SFC Announces Planet Imagery Partnership

Southern Forestry Consultants is excited to announce that we are now a Planet Labs imagery reseller. Planet is a leading global provider of daily satellite imagery at multiple resolutions and temporal scales. SFC’s geospatial solutions division will provide Planet imagery to clients across the Southeastern U.S.

Planet’s imagery products are a game changer for efficient real time monitoring of land assets. Being a provider of Planet imagery is a strategic fit for SFC’s cloud-centric strategy for digitally enabled natural resource management via real time imagery within SFC’s managed web GIS solutions which allows all access to land data anywhere work is being done, whether the office, the truck or the woods. “We at Planet could not be more excited to have Southern Forestry Consultants signed on as a partner.” said John Atkinson, Global VP of Partnerships at Planet. “Their towering competence in forestry management, combined with Planet’s unique service, will deliver the best possible results to our joint customers.”

It can be a challenge for forestry and natural resources professionals to visit each and every ongoing management activity across geographically distributed land assets. Putting eyes on all operations is increasingly a challenge as organizations run lean due to tight labor markets. SFC’s web GIS customers can add Planet imagery directly to ArcGIS (Online or ArcGIS Pro) for real time visibility across all their lands and value added silvicultural activities. Operational benefits include reduced time on the road checking jobs and having to walk sites to see the precise extent of work completion. Land managers can quickly quantify a harvest’s extent, or acres for payment, using last week’s imagery right in ArcGIS Pro instead of walking a job’s edge with GPS. Since Planet’s imagery streams directly to ArcGIS, one can reduce time spent on labor intensive and slow imagery transactions involving shapefiles, email and large file management.

Reach out to us to learn more: sales@soforest.com
Learn more about Planet at their website : https://www.planet.com

SFC and WEA Present Landscape Management Plan to South Carolina Stakeholders


Wiregrass Ecological Associates (WEA) and Southern Forestry Consultants (SFC) staff were in Columbia, South Carolina last week  to present the South Carolina Landscape Management Plan (LMP) for stakeholder review. Stefan Bourgoin (Senior Scientist and Project Manager) and Austin Carroll (WEA President and SFC Partner) were on hand to present the draft LMP document and geodatabase they composed. The meeting was held at the South Carolina Forestry Commission (SCFC) headquarters in Lexington, SC. SCFC Forest Management Chief Russell Hubright and State Stewardship Coordinator Chisolm Beckham hosted the event and have been instrumental in development of the South Carolina LMP. The diverse group of attendees represented stakeholders from 40 various national and state organizations, including Audubon of South Carolina, the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation, South Carolina Forestry Commission, International Paper Company, Longleaf Alliance, National Wild Turkey Federation, and South Carolina Tree Farm Committee, among many others. South Carolina is one of multiple states for which SFC and WEA are currently developing LMPs including Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Georgia.

The LMP is a document produced through the American Forest Foundation (AFF) geared toward increasing landowner engagement in the American Tree Farm System (ATFS). Streamlining the process for landowners to meet with a forester and enroll their property in ATFS is essential in conserving, protecting, and harvesting timber land throughout South Carolina.  The LMP provides comprehensive details on various ecological and silvicultural topics (ecoregions, state forest types, landowner objectives, landscape objectives, conservation incentives, etc.) to give landowners options for managing their land within the ATFS guidelines.


WEA Biologist Discusses Gopher Tortoise Research at ALAPARC Annual Meeting

Chance Gwaltney, Biologist with Wiregrass Ecological Associates (WEA), gave a presentation at the recent 10th Annual meeting of the Alabama Chapter of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ALAPARC) held at Camp McDowell in Nauvoo, Alabama from November 1-3. His presentation, co-authored by WEA President Austin Carroll, provided an update of the research on the Apalachicola National Forest (ANF) Gopher Tortoise Research and Restoration Area (GTRR).

The ANF GTRR is the result of an innovative Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Forest Service, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida, and WEA. This MOU couples gopher tortoise population restoration efforts with a formal research study. Mr. Gwaltney and Mr. Carrol, respectively, serve as the Field Research Coordinator and Program Manager for this FWC-approved gopher tortoise recipient site managed by WEA. The ANF GTRR research evaluates site fidelity response of the relocated tortoises (once their temporary enclosures are removed) related to silvicultural management practices (e.g., thinning, burning, and/or herbicide). Relocated tortoises are tracked using radio transmitters to follow their movements within the ANF site. The ANF GTRR accepts tortoises donated from across Florida and has translocated approximately 2,000 tortoises since its inception. Mr. Gwaltney also discussed preliminary results and observations from the field work.
The national Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC; www.parcplace.org) organization is an inclusive partnership dedicated to the conservation of herpetofauna–reptiles and amphibians–and their habitats. PARC is the most comprehensive conservation effort ever undertaken for amphibians and reptiles. The mission of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) is to forge proactive partnerships to conserve amphibians, reptiles and the places they live. Our ultimate vision is of a society where amphibians and reptiles are valued for their importance in our natural and cultural heritage and are considered in all conservation and land management decisions. ALAPARC (www.alaparc.org), a chapter of the Southeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (SEPARC; www.separc.org), includes scientists, naturalists, government representatives and citizens that are devoted to the preservation of amphibian and reptile populations in the southeastern United States.

