Georgia Prescribed Fire Council

North Georgia Prescribed Fire Council VIRTUAL Meeting

Thursday, June 4th

“Prescribed Fire for the New Decade: What YOU Want to Know”


10:00  Welcome: Frank Riley

10:05  “The State of Fire in Georgia”: Chuck Williams

10:20  “Changes in the Vegetative Structure in the First Decade of Restoration Management in an Old Growth Mountain Longleaf Forest”: Martin Cipollini

10:50  “Burning in Stands other than Longleaf: Opportunities Overlooked”: John Stivers

11:20  BREAK: 10 MINUTES

11:30  “Basics of a Burn Plan”: Ken Parker

11:45  “Online Tools for Managing Smoke”: Scott Goodrick


1:15  “Prescribed Fire-A Look at Landowner’s Legal Liability in Georgia”: Matthew Lawrence

1:45  “The Role of Prescribed Fire for Deer Management”: Michel Kohl


2:30  “Patterns of Delayed Overstory Mortality following Severe Wildfire in the Southern Appalachians”: Don Hagan

2:50  Closing Remarks and Adjourn: Frank Riley

A Georgia Forestry Commission produced ATV/UTV Safety presentation will be offered as a stand-alone video for participants to view at their leisure.

Frank Riley, Jr.

Frank M. Riley, Jr., Forest Resources 1971 – MBA 1973 University of Georgia. Frank has worked 49 years as a Professional Forester including Interim, Executive Director of the Georgia Forestry Association. Frank is Executive Director of the Chestatee/Chattahoochee RC&D Council and Georgia Firewise Liaison, Appalachian RC&D FAC Coalition administrator, NRCS natural resource programs administrator and is the 2020 Chair of the Georgia Prescribed Fire Council. Frank is a Volunteer Firefighter and First Responder with Towns County Fire Rescue (22 years). He leads the Towns County Firewise USA Communities program which has the highest number of Firewise communities in Georgia. Frank leads the Towns County Fire Adapted Communities Network, which was one of the first eight national pilot FAC projects. Frank’s motto is “We will either find a way or make one!”

Chuck Williams

Chuck Williams became Director of the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) in September 2017 and oversees the state agency’s leadership, service, and education relative to Georgia’s forest resources. Prior to his appointment as GFC Director, Williams represented the 119th District in the Georgia House of Representatives, where he held leadership roles in various committees, including Agriculture and Consumer Affairs and Natural Resources and Environment. Williams was named Georgia’s Tree Farmer of the Year in 2005 in recognition of his passion for forestry and stewardship of his land. He has served in leadership positions for many forestry and agricultural organizations, including GFC, the Georgia Forestry Association, the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Georgia Agribusiness Council. Williams also has experience in banking and financial services. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia and an honorary American FFA degree. He was awarded the Alumni Award of Excellence from UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Williams and his wife, Beth, live on a certified Tree Farm/Stewardship Forest in Oconee County.

Martin Cipollini

Dr. Martin L. Cipollini is the Dana Professor of Biology at Berry College, Mount Berry, Georgia, where he teaches undergraduate courses such as Principles of Microbiology, Botany and Ecology, General Ecology, Forest Ecology, Field Botany, and Tropical Ecology (Costa Rica/Cuba). He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD. in Ecology from Rutgers University. A faculty member at Berry College since 1995, his current research activities revolve around the college’s Longleaf Pine and America Chestnut projects. He annually leads large groups of students in service-learning projects on and off campus, and has directed the blight-resistance breeding program for the Georgia Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation for ~14 years. He has helped establish numerous chestnut orchards across Georgia, including the backcross orchard at Berry College which was the first such orchard to be established in the state. Since 2002, he has directed the Berry College Longleaf Pine project and works with the Talladega/Mountain Longleaf Pine Conservation Partnership on projects geared toward regional restoration of longleaf pine habitats.

John Stivers

John Stivers, BS in Forest Management, University of Arkansas @ Monticello, 1982; 19 years USDA Forest Service, Silviculturist &Timber Sales Specialist, Ouachita NF, Talladega NF; 4 years, USDA Forest Service, Fire & Aviation, Atlanta GA Prescribed Fire & Fuels Specialist; 18 years Private Consulting Forester in AL & GA; Registered Forester in AL & GA, Association of Consulting Foresters, Society of American Foresters Certified Forester, Alabama Forestry Association member; Certified burn manager in AL, GA & FL; Board member National Coalition of Rx Fire Councils, AL Prescribed Fire Council; Teaches AL Certified Burn Manager program for AL Forestry Commission for past 15 years; Owner Fire Ignition Resources LLC (US distributor Premo aerial ignition machines and Fireballs); Member of Gideons International, Christian, married 34 years, 2 sons, resides near Talladega AL.

