Riley brothers of Callaway County honored for tree management

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CALLAWAY COUNTY, Mo. – Carey, Mike and Kevin Riley of Callaway County have been recognized by The Missouri Tree Farm Committee for 25 years of good forest management and involvement in the American Tree Farm System (ATFS). Through their actions, the Riley brothers have demonstrated commitment to the four cornerstones that make up the ATFS: wood, water, wildlife and recreation.

“There are 650 tree farmers in Missouri, and this year we recognized 29 family forest owners that have been in the Tree Farm program for more than 25 years,” said Brian Schweiss, Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Forestry field program supervisor. “Given that it can take 100 years to grow quality trees, it is a tremendous asset to have landowners such as the Riley brothers committed to managing their forest.”

With 96,000-family landowners nationwide, the ATFS represents the largest group of private landowners in America. Family forest landowners manage and own 35 percent of America’s forests.

In Missouri, private landowners own 83 percent of the forests. These forests are critical for clean water, wildlife habitat and wood products in Missouri.

“Landowners interested in improving their property for wildlife or potential revenue from timber sales are encouraged to look into the American Tree Farm System” said Schweiss. “The program will put landowners in touch with resource professionals that can provide advice on practices to attract more deer and turkey, or what trees could be harvested and what to let grow for future timber sales. The ultimate goal is to work with landowners to maintain a healthy forest that meets their needs and the needs of future generations.”

The ATFS, a program of the American Forest Foundation, is a network of private woodland owners sustainably managing 26 million acres of forestland. It is the largest and oldest sustainable family woodland system in America, is internationally recognized and meets strict third-party certification standards. For 70 years, ATFS has enhanced the quality of America’s woodlands by giving forest owners the tools they need to keep their forests healthy and productive.

For more information, contact Schweiss at 573-522-4115, ext. 3129, or go to