Alabama Landowner Wins National Award
Photo available upon request.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The National Wild Turkey Federation honored Dr. Salem G. Saloom of Brewton, Ala., with the Wild Turkey Woodlands National Award for implementing quality land management practices, supporting his community and his outstanding NWTF chapter support.
Saloom accepted the award during the NWTF's 35th annual National Convention and Sport Show, which was sponsored by Midway USA and took place Feb. 17 to Feb. 20 in Nashville, Tenn.
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.
"We are honored to accept this national recognition that represents the relationships that have grown over these many years with NWTF," Saloom said. With the expertise and guidance of the NWTF, we've been able us to practice, educate and advocate stewardship and good conservation on private family forestlands. "Being hands-on landowners allows us to practice sound stewardship because we will be leaving this forest better than when we obtained it. But more importantly, those values will carry on for many generations to come."
Saloom, his wife Dianne and their son Patrick manage their 1,762-acre tree farm known as Saloom Properties, LLC, to provide quality habitat for wild turkeys, white-tailed deer and other wildlife, enhance recreational opportunities, and education and outreach for children and adults.
When Hurricane Ivan devastated the area in 2004, Saloom used the opportunity to restore native longleaf pine on 156 acres of damaged forest, which has been increased to 462 acres of longleaf pine. Longleaf pine forests support a wide variety of wildlife and are better adapted than other pine species planted previously. Saloom's family has completed 95 percent of the work on their property themselves.
For nearly 30 years, the Saloom family has tirelessly worked to improve their property and have become great stewards of the land. Keeping meticulous journals about every management action from prescribed burns to timber harvests, today the property has a park-like feel, hosts a multitude of wildlife species from wild game species such as the wild turkey to threatened species such as the gopher tortoise. The Saloom family shares the resources of their forest with local schools in Conecuh County, where hundreds of fifth grade students have learned about wise land stewardship and promoting sustainable forestry over the years. They also participate as host in the annual Sparta Academy Deer Hunt, which is the school's largest fundraiser.
In addition to his dedication to wildlife, Saloom is a Diamond Life Member of the NWTF and has been a sponsor member of the Evergreen Chapter for more than 20 years. He recently hosted Wild Turkey Woodlands Field Days on his property in 2010 to educate more than 300 Alabama area landowners about the benefits of the Wild Turkey Woodlands program.
"He is in my mind the epitome of someone who is a steward of the land; he loves wild turkeys but he looks at the big picture on this property," Luke Lewis, NWTF Alabama regional biologist, said. "He commands a lot of respect from forestry professionals and landowners, and puts into practice on the land what he speaks. He's a gracious man, willing to share the knowledge with others while always looking to improving his property."
The Saloom family's advocacy for forests has earned them a sterling reputation among forestry groups. Saloom Properties LLC won the 2007 Helene Mosely Award, the State of Alabama 2009 Outstanding Wildlife Conservation Award, the 2009 Alabama Tree Farmer of the Year award, the 2010 Southern Region Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year, the 2010 National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year, and the 2010 Governor's Conservationist Award in Forestry by the Alabama Wildlife Federation.
"Our tree farm is something my father has been pouring his heart and soul into ever since I can remember. Like his family, it is a standing testament to his hard work and dedication," said Patrick Saloom. "The farm is his legacy. It is a legacy that I hope to one day inherit and pass on to future generations."
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