Forestry leaders seek input at 'Tree Talk' session

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A special listening tour has been launched to learn Georgians' hopes and concerns about forestry in our state. A "Tree Talk" session is scheduled for Atlanta on December 5 at Trees Atlanta TreeHouse, at 11:30 a.m. Andres Villegas, President and CEO of the Georgia Forestry Association, and Chuck Williams, Director of the Georgia Forestry Commission, are hosting the event.

Local landowners, industry partners and interested citizens are invited to join the discussion. "As the newly appointed director of the GFC, it's my privilege to meet with people across the state," said Williams. "Every single person in Georgia is impacted by forestry in some way, and the GFC protects and conserves our forest resource through leadership, service and education. There's no better way to learn people's thoughts and concerns than to get together face to face." "Georgia is the number one forestry state in the nation," added Villegas. "With 22 million acres of commercially available timberland, we're the national leader in forest products trade and have a $32 billion economic impact on our state. That means we have an important impact on people's livelihoods and the environment. And a responsibility to always listen."

Tree Talk sessions have a casual structure, with Williams and Villegas sharing information about their organizations' missions and services. Key topics will include markets for forest products, protection from wildfire, communication with legislative representatives, and individual involvement. Ample time for questions and answers is allocated. Organizers want attendees to leave the gathering feeling informed, involved, and empowered to make a difference for Georgia through forestry. To attend, RSVP to and specify the city in which the event is being held. A meal will be reserved for you and an accurate head count is required.

"The Georgia Forestry Association has tools to help every Georgian get involved and spread our message," said Villegas, "and we encourage everyone to attend this important session." "Your voice can help sustain Georgia's amazing, renewable forest resource for generations to come," Williams said. "That's a mission we can all endorse."

For more information about forestry and services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit Learn more about the Georgia Forestry Association, the leading advocate for a healthy business and political climate for Georgia's forest environment, forest landowners and forest-based businesses at