Friday, 15 February 2002
National Audubon Society Gets Two Forests FSC Certified
FSC-accredited certifier SmartWood recently completed the certification of Silver Bluff and the Francis Beidler Forest, both owned by the National Audubon Society. The two properties represent over 15,000 acres of the coastal plain of South Carolina, and contain four major habitat types, including mature mixed longleaf and loblolly pines, mature hardwood bottomland, pine plantation, and natural mixed pine/hardwood.
Both forests are open to the public for recreation and education. Audubon uses these forests to demonstrate how timber and other forest products can be actively managed to produce income while still maintaining the ecological values of a forest. Significant portions of each property are managed for timber operations, with an average annual cut of about 10% of annual growth. Audubon’s forest management plan includes restoration of native species and protection of rare, endangered, and special concern species.
The Silver Bluff property runs for 2.7 miles on the Savannah River shore. Its high visibility makes it an especially important component of the watershed. It is an important demonstration of responsible forestry. The property is also home to the Kathwood Wood Stork foraging ponds, which provide a steady food source for the endangered Wood Stork. The 30-acre expanse of subdivided fish ponds also attract Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, Wood Ducks, and a host of other species.
The Francis Beidler Forest is the world’s largest virgin cypress-tupelo swamp forest. It contains Cyprus trees up to 1500 years old. The swamp is not managed for timber harvest, but acquired upland tracts that affect its health adjacent to it are in active timber management. For more information, contact Dan Connelly at 803.827.0781 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.