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SWGTC’s Land, Forest, Wildlife Management Students Pass Georgia Prescribed Burning Certification Exam with 100% Passage Rate

Southwest Georgia Technical College’s (SWGTC) Land, Forest, and Wildlife (LFW) Management Program’s Forest Management (FORS 2460) students recently participated in and passed the Georgia Prescribed Burn Certification Course’s written exam. The certification process is offered through the Georgia Forestry Commission and consists of a written exam and the execution of five prescribed burns. This class had a 100% passage rate on the exam, a first for the Program since its addition to SWGTC in Fall Semester 2011.

To receive a Georgia Prescribed Burn Certification, applicants must execute five prescribed burns and pass a written exam. This course is required to receive an Associate’s Degree in the LFW Management program, but the certification is not. It is strongly encouraged, however, in order for students to be more valuable to potential employers. All students in the Forest Management class have taken and passed the written exam and are in the process of completing their required burns. Once the burns are completed the students will receive their official certification from the Georgia Forestry Commission.

These students will perform their required burns on land provided by SWGTC and possibly on land provided by other organizations in the Thomasville area. Tall Timbers, a research station and land conservancy, has been one of the main organizations to collaborate with the students of the LFW Management Program. Tall Timbers is a widely regarded resource for information on fire ecology, game bird management, vertebrate ecology and forestry. The Research Station is also recognized as the home of the study of fire ecology and is an advocate to protect the right to use prescribed fire for land management.

“SWGTC is proud to be associated with the Tall Timbers Research Station and the natural resource scientists associated with this facility.  Our students benefited tremendously by having Lane Green, Executive Director of Tall Timbers, offer first hand instruction on the effects and safe application of prescribed fire.  Lane was tireless in his attempts to instill into our students the fact that prescribed fire is a safe way to apply a natural process, ensure ecosystem health, and reduce wildfire risk. We extend our sincere thanks to Tall Timbers for the willingness to support our fledgling program,” Mike Allen, LFW Management Instructor.

The LFW Management Program was developed in response to suggestions from local business leaders associated with land, forest, and wildlife management concerning their need for managers, technicians, and specialist positions, and the difficulty in finding properly trained individuals to fill these critical positions. Mike Allen was named instructor for this program shortly before the first semester began. Allen, who graduated from the University of Florida with a Wildlife Ecology degree, spent 30 years working for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in many different capacities, including a position as the head of Florida’s Wildlife Management Area program and leader for the Aquatic Habitat and Restoration program. He also received his Florida Prescribed Burn Certification in 1993 and has prescribed burn certifications for the states of Georgia and Alabama as well.

SWGTC and the local community are very excited to see the LFW Management Program progress in its years to come. With such support from the local plantations and organizations, the students who graduate from this program are sure to thrive in their careers! For more information on the LFW Management Program, please contact Mike Allen at (229) 227-3149 or mallen@southwestgatech.edu.

SWGTC offers more than 80 certificate, diploma, and degree programs. Many of these programs provide training for some of the nation’s fastest-growing career fields including Nursing, Automotive Technology, Clinical Laboratory Technology, and Criminal Justice Technology. More information may be obtained by calling 229-225-4096 or by logging onto www.southwestgatech.edu. 

Summer Semester begins May 21st. Don’t wait, enroll today!

Southwest Georgia Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.

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