Wiregrass Ecological Associates (WEA) Mississippi Area Manager Alex Harvey was recently selected as a member of the 2019-2020 cohort of the Mississippi Black Leadership Institute (MBLI) which is held annually by One Voice, a civic engagement, non profit organization working to democratize public policy. MBLI is an invitational institute for emerging leaders from various disciplines across the state of Mississippi, who participate in a nine-month curriculum of civic engagement, public policy and governance, state history, and relationship development. It is an effort to prepare and produce a cadre of informed, socially conscious transformative leaders and public servants. Graduates of MBLI will help to advance, advocate and articulate an agenda of equity in their respective communities.
The opening session for Mr. Harvey’s MBLI cohort was held August 8th to 11th in conjunction with the Congressional Black Caucus’ Mississippi Policy Conference in Tunica, Mississippi. The Tunica Policy Conference which celebrated its 20th year is a national event which brings elected officials and civic leaders from all over the country to the Mississippi Delta. The Conference also included the Bennie G. Thompson Sporting Clays Challenge an annual event hosted in partnership with Ducks Unlimited.
Alex, a graduate of Mississippi State University’s College of Forest Resources, is also a Forester with Southern Forestry Consultants and owns Legacy Land Management, LLC (LLM). LLM is a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) in Mississippi and Louisiana and Certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) with the Mississippi Development Authority. Alex is also a 2017 alum of the Mississippi Economic Council’s Leadership Mississippi development program.
Wiregrass Ecological Associates (WEA) staff presented as invited faculty at the 33rd Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School in Marco Island, Florida. The event, put on by the Florida Environmental Network, attracts more than 850 attorneys, consultants, officials, and landowners and is an excellent opportunity for professionals in a variety of fields to increase their knowledge on rules, regulations and ongoing projects in the environmental and ecological fields.
Austin D. Carroll and George Fullerton authored a presentation about the effects of Hurricane Michael on threatened and endangered species. Mr. Fullerton presented these findings during the “Successful Applications of Imperiled Species Management Practices” session. Hurricane Michael caused widespread damage throughout northwest Florida in 2018. This includes significant impacts to populations and/or habitat for gopher tortoises, red-cockaded woodpeckers, and flatwoods salamanders. Through early action and continued management, natural resource professionals have sought to mitigate damages caused by this storm and develop strategies for recovery. This presentation documented findings from public and private land managers across the impacted areas and how these lessons can help improve resiliency in the future.
If you were unable to attend the conference or missed our presentation, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to request a copy.
Mr. Carroll is the President of WEA and has served on the Environmental Permitting Summer School faculty for the last 10 years. He has extensive experience with imperiled species management and conservation across the Southeast. He currently serves as Program Manager for the Apalachicola National Forest Gopher Tortoise Research and Recipient Site.
Mr. Fullerton is a Wildlife Biologist who holds a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries from the University of Georgia and a MS in Fisheries and Allied Aquaculture from Auburn University. At WEA he works extensively with threatened and endangered species projects across the Southeast, dealing primarily with red-cockaded woodpeckers and gopher tortoises.
Today we are proud to announce the launch of our new website and logo designs as a part of the continuing evolution of our brand identity. After 31 years, our business has grown in geography, offerings, and project complexity, and we felt it was time for a look that was reflective of this modernization. This update of our logos and website is indicative of what we’ve become since 1988: a multi-disciplinary natural resources firm focused on customer service and driven by modern technology and science. We feel it captures the essence of who we are: reliable, integrated, professional, and contemporary.
We recognize our brand and website need to function reliably within modern digital environments like the web, social media, and smaller mobile devices. This required professional graphics and colors which were cleaner, simpler, and consistent regardless of the media. Our new branding distinguishes between our different businesses by logo and color, but also recognizes the integration of each business into the SFC brand family. Furthermore, this new family of brand identities promotes our history of growth as an organization, recognizing the ongoing addition of new business lines, products, and services.
