Tree Farmer of the Year
Guy Anglin was honored as the 2012 Tree Farmer of the Year at the 39th annual Farm City Day Celebration, held Friday, November 16.. The Tree Farmer is selected by the Florida Forest Service’s County Forester, Barry Stafford.
Guy Anglin spent much of his childhood on his grandfather’s farm near Pansey, Alabama in Houston County, but grew up in Polk County, in Central Florida. Guy graduated from the University of South Florida in 1966, and started graduate school at the University of Florida. But instead, he answered the call to duty to war in Viet Nam, and joined the Marine Corp. Guy was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, went to flight school at Pensacola and was designated Naval Aviator in May of 1969. While serving in Viet Nam, he flew missions in a Sea Knight Helicopter, and then served a tour as Forward Air Controller. After 5 years, he was released from active duty, but continued to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve until retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2003.
Following his military career, Guy moved to Monticello, Florida in 1973 after taking a position with the Florida Department of Agriculture’s Division of Plant Industry, where he was in charge of an eight county district in the big bend area of Florida. In 1989 Guy went to work for the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation, Wetlands Evaluation and Delineation Section. In 1991, he accepted a position as Forest Ecologist with the USDA National Forest Service in Florida. In that position, he became interested in fire ecology and a strong advocate of prescribed burning.
Guy purchased land in Jackson County, because it was practically back home, being next door to Houston Co. He purchased 170 acres in 1999. He and his wife Jan have continued to add to that by purchasing several other parcels, so they now own and manage approximately 725 acres of timber land.
Slowly Guy is converting much his land back to longleaf pine, which was historically the dominant pine species on the land he owns. Guy implements a two year fire return interval, which controls hardwood competition and improves wildlife value. His management is directed toward timber, but he is also interested in improving habitat for wildlife, including deer, turkey, bobwhite quail, fox squirrel, and gopher tortoise. Guy says, “I mostly deer and turkey hunt now, but I grew up hunting quail and eating gopher tortoise and fox squirrel. While I no longer eat fox squirrel and gophers, as a Southerner interested in our heritage, I do what I can to improve habitat and keep these animals around.”
Groundcover restoration is also an important part of his management, since groundcover is important to both wildlife and the ability of the land to carry fire. Frequent prescribed burning is the primary management tool that Guy uses to restore groundcover, but has also done some supplemental planting of wiregrass as well. He feels this is important, since wiregrass was once the dominant groundcover throughout most of this area, and because it is so important to carrying fire.