By Alton Perry, SFLRP Program Manager
I have experienced more than my share of fulfilling moments over the course of my forestry career. Without question, one of those more recent moments has come just in the past several weeks with the appointments of two area landowners – Avis Gray and Tyrone Williams – to prominent forestry bodies. The appointments are well-deserved recognition for them. They also are notable validation of the work being done in our community by the Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project, in which Avis and Tyrone both participate.
Avis is the owner of Gray Family Farms in Windsor; she has been named to the American Tree Farm System’s Independent Standards Review Panel. The 14-member panel is responsible for reviewing the American Forest Foundation’s Standards of Sustainability for Forest Certification and recommending revisions to the AFF board of trustees based on public review.
Tyrone is the owner of Fourtee Acres in Enfield; he has been appointed to a three-year term on the North Carolina State Board of Registration for Foresters by Gov. Roy Cooper. The board protects the public by improving the standards for the practice of professional forestry in North Carolina. The board is composed of five members; four are registered foresters and one, Tyrone, is a public member.
Avis and Tyrone share a passion for sustainable forestry, particularly as a means to strengthen the bonds and financial well-being of their families, now and in the generations to come. It is extremely gratifying to see them recognized for their hard work and dedication to this cause. I am confident they both will make meaningful and enduring contributions to the respective boards on which they are serving.
I confess that I also take pride in what these appointments symbolize – important validation of the work being done by the Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project to support the region’s forest owners from a business standpoint and to sustain healthy natural resource and wildlife habitats. There are more than 205 landowners participating in the program, and about 13,000 acres of land are under management with sustainable forestry practices being implemented and forestry and/or agricultural conservation plans in place.
The ultimate success of this program will be measured over decades, possibly even centuries. In this immediate moment, however, the appointments of Avis and Tyrone have made for a fantastic start to 2020, and the Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project is delighted to extend our congratulations to them and their families.