Cline and Mary Ruth Fowler operate a sporting clays business and game preserve on their 535 acre FSC Certified forest tucked deep in the mountains of North Carolina’s Spring Creek area. Their forest is responsibly managed by Columbia Forest Products for multiple uses, which now include carbon storage.
Mary Ruth’s grandfather put together what is now Fowler Farms years ago when he began purchasing small farms and houses in the valley. Mary Ruth and Cline added more acres to make the farm what it is today. They sold veneer black walnut trees from their farm to help pay for additional acreage. “It just broke my heart to have to sell them,” commented Mary Ruth, referring to the walnuts.
The primary function of their certified forest is to provide natural beauty, maintain woodland scenery for the sporting clays course, provide deer and turkey habitat for family hunting, and to provide habitat for quail and pheasant. The Fowlers have successfully established pheasant and quail coveys as part of the wildlife management efforts in their forest. Deer and turkey are abundant, and several bears also move through the valley. Forest management focuses on harvesting individual trees and groups of trees in a way that maintains and even restores natural forest ecosystems.
FSC-certified management ensures that their forest will remain healthy and responsibly managed, primarily for wildlife, aesthetics, and forest health. The Fowlers harvest timber for sale to local mills, farm use, and building structures as needed. Firewood is salvaged from downed or dying trees. They have a wood furnace for home heating and their own portable bandmill for producing lumber from trees on the farm. “We would like to keep our forest intact for the beauty and wildlife,” said Mary Ruth. “Being able to keep our forest and pay for expenses through carbon credits would be wonderful.”
The Fowler’s sporting clays course is nestled in the mountains along woods and meadows and across several creeks. Each station relies on solar powered trap throwers that are activated by a foot switch. Find out more at Fowler Farms Sporting Clays and Game Preserve on the web: