Evan Frank Allison


1865-1937
Conservationist


In the management of his lands he led the way in Alabama to profitable forest conservation through selective tree cutting and reforestation. He restored species of wildlife indigenous to the area and taught methods for their conservation


Evan Frank Allison, through his pioneer efforts to preserve forest and wildlife resources of his native west Alabama, preached with vigor a practical course of conservation that others could not fail to appreciate. As a matter of sincere personal interest he loved nature; as a sound business practice he cultivated the forests and their creatures and assured their harvest for his own and following generations.

He established Allison Lumber Company at Bellamy in 1899 and guided it to a position of leadership in the pine and hardwood industries. Although born to a family of limited resources, he gained control of wide timber interests and took an active part in the economic development of the state. While others were stripping the land of timber growth, Allison left trees of smaller diameter uncut and spared selected full-grown trees in cut-over tracts to provide natural reforestation. He supplemented this natural process by annually planting seedlings in large numbers. He met the ever-present threat of destruction by fire by developing a cooperative understanding with his neighbors, by containment of fires through an early warning system, and by other now widely practiced means. He erected the first fire observation tower in the state. As Allison conserved the woodland, he conserved it's animals. His more than 120,000 acres were a vast preserve sheltering untold numbers of deer, wild turkey and other game. His annual hunts served to provide a showcase for the results he was accomplishing in woodland and wildlife conservation.

Conservationist and lumberman, Evan Frank Allison provided business, social and political leadership for his contemporaries and a perpetual object lesson for all stewards of the forest and its wildlife.

Elected 1961


Sources:
Alabama Hall of Fame, 1968


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Created: 5/8/96