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News items in 2001

August 2001

Fire Weather: What’s it all about?

The next Big Bend Chapter meeting will feature Denver Ingram, meteorologist with the Southern Area Command Center who will bring us a program on Fire Weather: What’s it all about? Other important business items on the agenda include our chapter’s role in the upcoming SESAF meeting in Tallahassee.

The meeting will be held at the Leon County Training Center at the Tallahassee Amtrak Station, 918 Railroad Avenue beginning at 6:30 pm on Thursday, September 13. A portion of the station has been converted to a meeting room for use by civic groups. Pre-forestry students from Florida A&M University will be the Chapter's guests for the meeting. We will have a catered Bar-B-Q meal ($8.00/person), so we need a head count ahead of time. Those planning to attend should notify Richard Shelfer at (850) 942-9353; e-mail by Tuesday, September 11.

Tour of Chinsegut Refuge on September 28

The St. Johns, Caribbean and Suwanee Florida SAF Chapters will be hosting a fall meeting at the Chinsegut Wildlife Refuge on September 28th 2001. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at noon. The meeting will include a tour of the Big Pine Tract and examples of longleaf pine management. The meeting will be hosted by Kristen Wood of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. In addition, Jim Smith, a member of SAF's seven-person Science and Technology Board, will speak on current Society issues. There will be a catered lunch from Sonny's.

Those interested in attending should RSVP to Scott Crosby by September 21st to reserve a lunch. Scott can be reached by email at or by phone at 386/329-2552. A map to the Chinsegut Nature Center can be found at .

Directions are as follows:
Take I - 75 South to Exit 63 - CR. 48. Turn Right (go West) on 48 for 1/2 mile. Turn left (go South) on CR. 616 (there will be signs for Sumter Co. Correctional, and The Florida National Cemetery, plus a power substation will just be North of the Road. Go about a mile turn right (go West) on SR 476. Follow for about 10 miles. Go through the intersection with US 41. Chinsegut Nature Center will be 1 1/2 miles west of US 41 on SR 476. It will be on the South side of the Road so take a left into the entrance.

Wildland-Urban Interface Conference Planned

The Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI), the area where urban lands meet and interact with rural lands, presents many challenges and concerns for natural resource managers as well as its residents. Sustaining forests in this rapidly changing landscape is one of the main and most complex challenges. The purpose of this conference is to provide current information and tools to enhance natural resource management, planning, and policy-making at the wildland-urban interface.

The conference will be held at the University of Florida Hotel and Conference Center in Gainesville, Florida, November 5-8, 2001.A website has been established at

Dr. John Gordon, Pinchot Professor of Forestry (Emeritus), Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, will deliver the Keynote, "The Challenge of Maintaining Working Forests at the WUI".

The following topics will be addressed:

Planning and Managing Growth at the Interface
- Policies for the interface
- Planning and zoning
- Managing growth
- Landscape assessment
- Developing land environmentally

Human Dimensions and the Interface
- Economic values at the interface
- Tools to reach, educate, and involve people
- Planning and managing for recreation

Conserving and Managing WUI Forests for Ecological Services and Benefits
- Forest ecosystem management
- Managing for fire
- Managing for forest health
- Managing hydrological impacts and watersheds
- Managing for wildlife
- Invasive plants in the WUI

Conserving and Managing WUI Forests under Different Ownerships
- Managing industrial forestland at the interface
- Managing non-industrial private forestlands
- Managing public forestlands

For more information contact:
Dr. Susan W. Vince
School of Forest Resources and Conservation
P.O. Box 110410
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-0410
Tel: (352)846-0886 (w)
Fax: (352)846-1277

May 2001

Florida foresters support modifying roadless area rules

Yes, Florida has roadless areas or at least less-roaded areas. According to the USDA Forest Service, Florida’s three national forests have six areas, totaling 44,000 acres, where roadless rules apply. The 569,804-acre Apalachicola National Forest near Tallahassee has 19,209 acres under a road-building ban, the 198,848-acre Osceola National Forest near Lake City has 18,245 such acres, and the 383,573-acre Ocala National Forest has 6,704 such acres. Florida’s national forests also have 74,551 acres of wilderness areas and 10,035 acres of wilderness study areas.

