Putting Down Roots
is every acre is forested before and also after a harvest,” says Cunningham. To illustrate that point, he recalls a third-generation local timber harvester saying, “I remember being here when my grandfather was cutting trees, then 20 years later when my father was cutting trees, and today I’m cutting the trees from this very same hillside.”
As Pioneer Forest’s wood products go through various value-adding steps to produce oak flooring, railroad ties and blocking for shipping, their positive effects reach many more families throughout Missouri.
“The L-A-D Foundation has provided a great legacy, and serves as an example of how to manage a forest,” says MDC Director Robert L. Ziehmer. “The L-A-D Foundation is committed to sustainable forest management, research and education. The Foundation is a leader in single-tree selection uneven-aged management. The Foundation is also a leader in natural resource management research, including the Continuous Forest Inventory plots on the Pioneer Forest, which they have monitored every five years since 1952.”
The Foundation and the Department continue working together to evaluate management on Pioneer Forest, and to train and recognize outstanding loggers in Missouri.
“Pioneer Forest serves as a Missouri role model of sustainable forest management on privately owned land,” says Lisa Allen, MDC state forester. “The Foundation foresters have been fantastic advocates for promoting and using loggers who have been trained through the Missouri Forest Products Association’s Professional Timber Harvester training and certified through the Master Logger Program to ensure best management practices for harvesting timber are used for all Pioneer Forest lands. Because loggers are held to a high standard while working in Pioneer Forest, they learn best management practices that they then take to other privately owned woodlands.”
Natural Areas in Eastern Missouri
Early on, the L-A-D Foundation helped fund the inventories of many sites of natural or geological importance in the state. In several cases, Drey acquired these important areas and placed them in the care of L-A-D, which then leased most of them to MDC for day-to-day management. One such area was Clifty Creek Natural Area in Maries County. In 1971 it was among the first designated State Natural Areas. Subsequently, MDC acquired adjoining acreage. By working together, this beautiful place has now been conserved for all Missourians to enjoy. An award winning trail was dedicated there two years ago.
“Missouri’s natural areas program owes much to the pioneering work of Leo Drey and