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Warren County Success Stories

Warren County Success Stories

Lockett Farm (PDF) (281 KB) html

Pre-Commercial Thinning Will Benefit Warren County Wildlife  

Dan Crumpton, a Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor and owner of the Lockett Farm, is always looking for ways to enhance wildlife habitat. At a Warren County District meeting last winter, Dan learned that the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) would be offering landowners the opportunity to compete for cost-share through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to assist with thinning pre-commercial sized pines.

Automatically Dan thought of the Lockett Farm. As a young man, Dan and his son hunted quail in the cotton fields that are now overstocked pine stands. The thick pines offer little benefit to wildlife other than low quality cover. By reducing the stem count, sunlight would reach the forest floor and set off an early successional flush of herbaceous vegetation.

Quail desperately need this vegetation for food and cover. Thinning the pines would also improve the timber quality in the remaining stand. As it turned out, Dan was approved for the EQIP Program. In late September, the thinning crew pulled out of the Lockett Farm after two days of hard sawing.

Two years down the road, after the felled trees have partially decomposed, the first of two prescribed burns will be implemented. The burns will help keep the understory vegetation in early succession and return nutrients to the soil. These practices not only benefit quail but also deer, turkey, and many non-game species.

Dan is pleased with the progress so far and said, “By utilizing the EQIP program and NRCS’ working land knowledge, I am on tract to reach my goals and one of them being to hunt quail on the Lockett Farm again.”

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