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The 2022 Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Award was presented to the Thomas family during the Texas Forestry Association’s annual meeting held October 19-21 in Nacogdoches. (l-r) Neil Thomas, Candy Thomas, Claud Thomas, Cynthia Thomas and Russell Thomas. Courtesy photo
From Enterprise Staff
The Texas Forestry Association (TFA) presented Claud Thomas, owner of Thomas Timber Investments of Polk County, with the 2022 TFA Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Award during its annual meeting held last month in Nacogdoches.
“The Thomas family is constantly promoting good forest management and forest health with discussions and phone calls to neighbors,” TFA Executive Director Rob Hughes said. “If you were to visit Claud or stop by Thomas Supply in Livingston, I’m sure Russell, Neil or Ryan Thomas would each ably talk to you about good forest management.”
Thomas Timber Investments is a 1,791-acre tree farm located west of Livingston and has been in the family since 2002. The tree farm was certified in 2019 and is managed for timber growth and profit, recreational use and wildlife habitat.
In the past five years, first and second thinning in pine plantations, hardwood thinning and final harvest have all taken place producing pine and hardwood pulpwood and logs. Pine plantations were replanted as was 50 acres lost in a wildfire. Prescribed burning is conducted almost yearly for forest protection and timber stand improvement. Herbaceous understory treatments are also being implemented.
“Mr. Claud is always open to new concepts and ideas and eager to implement practices that will improve the property, the timber and wildlife habitat. We appreciate working with them,” Wayne Pfluger of Lone Star Forestry, their forester, wrote in the nomination. “Claud Thomas and his family are good stewards of their land. They spend a lot of time together on the tree farm and nurture the next generation who will love and appreciate it as much as they do.”
TFA, the voice for forestry for over 100 years, promotes an economic, social and political climate that will advance forestry in Texas through education, political action and public relations, as well as serving the broad needs of the forest resource of landowners, producers and consumers and to enhance and perpetuate the Texas forest resource.