Our new SFC logo pays homage to our past with a classic and practical treatment of our familiar trinity of pines. The first step to forest stewardship is land ownership and that is represented through the Southern Forestry Realty logo, which contains the origin of every southern pine forest, a pinecone. Our newest subsidiary, Wiregrass Ecological Associates, has a classic and minimalist logo inspired by the wiregrass species itself and reflective of its modern approach toward environmental solutions.
For the last 31 years, SFC and its family of companies have provided industry leading natural resources solutions to public and private sector clients across the Southeast. While our professional core values and trusted customer service will always remain the same, we hope you appreciate our new logos’ representation of our integrated approach to solutions and commitment to redefining natural resource management.
At the request of the Georgia Heirs Property Law Center, Wiregrass Ecological Associates (WEA) visited the Colquitt, Georgia community and spoke to the graduating class of a six-week workshop meant to educate landowners on a litany of land ownership issues. The Georgia Landowner Academy is a three-month program offered for landowners wanting to learn how to manage the business, agricultural, and natural resource responsibilities of land ownership. Forester Alex Harvey presented on behalf of WEA and Southern Forestry Consultants (SFC) to the program graduates on the topic of Preparing and Marketing Your Timber Sale. Mr. Harvey educated landowners on proper management their forestland, challenges to management, common mistakes to avoid, and helped connect those landowners with the resources imperative for their success. He concluded his presentation with remarks on the role of forest management and land retention in building generational wealth and strengthening bonds within rural communities. Mr. Harvey earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry with an emphasis in Wildlife Management from Mississippi State University. Prior to joining WEA, he worked to as an advocate and resource for small, non-industrial private forest landowners in partnership with the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Georgia Landowner Academy is sponsored by Georgia Outreach for Landowner Development (“GOLD”) and its partners, Georgia Heirs Property Law Center, Golden Triangle Resource Conservation and Development Council of Southwest Georgia, Fort Valley State University, Georgia Forestry Commission, University of Georgia (“UGA”) Extension Program, UGA D. B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the following USDA agencies: Farm Service Agency, Rural Development, National Agricultural Statistics Service, and the Georgia office of Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
The Georgia Heirs Property Law Center (The Center) is a not-for-profit law firm dedicated to increasing generational wealth, social justice, and community stability by securing and preserving property rights of low and moderate income Georgians. The Center’s services include title clearing, will creation, estate planning, and connecting clients with programs to increase the value of their land and homes. Staff travel throughout the state from offices in Atlanta, Athens, and Fitzgerald. – https://www.gaheirsproperty.org/
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment), in partnership with Wiregrass Ecological Associates (WEA) and its parent company Southern Forestry Consultants (SFC), have announced a pilot program to create more diversity within natural resource professions. The need for diversity in forestry and natural resource consulting is imperative, not only to address minority communities that are underserved from the forestry profession, but also to foster more inclusive relationships between land owners and professionals that have not existed historically. WEA and SFC will engage the first apprentice under this program and work with the candidate to develop and implement a robust professional development and training program. The Endowment will engage with both WEA and the apprentice to garner feedback that will allow program enhancements and the sharing of best practices with the broader community.
“Years of investment in our highly-successful Sustainable Forestry and African-American Land Retention Program designed to expand the ranks of black families engaged in active forest management, highlighted the disparity of minorities in the ranks of consulting foresters. Increasing the number of foresters and forestry technicians representing various people of color not only increases the number of bright young natural resource professionals overall – which is greatly needed – but it also increases the likelihood that more minority landowners will become interested and engaged in forest management,” said Carlton Owen, President and CEO of the Endowment. “When all is said and done, a talented and diverse army of consultants benefits both forests and the communities that rely on them.”
The People of Color in Forestry Apprenticeship Program will undoubtedly have a tremendous impact in addressing the unique challenges and needs of natural resource stewardship in underserved and socially disadvantaged communities. The benefits of this program will serve not only the natural resources profession but also future generations of minority land owners, through engagement around the retention, legacy, and heritage of forest management. WEA and SFC are proud to be the lead consulting firm to take part in this visionary endeavor.
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative, and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-rich communities – www.usendowment.org