These acres and millions like them across the nation are the subject of an announcement by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman that the Bush Administration, while keeping in place a Clinton-era ban on road building in roadless areas, will begin a new rulemaking process to address what foresters and the courts see as flaws in the ban.

Florida’s 400 plus professional foresters are led by John Holzaepfel, chair of the Florida Division of the Society of American Foresters. Holzaepfel, a forestry consultant with Natural Resources Planning Services in San Antonio, Florida, said, “I personally am pleased that the Bush Administration is attempting to modify the rule by moving the decision process from Washington, D.C., and returning it to professional foresters and resource managers with public input at a local level.” He added, “Many foresters support roadless area conservation but want decisions made on a forest-by-forest basis. The Bush amendment is significant in terms of federal philosophy on how decisions are made regarding local management of our National Forests.”

[For more information follow this link to the press release by the Society of American Foresters national office]

Annual Spring Symposium

The Florida Division and the University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation hosted their annual Spring Symposium at the Best Western Gateway Grand Hotel in Gainesville on April 24 an 25, 2001. For highlights and photos see the curent Feature Article.

Big Bend Chapter Tours TNC Preserve

The Big Bend Chapter held it’s first meeting of 2001 on April 11, 2001. The meeting began at 9:00 a.m. with a tour at the Florida Nature Conservancy’s Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve near Bristol, FL. The area is quite unique, containing rare plants, ravines, river bluffs, steepheads and spring-fed creeks. There were 17 people present including members and guests. Our host for the tour, Greg Seamon, began the tour describing the natural history of the area and the Nature Conservancy’s goals and management strategies. Greg led the group on a trailer tour of a portion of the 6,000 acre preserve. The tour including visits to steepheads, ravines and a spectacular high bluff overlooking the Apalachicola River floodplain. Several stops included discussions of longleaf pine/wiregrass ecosystem restoration efforts. Topics included fire management strategies and various methods of restoring wiregrass. A copy of the complete minutes of the meeting is available in PDF format.

March 2001

April Provides Opportunities for Education and Fellowship

The Big Bend Chapter's first meeting of 2001 will provide an opportunity to visit an area some have called the Garden of Eden. The Florida Nature Conservancy will provide a tour of the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve. The area is quite unique, containing rare plants, ravines, river bluffs, steepheads and spring-fed creeks.

The tour will begin at the preserve offices on Tuesday, April 11 at 9:00 am.

After the field trip and tour, members and guests will adjourn to the Apalachee Restaurant in nearby Bristol for lunch and a short business meeting.

On Wednesday, April 18, there will be a joint meeting of the Suwannnee and University of Florida Student Chapters of the Society of American Foresters. The meeting will be held at the conference center at Lake Mize in Austin Cary Memorial Forest near Gainesville.

There will be a catered dinner, a business meeting, and a dialogue between members of the chapters regarding careers in forestry. Tentative times are 6:00 to 9:00 PM. For more information contact Jim Shepard at Phone (352) 377-4708 Ext. 227; FAX (352) 371-6557; or

On April 24-25, 2001, the University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation and the Florida Division of the Society of American Foresters sponser the annual Spring Symposium at the Best Western Gateway Grand Hotel in Gainesville.

The title of this year's program will be : "At the Crossroads of Forest Management, Science, and Policy."

The Symposium will begin at 10:00 AM, EST on April 24 with the John Grey Lecture "Science in Service to Society: The Role of Research" delivered by Drs. Peter Farnum and Christine Dean, Vice President Forestry and Raw Materials Research and Director of Research for Western Timberlands, Weyerhaeuser Co. Other sessions on the 24th and 25th will feature speakers from the National Council on Air and Stream Improvement, Environmental Protection Agency, National Resources Defense Council, Senator Graham's office, Society of American Foresters, Division of Forestry, Stephen F. Austin and Florida State Universities. Special items of discussion include: water quality, biodiveristy, and the role of forests in meeting carbon sequestration goals, both locally and nationally.

