Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 21

Suzanne, just wanted to finally meet her. They already
had two grown sons, Andrew and Luke, but their first
grandchild was expected to be born any day. There
wasn't any doubt that she'd be well worth the wait.
The Woods' 3,500-acre Riverwood pine plantation
sits half an hour north of bustling Birmingham, and as
a kid growing up nearby, Stan Wood always wished he
could trade his suburban setting for the tranquility of the
forest. Decades later, he had achieved that dream, but
not just for himself.
"It's our first grandchild, and we're all very stoked
and excited about it," he says. "She doesn't know how
lucky she is yet. I can't wait to share my passion for
conservation with her."
Wood, 56, founded Action Resources Inc., an
Alabama trucking company specializing in hauling
hazardous waste, in 1995 and sold the company 11
years later. Just a few miles down the road, paper
companies that had used the densely planted pine
stands to produce pulpwood were divesting from the
area, meaning Wood wouldn't have to travel far to
embark on his life's next journey.
"I always wanted to be a farmer and a forester, but
I grew up in a subdivision, so it was a dream come
true to be able to buy your own land and do what you
wanted to do with it," he says.
Wood may have retired from the trucking business,
but there was plenty of hard work in his future. Shortly
after buying the land, Wood began removing about
70 percent of the trees on each acre in order to open
up the canopy, let the sunshine hit the ground and
promote new growth. Rather than harvesting the
best trees to bring to market, he let them stay and
instead targeted the smaller and lower-quality trees for
thinning. Prescribed burns keep unwanted species like
sweetgum and hickory trees to a minimum.
"By burning it, you get rid of all the hardwoods
and all the undesirable species, and it just leaves a

pine-plantation savannah with an herbaceous layer
underneath that's two to three feet tall, and that's where
the quail live," Wood says. "There's tall grass, shrubs,
bushes and vines. It looks snaky, but that's where
rabbits, quail and all the little critters live. That's where
they make their living. It gives them protection from the
weather and the predators."
Wood credits the AFF and Chris Erwin, the
association's director of Southern forest conservation,
for helping him develop a land management plan
and get his land certified by the American Tree Farm
System. The Woods' commitment to responsible
land management and sustainability also has earned
Riverwood certification by the Forest Stewardship
Council and the Alabama Forestry Commission's
Treasure Forest Program.
"When I bought the land, I knew zero about forestry
and zero about wildlife management, but I had been a
hunter, I was passionate about it, and I always wanted
to do it, so I looked for professional advice," Wood
says. "It's just a growing process, so for the past 11
years, I've always been seeking out ways to do things
better, and I found a lot of help through the American
Forest Foundation and other state and local agencies.
We're going to keep doing exactly what we've been
doing, but we're just going to keep trying to do it
better."

Fall 2017 * WOODLAND 21



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Woodlands - Fall 2017

Overstory
Tools and Resources
Forests and Families
A Legacy to Keep
From Forests to Fermentation
Feathering a Forested Nest
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - intro
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - cover1
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - cover2
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 3
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - Overstory
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 5
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 6
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 7
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 8
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 9
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 10
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 11
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 12
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 13
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 14
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 15
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 16
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 17
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - Tools and Resources
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 19
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - Forests and Families
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 21
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 22
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 23
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - A Legacy to Keep
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 25
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 26
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 27
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 28
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 29
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - From Forests to Fermentation
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 31
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 32
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 33
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - Feathering a Forested Nest
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 35
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 36
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 37
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - 38
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - cover3
Woodlands - Fall 2017 - cover4
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