John and Jane Young of Haywood County have been recognized by the North Carolina Forest Stewardship Program for their commitment to natural resource conservation on their land in the Upper Crabtree area of Haywood County.
The couple wanted to bring sound management and stewardship practices to a 32-acre tract they purchased in the late 1990s, and became involved with the Forest Stewardship Program. In addition to environmental steps, like reforestation, exotic species irradiation and sediment control, creating wildlife habitat is a high priority. Oak acorns and hickory nuts, black walnuts and apples, blackberry thickets and tall grasses provide food and habitat for deer, grouse, hawks and owls, amphibians and reptiles, and loads of songbirds.
“There is a wonderful variety of habitat here on this tract. John and Jane have been mindfully managing all these different areas for as much diversity as possible and as a result they are seeing more wildlife than ever,” said Kelly Hughes, a biologist with the program.
The couple received a certification plaque, a bluebird box, and a Stewardship sign to display on their property.
“Land stewardship has always been important to us,” says John. “Knowing that wildlife has a home here enriches our lives, too.”
The Forest Stewardship Program is administered locally by the N.C. Forest Service, with assistance from other agencies such as the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and N.C. Cooperative Extension Service.