From the Florida Forestry Association comes a warning of possible difficulties of managing timber in the southeast USA. You may remember when bald eagles and red cockaded wood peckers were first protected causing restrictions on harvesting timber crops that had been tended for many years by private and corporate owners before reaching maturity. Rattle snakes and tortoises may induce similar problems.
If you are in the woods and see either of these reptiles, please takes notes about when and where seen, and photos, if possible. Send the information to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Many years ago, a blue flower that grows in piney woods and blooms for only a short time was difficult to distinguish from a common plant. It was about to go on the endangered list until foresters photographed multitudes of blue in many locations at the same time.
See article below from the Forestry Assn.
Henry Rogers, CCIM, ALC
Silviculture’s Next Challenge By Doug Rillstone
Who would have thought the next threat to agriculture in the Southeastern United States, including at least 7,700,000 acres in Florida, would be two reptiles – one a slow moving tortoise and the other a venomous snake? The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is only steps away from designating the common gopher tortoise (GT) and the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (EDR) as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Unless efforts are taken to change or reverse the expected outcome, the anticipated listing of the GT and EDR creates the threat of civil and criminal prosecution for routine agriculture operations in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and North Carolina if federal permits are not first obtained, permits that often take years to issue.