McGlincy Presents Hurricane Michael Impacts on Rare Species at Georgia Chapter of The Wildlife Society

Joe McGlincy, Principal Biologist with Wiregrass Ecological Associates (WEA), presented at the recent meeting of the Georgia Chapter of The Wildlife Society (TWS) on the impacts of Hurricane Michael on rare species that inhabit southwest Georgia and the Florida Panhandle areas impacted by the storm.  The species most affected by Michael was the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker (RCW), an endangered species that makes its home in mature pine forests.  Several populations of this great species were in the path of Michael and their pine tree homes were heavily impacted.  The rapid response by crews in the Apalachicola National Forest, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and The Jones Center at Ichauway replaced many of these cavities to prevent further loss of individuals. Following the destruction, all indications are that birds within these populations came through this catastrophic event in pretty good shape and had a successful nesting season this previous Spring.  Other species impacted by the disaster include the Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander (RFS) and Gopher Tortoise, which typically reside in components of the same pine woodland homes as the RCW.  While it is too early to tell what the long-term impacts will be for these species, we don’t expect any adverse impacts to gopher tortoises. However, several RFS breeding ponds were inundated with saltwater from the storm surge, which may have impacted the salamander breeding season.   Mr. McGlincy is a long-time member, a TWS Certified Wildlife Biologist, and has served on numerous TWS committees, most recently the Editorial Advisory Board for the Wildlife Professional, a bi-monthly publication of TWS.



TWS (www.wildlife.org) is the national professional organization of wildlife biologists.  The Wildlife Society is a strong and effective voice in representing wildlife conservation and management and ensuring sustainable wildlife populations in healthy ecosystems. Founded in 1937, the mission of TWS is to inspire, empower, and enable wildlife professionals to sustain wildlife populations and habitats through science-based management and conservation.

Dooner Earns Audubon Florida’s Sustainable Forestry Award


Michael Dooner, founder and President of Southern Forestry Consultants (SFC), was recognized by Audubon Florida with the 2019 Sustainable Forestry Award at the Florida Forestry Association (FFA)’s Annual Meeting in Miramar Beach, Florida. Audubon Florida’s Sustainable Forestry Award is presented annually to a forester, forestry family, or forest business that demonstrates improvements in bird and wildlife habitats and water resources through forest management practices. Audubon recognized Mr. Dooner for his efforts to revitalize timber operations in the Florida Panhandle following Hurricane Michael.  In 2018, Hurricane Michael made a catastrophic negative impact on many rural communities that depend directly on a sustainable forestry industry in the Florida Panhandle. His commitment to lead the restoration of working forests in Florida has been essential to the economic and ecological benefits these forests provide.

“Thank you, Michael,” Audubon’s Director of Policy Beth Alvi said during the award presentation, “for helping see the Panhandle through this challenging time, and for protecting the region’s forest way of life and its economy.”

While assessing and salvaging personal holdings and those of his clients, Mr. Dooner simultaneously worked tirelessly with agency personnel to improve recovery efforts, connect forest landowners with essential resources, and advocate for federal disaster relief for the industry.  His efforts to expedite recovery of the forested regions of the Panhandle are essential in protecting the ecosystem services, watershed security, and wildlife habitat that are the foundation of the ecology of the area.  Mr. Dooner was also one of the first representatives of the industry to reach across the table and promote partnerships with organizations like Audubon Florida.  He understands that a healthy forest industry promotes working forests which, in turn, provide habitat for plants and animals that many other organizations are also working to protect.

“Michael Dooner is a great example of what forestry is all about,” said FFA Executive Vice President Alan Shelby. “He remains focused on moving forestry forward, especially in the tough times. Michael is a forward thinker and understands the connection between forestry and the environment and economy.”

A graduate of the University of Florida with over 40 years of experience, Mr. Dooner is the immediate Past-President of the Florida Forestry Association, member of the Society of American Foresters (SAF), and a Florida Farm Bureau State Director.  Mr. Dooner’s commitment to conservation and sustainability is reflected in the professional approach taken throughout SFC. In 2015, Michael led SFC through the creation of its environmental and ecological subsidiary, Wiregrass Ecological Associates (WEA), to strengthen and expand the level of expertise and services provided to the natural resource industry.  This expansion and the continued management of hundreds of thousands of acres of working forests in the Southeast, demonstrate the conservation-minded approach to forestry Mr. Dooner has worked to instill in his company and the entire industry.

Link to Florida Audubon Site Announcement


Audubon (www.fl.audubon.org) is Florida’s most influential conservation organization and promotes stewardship and appreciation of the natural beauty of Florida’s land and water resources. Audubon’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.

The Florida Forestry Association (www.floridaforest.org) is a statewide trade membership association representing all facets of the forest industry.  The Association’s mission is to promote the responsible and sustainable use of Florida’s forest resources.