Forestry management has been going on for decades in the county. For the first time, the Franklin County Conservation District recognized a landowner for outstanding forestry conservation practices.

The first Forestry Stewardship award was given to Perry Madl during Thursday’s 77th Annual meeting of the Franklin County Conservation District at Celebration Hall on the Franklin County fairgrounds. Madl was unable to attend the award ceremony.

Ryan Neises, EcoTone Forestry owner, said he began working with Madl a decade ago in forest management. Neises said Madl finished his forest stewardship plan on his property in 2009.

“The 360-plus acre property has a mix of woodlands, CRP-native grass, hay ground and water sources which makes it great for wildlife habitat,” Neises said. “With over a third in woodlands, the forestry resources were an important piece to improve for Perry. We helped him accomplish some of his goals.”

Neises said Madl was the right person to be the first recipient of the forestry award.

He said the Madl family started with small tree plantings in a couple of small fields in the center of his property. He said in 2012, the family enrolled in the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) to complete the Timber Stand Improvement (TSI) and tree plantings began that following year.

“With the EQIP financial assistance, Perry was able to hire Ecotone Forestry to complete TSI on 114 acres of woodland,” Neises said. “The TSI released the mast producing trees to improve the food sources for wildlife and removed the lower quality trees that were competing against them. This also helped improve the overall health of the forest and provide more cover.”

He said Madl planted higher quality trees with some of the lower quality hedge and elm removed.

“Overall 3,100 trees were planted, and tree shelters installed on half to help protect from deer browse,” Neises said. “The majority planted were oaks, along with other species for diversity. The oaks were a mix of Bur, Chinkapin, Black and Shumard oaks depending on the soil conditions of the individual fields. For diversity along with some soft mast production other trees planted included Persimmon, Red Mulberry, Paw-Paw and American Plum. The plum was planted along the field edges to provide escape cover for quail. I have seen the increased number of quail on his property.”

Neises said Madl worked diligently on conservation through the years.

“All these forestry practices fit in well with his other conservation practices for a continued stewardship of the entire property,” he said.