November 14, 2018

Texas Forestry Association Dedicates Reopening of Dr. Griff Ross Woodland Trail

The Dr. Griff Ross Woodland Trail was reopened on April 8, 2016, and provided the location for members of TFA to participate in an electrofishing demonstration to determine the health of a creek that runs along part of the Woodland Trail. (Photo: Bethany Baldwin | MSGPR)

The Dr. Griff Ross Woodland Trail was reopened on April 8, 2016, and provided the location for members of TFA to participate in an electrofishing demonstration to determine the health of a creek that runs along part of the Woodland Trail. (Photo: Bethany Baldwin | MSGPR)

 

IMG_8639

Adam Whisenant, left, and Greg Conley use electro-fishing techniques to search for fish that would indicate the water quality of the creek that runs along part of the Dr. Griff Ross Woodland Trail. The trial was reopened on April 8, 2016. (Photo: Bethany Baldwin | MSGPR)

Texas Forestry Association dedicated the reopening of the Dr. Griff Ross woodland trail near Mt. Enterprise on Friday, April 8.

Dr. Ross, along with his father and brother, were doctors in the small community located off Highway 259 North. Ross inherited the land on Highway 84 and donated it to TFA in 1974.

“We are very excited to dedicate this beautiful trail in honor of Dr. Griff Ross,” said Ron Hufford. “His conservation efforts and passion for forestry are key beliefs we want to instill in future generations.”

TFA created the 17-acre trail which is open to the public for hiking and in preparing high school students for woodland clinics. In the past, the trail was maintained and used as an outdoor laboratory by students in the forest technician program at Panola College.

“The droughts of 2010-2011 hit us hard and the pine would not stop dying,” said Hap Hatchel, Consulting Forester. “That gave us the opportunity to harvest the dying timber and add a gravel parking lot donated by N. D. Williams, and we appreciate it very much.”

After the dedication, TFA members participated in a water quality demonstration led by Donna Work, Biologist with the Texas A&M Forest Service.

“I work with loggers and landowners to understand how best to manage their natural resources,”said Work. “Best management practices are not mandatory. That’s why we are doing a lot of education with loggers and landowners to do practice best management for water quality voluntarily so we don’t have to regulate this.”

Work, along with Texas Parks and Wildlife officials Greg Conley, Pollution Biologist, and Adam Whisenant, Regional Biologist, presented an electrofishing demonstration and a search for benthic macroinvertebrates in a creek that runs through a portion of the trail.

The varieties of fish and small bottom-dwelling insects and larvae found help determine the water quality and overall condition of the streamside. Work said the specimens found shows the water quality is good in the creek sampled.