Land Trust Accreditation Commision
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147 million additional reasons to love the Red Hills!

One year ago, Tall Timbers reached out to many local land owners asking their help with an ambitious project — the first ever comprehensive economic impact analysis of working rural lands in the Red Hills Region. Tall Timbers, along with our project partner the Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis (CEFA) at Florida State University, undertook this initiative because despite the Red Hills playing a vital role protecting our drinking water, clean air, and wildlife habitat, the messages that truly resonate with many officials and others who make decisions that directly affect the Red Hills region are “jobs” and “economic impact.”

Quail hunting
Quail hunting generates a $147 million impact on Red Hills’ economies.

The most important part of this study was our survey of the owners of 110 Red Hills’ hunting properties and other working rural lands, each over 500 acres. We received detailed responses from more than 66 percent of the owners surveyed, which is a fantastic response rate. Survey respondents reported owning well over 300,000 acres in the Red Hills. A huge “Thanks” to the many landowners who helped us with this project!

GT Metal Works
GT Metal Works, co-owned by Todd Ferrell and Dallas Wilcox, is one of many local businesses supported by Red Hills’ working rural lands

CEFA’s economic analysis found that in 2012, the regional economic impact of Red Hills’ hunting properties exceeded $147 million. This tremendous impact is the result of a wide range of operating, capital improvement, and discretionary spending as well as local charitable contributions that benefit every Red Hills’ community. In addition, over 1,400 jobs are directly or indirectly related to Red Hills’ hunting properties. These 1,400 jobs generated more than $51 million in total employment income meaning they paid more than the average wage in nearly every Red Hills’ county.

One unique aspect of this project is a county-specific focus on the economic and employment impacts for individual Red Hills' counties. This provided unique insights into the importance of working rural lands are for small and medium sized businesses throughout the Region.

The results of the study are contained in a publication titled The Economic Impact of the Red Hills Region of Southwest Georgia and North Florida (click here for a PDF file of this publication). This study will play an important role in Tall Timbers’ efforts to educate elected officials, other community leaders, landowners, and the general public about the tremendous economic impact and job creation generated by Red Hills’ hunting lands and other working properties.

As an aside, we will soon undertake a similar project for the hunting lands in the greater Albany, Georgia area and look forward to working with landowners in those communities.

Please contact Red Hills Planning Coordinator Neil Fleckenstein at 850-893-4153, ext. 335 or if you have any questions about this important project.

Tall Timbers up for Accreditation Renewal

Yale Workshop
The Wade Tract Preserve on Arcadia Plantation, Thomas County, Georgia is one of 84 properties held under conservation easement with Tall Timbers. The late Jeptha H. Wade and his wife Emily (shown seated in Jeep) were one of the first land owners in the state of Georgia to donate a conservation easement.

The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is pleased to announce it is applying for renewal of accreditation. A public comment period is now open.

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant's policies and programs. Tall Timbers was awarded accredited in 2009 and will be up renewal in 2014. To date, some 229 land trusts have received accreditation. Accredited land trusts account for 52% of the 20,645,165 acres currently owned in fee or protected by a conservation easement held by a land trust," said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. "Accreditation provides the public with an assurance that accredited land trusts meet high standards for quality and that the results of their conservation work are permanent."

The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications. Comments must relate to how Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy complies with national quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. See the full list of standards.

To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, please visit, or email your comment to Comments may also be faxed or mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn. Public Comments: (fax) 518-587-3183; (mail) 112 Spring Street, Suite 204, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Comments on Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy's application will be most useful by January 3, 2014.

Red Hills Region Florida – Georgia Quail CoalitionOn August 9, 2013 Tall Timbers and Quail Forever (QF) held its first Quail Forever Chapter development meeting in Tampa, Florida to support the soon to be developed “Florida-Georgia Quail Coalition.” Over the next year, plans are to develop QF chapters to support on-going Coalition quail projects in both states! The Coalition is a partnership between Tall Timbers, Quail Forever, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources – Wildlife Resources Division. Its mission is to enhance and promote quality northern bobwhite habitat on public lands in Florida and Georgia. Click here for more information about the Quail Coalition.

2012 Annual Report Tall Timbers 2012 Annual ReportTall Timbers 2012 Annual Report has been published.

To view an interactive copy please click here

Dust jacket of Book A History of Tall Timbers PublishedThe Legacy of a Red Hills Hunting Plantation: Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy by Robert L. Crawford and William R. Brueckheimer traces the evolution of Tall Timbers benefactor Henry Beadel from sportsman and naturalist to conservationist. Complemented by a wealth of previously unpublished, rare vintage photographs, it follows the transformation of the plantation into what its founders envisioned — a long-term research station, independent of government or academic funding and control. The book can be ordered from Tall Timbers.
Valuing Ecosystem ServicesValuing Ecosystem Services in the Red Hills Region of Southwest Georgia and North Florida Ecosystem services are the things that nature provides that directly benefit people. These services include water purification, drinking water recharge, climate regulation and many others. The University of Georgia study on which this publication was based estimates the economic value of critical natural services provided to the public by Red Hills forests exceeds $1.1 billion annually. This publication identifies limited sources of payments for ecosystem services and strongly recommends that local, state and federal governments take vital ecosystem services into account when considering proposals that could adversely affect the forests and other natural systems that provide these services. To view the publication, click here.

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The mission of Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy is to foster exemplary land stewardship through research, conservation and education.
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