November 26, 2013 --
It is that time of year when many people dream about eating pecan pie with maybe some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Some individuals who work or live on Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany may collect their own pecans for their pies instead of buying them at the grocery store. Those who look for areas on the installation to gather the nuts should be aware that gathering pecans near Production Plant Albany’s test track and west of Radford Boulevard could be considered a federal offense.
Since the pecans are falling from MCLB Albany’s pecan trees and with the harvest of pecans beginning this month, Installation and Environment Division officials emphasized MCLB Albany’s pecan gathering regulations.
Harvesting runs until January.
Base and tenant commands’ Marines, Sailors, civilian-Marines, contractors and families may only collect pecans by the Major S.P. “Swede” Hansen Officers’ Lounge, Building 10200, Goodloe Circle, near the Hill Village Officers’ Housing Area and outside of the fenceline along Fleming and Mock roads, according to Brian Wallace, environmental branch head, I&E Division.
“We want to educate the base community, especially new employees and contractors, about the regulations,” he said. “Anything outside of the fenceline we don’t regulate so the public may pick up pecans on Fleming and Mock roads.”
People should be aware of traffic along Fleming and Mock roads when gathering pecans and may pick them up anytime, Wallace added.
Collecting pecans at the base’s pecan orchard near Production Plant Albany’s test track and west of Radford Road is unauthorized, according to Julie Robbins, natural resource manager, I&E Division.
The area is under a 10-year lease agreement and only contractors such as those working on the test tracks, hunters, Marine Corps Police Department and Installation and Environmental Division staff are allowed access to those areas.
“The pecan nuts by the test track are owned by a lease agreement,” she said, noting the trees are owned by the base.
Wallace said there about a dozen trees by the officers’ club and about two dozen off Fleming and Mock roads, where the pecans may be picked up.
Al Belanger, game warden, reiterated that individuals gathering pecans in the unauthorized areas are stealing pecans.
“A lot of people don’t realize the pecan orchard is under contract and that’s their livelihood, so essentially (violators) are stealing pecans,” he said. “Just because it’s on the installation doesn’t mean it’s free,” Belanger added. “Normally what I will do is check (the individual’s) ID and explain to (that person) the process.
“Usually I will write (him or her) a warning violation and repeat offenders could be sent to the federal court system,” Belanger said. “The fine schedule is put out by the United States Court of the Middle District of Georgia. After someone has received a written warning and does it again, he or she could be charged with criminal trespass, which the fine is up to $250.”
For more information about the pecan picking regulations, call Robbins at 229-639-9946.