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Jeff Dennis wins Tree Farmer of the Year award

(L to R) Clemson Extension Service Agent Bob Franklin, Jeff Dennis and Awards Committee member John Spearmen, who won the 1999 South Carolina Tree Farmer of the Year.

Colletonian contributor Jeff Dennis won the 2012 District 12 Tree Farmer of the Year award. The state’s District 12 consists of Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper counties.

Dennis was nominated by Bob Franklin, Area Extension Agent-Forestry and Wildlife, Clemson Extension Service, Walterboro, S.C.

Jeff Dennis — Chief Caretaker for Snipe Hill

Jeff Dennis is a Charleston native who grew up on James Island along a tidal creek. He is chief caretaker for Snipe Hill, his family’s Tree Farm in Colleton County. Dennis’ primary supervisory objectives are timber management, and also the management of wildlife habitat, recreation, and aesthetics.

Completion of the Clemson Master Wildlifer Program and the SC Forestry Commission’s Certified Prescribed Fire Manager course help him as a steward of the family property, an affiliate member of Colleton County Soil and Water Conservation District.

In 2007 Snipe Hill was recognized by Quail Unlimited with the South Regional Adopt-A-Covey award for habitat management work for grassland birds, including bob white quail.

Dennis received the Master Tree Farmer Volunteer of the Year Award in 2010 and in 2009 received the Harry Hampton Woods and Waters Conservation Memorial Journalism Award from the SC Wildlife Federation for excellence in natural resources journalism.

Jeff Dennis is Outdoor Correspondent for the Charleston Mercury and has used his stories and images to benefit the conservation movement. His freelance work includes writing for South Carolina Wildlife magazine and conservation organizations such as the American Forest Foundation, SC Wildlife Federation, Coastal Conservation Association, Ducks Unlimited and SC Camo Coalition.

He was a speaker at the 2009 SC Prescribed Fire Council meeting and at the Spring 2010 Association of Consulting Foresters’ SC Chapter  meeting.

He has hosted two field days on Snipe Hill Tree Farm for area landowners. One, in 2007, demonstrated use of herbicides to restore native ground cover and improve conditions for prescribed fire and a second in 2009, was on developing prescribed fire cooperatives.

He has hosted numerous individual landowners and visitors to show how to effectively manage woodlands for wildlife and timber production.

Franklin, who nominated Dennis for the award, said “I’m tickled to death that he won. This is a progression thing, and Jeff is still young. We have a real strong tree program with our state, and the Tree Farmer of the Year is mostly won by older people who have had good success with this program.” 

Readers may visit Jeff Dennis’ website at www.lowcountryoutdoors. com.

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