For registration information, contact Cindy Love, 352-846-0849 or or click on the following link for an Adobe PDF registration

January 2001

Bryan Burch receives Outstanding Senior Forestry Student Award

Bryan M. Burch, a University of Florida honor student, has received the Outstanding Senior Forestry Student Award presented by the Society of American Foresters Florida Division. Burch graduated from Stanton College Preparatory School in Jacksonville and completed an associate degree at the University of North Florida.

The award, which includes a $500 check, was presented to Burch by John Fish, Florida Division of Forestry and Chair of the Florida SAF Awards Committee, during Forestry Centennial ceremonies on December 13 at the UF Austin Cary Memorial Forest northeast of Gainesville.

Burch commented, "I first became interested in forestry and the outdoors as a Boy Scout and continued that interest as an Eagle Scout." At the UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation, he is Student Council secretary and Forestry Club treasurer. Active in the SAF Student Chapter, he is also a member of Xi Sigma Pi, the forestry honorary fraternity. Burch has interned and volunteered at Goethe State Forest, Suwannee River Water Management District, and Project Learning Tree. He would like to begin his forestry career with either the U.S. Forest Service or the Florida Division of Forestry.

Bryan M. Burch (left) of Jacksonville, an honors student at the University of Florida’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation, receives the Outstanding Senior Forestry Student Award from John Fish, Chair of the Florida SAF Awards Committee, during Centennial ceremonies at the UF Austin Cary Memorial Forest near Gainesville.

Pinchot makes appearance at Centennial Ceremonies near Gainesville

By Barry Walsh
During Forestry’s Birthday Party on December 13 at the Austin Cary Memorial Forest near Gainesville, Gifford Pinchot made a special appearance, portrayed by SAF member Mark Milligan of ForestTech Consulting. The founding father of SAF delivered words of conservation wisdom from the past to 150 foresters from around the state and to students from Cornerstone Academy. The Austin Cary, a 2,080-acre pineland site, is the teaching, research, and demonstration forest for the University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation, founded in 1937.

The event celebrated 100 years since nine pioneer foresters, led by Pinchot, established the Society of American Foresters and thus the profession of forestry in the United States. Ed Barnard, Chair of the SAF Florida Division sponsoring the event, opened the ceremonies in the Conference Center at the forest named for Austin Cary, father of southern forestry. The Center, which holds 100 people, was built in 1984 with lumber from trees salvaged after a fire on the site and with logs from local sources. The rustic log building has a flint-rock fireplace and a pitched roof that overhangs porches leading to a deck overlooking Lake Mize. The lake, actually a limestone sinkhole connected to the aquifer, has depths of 92 feet.

Following Pinchot’s comments, UF Professor Alan Long spoke on current forest issues focusing on the ecological role of fire in southern forests. Then, looking to the future, UF forestry student Bryan Burch of Jacksonville received the Outstanding Senior Forestry Student Award ($500) presented by John Fish, Chair of the Florida SAF Awards Committee.

Ceremonies moved outdoors for dedication of a Forest Fire Education Kiosk, presented by Suwannee SAF Chapter Chair Steve Smith. In accepting the Kiosk, Dr. Wayne Smith, Director of the UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation, described it as the first in a series of educational kiosks to complement the Forest Walk that encircles the lake. In addition to the Conference Center and Forest Walk, facilities at the Austin Cary include a Learning Center, funded by the UF forestry Alumni Association.

Jake Huffman, Chair of the Learning Center Development Project, led a tour of the recently refurbished Old Barracks, built in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to house the first forestry summer-camp students. An entry foyer, being furnished as Cary’s field office in early 1900s style, leads to two classrooms with exhibits on the history of forestry education and on the agencies and industries that support forestry in Florida. A connected outdoor Teaching Pavilion nears completion.

Following bar-b-que lunch and the ceremonial cutting of a forestry birthday cake by SAF Golden Members, guests took a Walk in the Forest led by Joe Mackenzie of Georgia-Pacific and Willie Wood of UF. Rayonier, International Paper, Smurfit-Stone Container, Lykes Bros., and Natural Resources Planning Services also provided support for the event. Friends of the Austin Cary Memorial Forest attended as special guests.

The Austin Cary Learning and Conference Center, northeast of Gainesville on Highway 24, is available for public use. Reservations are required, and interested groups may call 352-846-0864 or e-mail: for details.


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