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Agriculture Press Release

February 4, 1999

Florida Forestry Forum to Be Held in Ocala

TALLAHASSEE Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford today announced that the second Florida Forestry Forum will be held at the Ocala Hilton Hotel on March 9-10.

"The purpose of this event is twofold," Crawford said. "We want to provide information to private forest landowners that will help them manage their forest lands more effectively. In addition, we want landowners to have an opportunity to voice their concerns about forest management issues."

The theme of this years forum is "Sustainable Forestry -- Its the Right Thing to Do." In recent years, forest managers and the public have become more concerned about the impact of forestry operations on the environment. The forestry community has responded with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). This not only means growing more timber than is harvested, it also means enhancing the quality of wildlife habitat, protecting water quality in nearby streams and lakes, maintaining unique natural and historical features, and addressing a number of other concerns.

At the forum, landowners will learn how timber company and government foresters, as well as other private landowners, are addressing the SFI. A panel also will review last years catastrophic wildfires, and suggest what landowners can do to protect their own lands.

The Forestry Forum will have a lighter side, too. A luncheon on the second day will feature acclaimed humorist Cotton Ivy, who has entertained groups all over the country. There also will be an evening social, where participants can share ideas and concerns.

"There are more than 88,000 private forest landowners in Florida, who collectively own more than 7 million acres of forest land," Crawford said. "These are the people we hope will attend this event."

The Forestry Forum is sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Forestry, the Florida Forestry Association, the Florida Farm Bureau Federation, and the University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation.

For information about attending the 1999 Florida Forestry Forum, contact either the Division of Forestry at (850) 414-9912, or the Florida Forestry Association at (850) 222-5646.

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For more information:

Charles Marcus
(850) 414-9907


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