Mudd, Pullig families earn Tree Farm honors

• Lake Charles LA

The Mudd and Pullig families were named 2016 Louisiana Outstanding Tree Farmer for the 735\_acre Red Oak Lake Tree Farm in Bossier Parish. The award was presented during the annual convention of the Louisiana Forestry Association Aug. 31 in Lake Charles.

Joseph Pullig, his sister Rachel Pullig Chapman, Susan Mudd Holland and her sister Linda Mudd Turley and their families share Red Oak Lake LLC as a tree farm that harvests and plants trees, but has another goal of providing a place where wildlife can thrive. By paying close attention to setting a place for wildlife, it has become a great place to hunt and fish.

"I've seen these bucks start growing their antlers from the time they get two little knots on their head and take pictures of them once a week until they grow into them," said Joseph Pullig, 33.

David Holland, son of Susan Mudd Holland, agreed the wildlife is certainly plentiful, but it's the serenity he equally enjoys.

"I just like it because it's out there' and peaceful," Holland said.

Red Oak Lake is near Haughton in Bossier Parish. The first 660 acres were purchased in 1995 by wood dealer Sam Pullig, Joseph's father, and consulting forester Lee Mudd, Susan Holland's dad. An additional 80 acres were purchased years later. The two men's goal was to manage the land and hand it down to generations to come.

Susan's husband, Tim Holland, also a consulting forester, helps with land management of Red Oak Lake. Areas that have been harvested and replanted over the years are marked by the year the new trees were planted. This includes a recent thinning of an area his son Jason and fellow Scouts helped to plant in the mid-1990s. Through control burns of approximately 100 acres each year, wildfire risk is minimalized.

The property measures less than two miles diagonally, but throughout it, about 10 miles of trails meander the breadth of it. Those trails make a great path that Scouts enjoy as they camp out and learn about forestry and wildlife and earn those Boy Scout badges.

The activities at Red Oak Lake are often family oriented, including gatherings of friends or church groups, but the mainstay of the property remains a place of tranquility.