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Georgia Landowners Win National Award

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) honored Plumbdent Farms with the Wild Turkey Woodlands National Award for implementing quality land management practices, supporting the community and outstanding NWTF chapter involvement.

Plumbdent Farms is owned by Dr. Slade Lail and Duluth City Councilman Billy Jones, both of Duluth, Ga. They accepted the award Feb. 17 during the NWTF's 35th annual National Convention and Sport Show, which took place in Nashville, Tenn. and was sponsored by Midway USA.

The Wild Turkey Woodlands National Award recognizes landowners who are committed to meeting the needs of wildlife on their land, promoting the NWTF's mission of conserving wild turkeys and preserving our hunting heritage, and are involved in their community while publicly encouraging conservation.

"I am honored the NWTF has recognized us with this award," Lail said. "We strive to balance our recreational use of Plumbdent Farms with sound forestry and wildlife conservation practices. We also recognize and invite the opportunity to educate the public about managing Georgia's natural resources properly."

Lail manages his 356-acre farm with a Forest Stewardship plan written by the Georgia Forestry Commission. He also participated in numerous cost-share programs to enhance timber and wildlife habitat and promote sound stewardship of the property. Numerous wildlife openings are maintained to produce supplemental forage for wildlife year round, including the use of NWTF's Operation Oak program to improve hardwood stands with new seedling plantings to further enhance food and habitat for wildlife.

In addition to his dedication to wildlife, Lail spoke in Washington D.C. to the Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research Subcommittee on behalf of the American Forest Foundation and at the request of the NWTF to support the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program, which provides support for forest landowners to protect valuable habitat.

Plumbdent Farms was recognized with the Outstanding Woodland Steward awards in 2006 and 2007. Other awards include the 2007 Hancock County Conservationist of the Year, the 2007 Georgia Tree Farmer of the Year, the 2007 Georgia Forestry Commission GROWS Certified Forest Steward of the Year, and being chosen as one of three finalists for the 2008 Southeastern Regional Tree Farmer of the Year.

"Dr. Lail and Billy Jones always have kept Plumbdent Farms available for the public to learn about forestry from events like a NWTF Wild Turkey Woodland Conservation Field Day to outreach and education programs," said Lynn Lewis-Weis, NWTF Georgia regional biologist. "This is very important in teaching what can be done to any property and seeing the incredible potential that can be reached with the land right management."

Lail and Jones have supported the NWTF through their home chapter banquets, and have hosted a Wild Turkey Woodlands Field Day with property owners in their area. Lail is very active in his community, serving on the Mayor's Advisory Council and Alcohol Review Board for the City of Duluth, Ga., as well as serving as a past president of the Gwinnett Rotary Club.

Jones, also active in the community, served on many boards for the city of Duluth and is currently serving his first term as councilman for the city. Plumbdent Farms is frequently used for outreach and education opportunities with the Georgia Forestry Commission, the Future Farmers of America, the Boy Scouts of America and the Special Youth Challenge Program.

The NWTF is a nonprofit conservation organization that works daily to further its mission of conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage. Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, spending more than $331 million to conserve 15.9 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife.

2011 Convention Sponsors

MidwayUSA – Official Sponsor

Academy Sports and Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Bank of America, Benelli USA, Browning-USRAC, Call Makers and Collectors Association of America, Chevrolet, Federal Premium Ammunition, Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, HuntVe, Marlin Firearms Company, Mossberg & Sons Inc., Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Nationwide, The Outdoor Connection Inc., Remington Arms Company Inc., Rivers Edge Treestands, SHE Outdoor Apparel, U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, Weatherby Inc., Wild Turkey Bourbon, Winchester/Olin Corporation




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