Ken Parker

Ken has been with the Georgia Forestry Commission for 27 years. The first 22 were as a Ranger in the middle of the state fighting wildfires and conducting prescribed burns. The last five years he has served as the Wildland Fire Specialist for the GFC. In his current role he is responsible for the prescribed fire certification program, smoke management, along with permit questions.

Scott Goodrick

Scott Goodrick is a Research Meteorologist with the US Forest Service Southern Research Station and serves as Director of the Station’s Center for Forest Health and Disturbance in Athens, GA. Scott received his masters and PhD in atmospheric science from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Scott has been working as a research scientist with the Forest Service specializing in fire-atmosphere interactions and smoke management for 18 years. Prior to joining the Forest Service, Scott spent four years as the fire weather meteorologist for the state of Florida and helping develop their Fire Management Information System.

Matthew Lawrence

Matthew Lawrence is a civil defense lawyer in Valdosta who practices all over South Georgia. His firm has defended landowners in cases arising from prescribed fires. He is the manager of his family farms, one of which has been in his family since 1853 and which is recognized as a Georgia Centennial Farm. He has loved prescribed burns since starting to “help” his grandfather around age eight or nine.

Michael Kohl

Dr. Michel T. Kohl is an Assistant Professor of Wildlife Management and Wildlife Extension Specialist at the University of Georgia in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. In this position, he focuses on 1) addressing applied research questions of relevance to the stakeholders of Georgia and the Southeast, and 2) disseminating this information to the general public in a way that is easily accessible. In most cases, these research programs focus on the application of GPS technology to address management and conservation questions that pertain to wildlife spatial distributions. In the southeast, this has recently included collaborative research pertaining to both white-tail deer and black bear management in the North Georgia Mountains. Dr. Kohl is originally from the Ft. Peck Sioux and Assiniboine Tribes of rural northeastern Montana. After leaving home, he attended the University of Montana where he received his B.S. in Wildlife Biology in 2009. He went on to receive his M.S. in Wildlife Biology in 2012 from the Boone and Crockett Conservation Program at the University of Montana studying bison ecology in the northern Great Plains. He then obtained his Ph.D. in Ecology from Utah State University examining wolf-cougar-elk spatial interactions in Yellowstone National Park. Following his Ph.D., he worked with the Berryman Institute and USU Extension Program, and in partnership with both the state and federal agencies, to further develop a state-wide sage-grouse conservation and management program for the state of Utah.

Don Hagan

Dr. Don Hagan is a forest ecologist at Clemson University, where he teaches several undergraduate and graduate courses and conducts applied research. The bulk of his research program focuses on the fire ecology of the southern Appalachians, addressing topics of management interest such as prescribed fire seasonality, the long-term effects of repeated fuel reduction treatments, and the aftermath of the 2016 wildfires. Current research projects are supported by the Joint Fire Science Program, the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, and Duke Energy. He has served on the board of the Consortium of Appalachian Fire Managers and Scientists since 2016. worked with the North Carolina Forest Service as the fire control and prevention staff forester. In this role, he supervised the State’s Central Operations Center, managed the state’s three Type II Incident Management Teams and National Fire Plan grants, was a State Emergency Response Team member, and was the interagency liaison to the agency cooperators and State Emergency Operations Center. Shardul received a Bachelor in Science in Biology from Campbell University, a Master of Forest Conservation from the University of Toronto, and a graduate degree in Environmental Management from the University of London. Shardul lives in Roswell with his wife and two children. They enjoy outdoor activities and travel.

Albany Quail Project

Chestatee/Chattahoochee RC&D Council

Consulting Foresters

Georgia Conservancy

Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Georgia Environmental Protection Division

Georgia Farm Bureau

Georgia Forestry Association

Georgia Commission

Georgia Power

Georgia Wildlife Federation

Greater Okefenokee Association of Landowners

Heritage and Wildlife Conservation Council

Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center

The Longleaf Alliance

National Park Service

National Wild Turkey Federation

The Nature Conservancy

The Orianne Society

Private Landowners/Managers

Quality Deer Management Association

Ruffed Grouse Society

Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservation

UGA, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service

U.S. Department of Defense

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

U.S. Forest Service

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