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Steve May and the Delaney Development Foundation

Confucius once said, "Choose a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life." This could be a good description of Steve May's job as chief forester and vice president of Delaney Development Inc. A 1977 graduate in Forest Resource management, May has worked for the Delaney family for around 17 years and hasn't tired of what he does. "I love my job and my work is probably nearer my hobby than anything you will find," he said. May's job is to manage some 65,000 acres of timberland owned by the Delaneys through their myriad of corporations based in Mobile, Ala. Delaney Development is owned by three siblings: W.R. and J.R. Delaney, and Darlene Frost. Their timberland is located in both Mississippi and Alabama. "Delaney Development Inc. is one of the largest, non-industrial timberland holdings in Alabama," May said. "The Delaneys manage their land to both maximize recreational income through hunting leases and for aesthetics." In fact, Delaney Development leases hunting land to approximately 34 hunting clubs and manages timber stands of all ages. This includes pine saw timber approximately 80 years old and hardwood logs up to 150 years old. The bulk of the land that the Delaneys own was purchased by May in his role as vice president and chief forester. "The Delaneys have a strong interest in bottomland hardwoods. The corporation owns approximately 15,000 to 18,000 acres of prime bottomland hardwood along the Tombigbee River in Alabama," May said. Thanks to May's influence on his employers, the Delaney Foundation recently contributed more than $20,000 towards Dr. Andy Ezell's research in bottomland hardwood management. "The Delaneys have provided the support and an outstanding opportunity for research on oak regeneration that will benefit landowners throughout the South," said Ezell. "They have provided us with hardwood forested areas to work in, and they have made a commitment to us to use these areas over a prolonged period of time." In addition to encouraging the Delaneys to support Ezell's research, May has also made an effort to give back to his alma mater. "The College of Forest Resources means everything to me," May said. "I think it is important to give back to the college. Alumni owe their profession to this school."

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