Mason County Landowner Selected as Michigan Tree Farmer of the Year!

A major highlight from this past year was that Adam Wais, a Mason County landowner whom all Conservation District staff have had the privilege of assisting, was selected as 2021 Michigan Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year! 

The Michigan Tree Farm program (known nationally as ATFS), provides a way for landowners to examine and improve current management practices.  By getting forested property certified in ATFS, landowners play a positive role in the protection and sustainable management of our natural resources.  Furthermore, any wood products that are extracted from the property are considered certified as originating from a forest that is being managed using sustainable practices per the requirements of ATFS.  Adam exemplifies this type of sustainable management.  He works with forestry professionals to implement forest management practices that increase species diversity and age classes, from seedlings to sawlog-sized trees, to generate long-term timber revenue and sustainable wildlife habitat.  He also uses a combination of mechanical and chemical approaches to slow the spread of autumn olive. Adam has planted native trees and shrubs in the forest, along the edge of the forest, and in non-forested areas on his parcel to increase diversity; especially those species that are under-represented or under-stocked. He has also planted native wildflowers and grasses in non-forested areas to enhance habitat values in those areas.  Adam is also verified in the MAEAP Forest, Wetland and Habitat System, enrolled in QFP, and participates in Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) cost share programs to maximize the conservation opportunities on his property.  Congratulations Adam!

By Josh Shields, FAP Forester