Alan Guinn, who works at Elbit Systems of America, describes himself as an avid outdoorsman and hunter.
“Our mission is not to stop prescribed burning of National Forest land, however,” Guinn wrote in a prepared statement. “Our mission is to have all controlled burning stopped during the months of April and May. We all know of and believe in the benefits of prescribed burning, (but) we also know this is a critical time in the nesting cycle of the wild turkey. … These fires destroy nests, nesting areas and all groundcover used to hide from predators. Yes, we know they may relocate and nest again, but this is not optimum, as predators and all other natural enemies of hatchlings take a higher toll on these late hatches.”
Guinn cites a study conducted by the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. This study concluded that “the drawbacks of controlled late spring/summer fires are the mortality of turkey, quail and nesting songbirds and killing back some of the better quality food plants, such as legumes, forbes, favoring grasses and cover from the elements and predators. With 12 months to prescribe burns, setting aside two months to allow for natural processes of turkey nesting should not be too much to ask, as we the people and we the taxpayers own this land and should be taken seriously. Turkeys nest in April and May, and these valuable resources should be allowed to raise their brood without having their eggs charbroiled. A great majority of the roads in the national forest are gated off and closed to motorized vehicle travel in an attempt to prevent disturbing the nesting cycle of the wild turkey. This seems like a moot point if we allow bulldozers and men with fire access to these areas to disturb the delicate process of nesting.”
Guinn recommends supporters of the spring ban to contact organizations such as Game Watch and NWTF, as well as state and federal elected officials.
For more information, contact Guinn at 256-276-0029 or another individual involved in the effort at 256-493-1460.
Contact Chris Norwood at firstname.lastname@example.org