Conservation efforts recognized

Directors of the Trinity Neches Forest Landowners Association will travel to San Antonio to receive an award for being chosen as the number one entry statewide in the Friend of Conservation category of the Texas State Soil & Water Conservation Board's awards program.  Directors are (back, L to R) Rodney Newman, Phil Power, Gary Dominey, Richard Saunders, (front L to R) David Fulton, John Thoma, Glenn Cotten, Suzanne McCarty, Michael Murphrey and Tom Ball.  Not pictured are Spencer Burke and Gary Burns.  The association was nominated by the Cherokee County Soil & Water Conservation District.

Statewide recognition will be given to board members of the Trinity Neches Forest Landowners Association (TNFLA) on Monday, Oct. 29, in San Antonio at the annual meeting of the Texas State Soil & Water Conservation Board.

Several timber growers in Cherokee County who serve as directors of the TNFLA will be honored guests at the awards luncheon to receive the first place award in the Friend of Conservation category of the Texas Conservation Awards Program.

Earlier this year, the TNFLA, which encompasses seven counties in East Texas – Cherokee, Anderson, Freestone, Leon, Henderson, Van Zandt and Houston – was nominated by the Cherokee County Soil & Water Conservation District as an outstanding example of a non-profit organization actively supporting the wise management and use of natural resources. The association's stated purpose is to encourage and assist in the development of the full potential of forestry in the Texas counties served and to ensure sustainable forestry.

The Trinity Neches Forest Landowners Association took top honors from a pool of 254 counties in the state.

Twelve volunteer directors guide and assist the 133 members of the Trinity Neches Forest Landowners Association through continuing education, technical assistance and professional networking opportunities.

TNFLA meets quarterly and offers presentations by professionals from Agri-Life Extension Service, Texas A&M Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Quality Deer Management Association, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Wild Turkey Federation, Texas Black Bear Alliance and more. Topics covered include forest economics, timber harvesting, reforestation, property rights, timber taxes, forest pests and diseases, wildlife management, black bears in Texas, pollinators, legislative conservation issues and best management practices.

Only a small percentage of membership fees are used for operating costs while the majority of funds are donated to support carefully chosen conservation endeavors. TNFLA is a sponsoring partner of the Cherokee County S&WCD’s youth education activities, is a faithful contributor to TP&WD’s annual local Youth Hunt, provides scholarships and meals for participants in the Teacher Conservation Institute and donates to Texas Farm Bureau and TA&MFS’ student forest awareness tours.

Most recently, a TNFLA member’s pine stand in Cherokee County was chosen as a stop on a statewide tour by Texas A&M University’s new vice chancellor and dean of agriculture and life sciences as a superior representation of sustainable forestry.

The Trinity-Neches Forest Landowners Association has set a standard of excellence with their commitment to conservation and is well deserving of the recognition. Directors being honored include Phil Power, Rodney Newman, David Fulton, Gary Dominey, Suzanne McCarty, Richard Saunders, Tom Ball, John Thoma, Glenn Cotten, Spencer Burke, Michael Murphrey and Gary Burns.

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