A retired USDA scientist, Hicks has brought his scientific acumen and problem-solving skills to help Lundale plan for and improve its wooded acres through exploring timbering, reforestation, managing invasives, planting riparian areas for agroforestry and the sale of carbon credits. As the board chair of the Sustainable Forestry Committee, Hicks is also tasked with leading groups of volunteers to implement his recommendations.
Hicks contends that the biggest question a landowner faces is what happens if they choose to do nothing to manage their woodlands.
“A hundred or even 50 years ago, nature would have taken its course,” says Hicks. “We didn’t have invasive species like we do today. Now Chester County is at the edge of the storm front, dealing with a huge amount of invasive species coming in on shipping materials from our nearby ports, things like lanternflies, oriental bittersweet, multiflora rose, stilt grass, and emerald ash borers.”
Hicks and his wife Pam, also a board member at Lundale, work hand in hand with Lundale’s leadership and tenant farmers to make sure any actions taken are a good fit for the nonprofit’s organic, regenerative focus.
“Dr. Hicks is a wonderful ambassador for sustainable forestry in Chester County,” says Ag Council Interim Director Ann Lane. “He cares deeply for the environment, on both a personal and professional level, and gives so much of his time to show what’s possible for Lundale and other forested lands.”