkins, SW Area Extension Forester LSU AgCenter. Mr. Jimmy Earl Cooley was event photographer.



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Top Ten List: Louisiana Forestry Association


Top Ten List: Louisiana Forestry Association

Keith Hawkins, Area Extension Forester

             The Louisiana Forestry Association (LFA) is a private organization which serves the interests of forest landowners and many enterprises relying on forestry for economic and environmental benefits. With apologies to David Letterman, here is a Top Ten List for joining the LFA:

10.      Sponsors of the Tree Farm Program and the Louisiana Loggers    Council.

9.        Providers of seminars and conferences to improve your knowledge of forestry.

8.        Your voice before state and federal lawmakers.

7.        Defenders against excess regulation.

6.        Source for information to get the most from your forest investment.

5.        Leaders in developing and training in Best Management Practices which protect water quality.

4.        Promoters of Sustainable Forest management.

3.        Supporters of fair competition for your forest products at home and abroad.

2.        Promoters of fair taxation for your forestry investments.

1.      Defenders of your Right to Practice Forestry.

The LFA has more information at about joining. This webpage will provide inforamtion about membership fees and a downloadable form.  For more information, call the LFA at (318) 443-2558 or Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter, 337-463-7006.

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                                      By Dick Meaux, President

A number of years ago, some forward looking individuals decided that it was time for landowners in Beauregard Parish to get together and meet to discuss items of mutual interest – the result was the founding of the Beauregard Landowners Association.  As time progressed the focus of the association narrowed to issues primarily involving forestry and the name was changed to the Beauregard Forestry Landowners Association to reflect more accurately what the organization was about.   The evolution continued and a couple years ago it was decided to broaden the membership to include the parishes of Allen, Calcasieu, Jeff Davis and Vernon, changing the name to the Southwest Louisiana Forestry Association (SWLAFA).

Those of you receiving this blog already know this and are familiar with what we do.  You also realize that our group is made up primarily of forestry landowners both private and industrial.  Certainly there are professionals such as foresters, buyers and loggers and the like who are members, but our primary membership is made up of tree farmers both large and small.  It is with that in mind that this article is written because there are a lot of people out in the five parishes that are involved in growing, managing and selling timber that could benefit from what SWLAFA has to offer and yet they do not know that we exist and that we can help them enhance their forestry operation.

With the foregoing in mind, this is a plea for you who already enjoy membership in our group to pass the word to friends and neighbors who are interested in forestry and tree farming that there is an organization that can provide them not only with information and assistance but with the opportunity for them to meet with others who share their interests.  They should know that we have an informative annual meeting, field trips and workshops of many types that cover a wide range of topics.

At the last annual meeting we had a presentation from the Executive Director of the Louisiana Forestry Association covering the activities of the Legislature, then in session, that affect Forestry.  An attorney who specializes in mineral leasing gave timely advice on that topic, one which is of interest to many as there is much activity in the local oil patch just now.  The District Conservationist discussed longleaf programs as well as other areas of NRCS support that could benefit forestry land owners.  How to register your land as a movie site was presented and the difficulties of selling small tracts of timber were brought up.  Timber from small tracts of less that 40-70 acres is sometimes difficult to market since it is not cost-effective for a logger to move equipment for such a relatively small harvest.  The hope to develop a system wherein small landowners could get together on a sale in a certain area that would concentrate their timber assets and thus make harvesting more attractive due to the larger amount of acreage.  This effort is currently underway.

Field trip options are being considered, but the last annual meeting site was a just such a trip in itself in that it was held the historic Southern Forest Heritage Museum at Longleaf, Louisiana between Forest Hill and Glenmora.  This could not have been a more perfect setting for an in depth presentation of items pertaining to forestry.  The opportunity to enjoy a great bar-be-que luncheon and then tour of the historic buildings and facilities rounded out a very informative day.

Recent workshops involved hunting leases, prescribed burning and landowner legacy and succession.   The later topic is unique in that it attempts to help a landowners pass on the fruits of their efforts to the next generation and not see their land lost to an unmanageable estate where a tangle of different interests result in the land becoming unproductive and unmanageable.  One future workshop already planned will address thinning of a stand and thus be a help to those who choose to manage their own timber.

The price of membership for one person and one spouse is only twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per year.  The benefits, such as the ones discussed above, are obvious, but in addition at the annual meeting there is lunch for all and the fee for most workshops are waived for members of our group.  Now it is up to you, current members, to put out the call and be a good friend and neighbor by encouraging other forestry landowners to join.  They will not only benefit from what we have to offer, but they will thank you as well.

Thank you and think good forestry management.

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Fleming Objects to Federal Intrusion in Louisiana’s Hunting Management–THE DEAD PELICAN 2012©

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Beauregard Parish Landowners Have Opportunity to Affect National Policy

The USDA is seeking comments regarding a new strategy regarding climate change and wildlife. Please see the pasted narrative below. Landowners have an opportunity to act on their own behalf during a time that our personal freedoms are eroding. Please make thoughtful, respectful comments to support your position.

National Climate Change Wildlife Adaptation Strategy

 The Department of Agriculture would like bring to your attention the release for comment of the “National Strategy Proposed to Respond to Climate Change’s Impacts on Fish, Wildlife, and Plants”.  Public response to this report is welcome.

 A key point to keep in mind is the report is draft and thoughtful comments can influence this and future efforts.

 National Strategy Proposed to Respond to Climate Change’s Impacts on Fish, Wildlife, and Plants

Public encouraged to review and provide comments

In partnership with state, tribal, and federal agency partners, the Obama Administration has released the first draft national strategy to help decision makers and resource managers prepare for and help reduce the impacts of climate change on species, ecosystems, and the people and economies that depend on them.

 The Strategy represents a draft framework for unified action to safeguard fish, wildlife and plants, as well as the important benefits and services the natural world provides the nation every day, including jobs, food, clean water, clean air, building materials, storm protection, and recreation.

The draft National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy is available for public review and comment through March 5, 2012, at the web site  The site provides information on submitting comments, and the dates/locations of five public information sessions and two webinars designed to provide details and encourage dialogue on the strategy and its development. To register for these meetings and for more information on the public comment process, visit





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