Florida Society of American Foresters

2008 News Items

December 4, 2008

Caribbean Chapter seedling sale will fund scholarships

This January 10th, 2009, the Caribbean Chapter of the Society of American Foresters will hold their 2nd annual fundraising tree seedling sale. This year the Caribbean Chapter will host the sale at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa as part of a Florida Arbor Day Celebration being held by the museum. Seedlings will be available from $2.00 to $3.00 each. Varieties available include: Shumard oak, red maple, pignut hickory, Walter’s viburnum, red cedar, southern magnolia, Florida dogwood, and flatwoods plum. Last year the Caribbean Chapter raised over $2000.00 from the seedling sale to fund scholarships for forestry students attending the University of Florida Gulf Coast Research And Education Center in Plant City. In addition to the seedling sale, Caribbean Chapter members and UF Plant City Student Chapter members will volunteer to help MOSI plant over an hundred trees in celebration of Florida Arbor Day. The SAF sale and celebration at MOSI will take place from 11 A.M. to 3 P.M. The museum is located at 4801 E Fowler Ave. SW of the intersection of Fowler Ave. and 50th St N. in Tampa.

October 17, 2008

Suwannee Chapter conducts adopt a highway clean-up

From left, Chris Demers, Scott Crosby, Tyler Dearden, Bud Mayfield, Jenny Goodrich, Liz Ramirez, Todd Hannah,
Brian Roth, Dana Baucom, and Eli Bacheldor

On Saturday, October 11, eleven members of the Suwannee and UF student chapters turned out to collect litter from a section of Newberry Road in Gainesville. The event which takes place roughly twice a year was organized by Erik Smith, Scott Crosby and Chris Demers. This has been an ongoing project of the Suwannee Chapter since 2002 (and maybe earlier!).

September 28, 2008

Project with Santa Fe College ready for launch

A proposal for Florida SAF members to help Santa Fe College establish the North Woods Teaching Area is beginning to take shape. Under the plan, SAF members and students from the UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation would assist in the planning, development, and maintenance of an outdoor teaching lab on the Santa Fe campus.

Charlie Houder who has promoted the plan, anticipates that joint events on the site events will bring foresters in contact with students and members of the general public in a positive setting. Santa Fe students and faculty will have daily access to a natural area where they will find information about forests and forestry.

Santa Fe College faculty and staff met with Houder, Florida SAF chair Doug Carter and Tim White, Director of the UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation last spring. Although there was general enthusiasm for the plan, college expansion plans threatened at least a portion of the 20-acre area with development. Drs. Carter and White sent letters to Santa Fe vice president Anne Kress supporting the project and internal discussions at the college continued through the summer.

Shortly after the start of the fall semester, Santa Fe biology professor Craig Gillikin reported that the college administration had agreed to set aside a minimum of 7 acres for the project. The relatively small area contains a variety of natural features and natural community types including two sinkholes and an upland area where faculty had previously conducted burns and planted longleaf pine.

The proposed North Woods Teaching Area at the main campus of Santa Fe College in Gainesville

Professor Gillikin conducted a tour of the site on September 12 during which next steps were discussed. College faculty in attendence agreed to seek an affirmative written response to the letters from Carter and White. There was also an agreement to begin the planning for an initial event to be held during the fall semester.

April 17, 2008

Florida Division presents annual awards

The Florida Division's annual awards were presented during a luncheon on the first day of the 39th annual SAF/SFRC Spring Symposium.

Brian K. Cobble is the recipient of the Florida Division Young Forester of the Year Award in recognition of demonstrated leadership in forestry and community and active participation and outstanding achievement in professional and civic organizations. Senior Suwannee County Forester with the Florida Division of Forestry (FDF) since 2001, Brian received a BS in Forestry/Wildlife Management from Mississippi State University (MSU) in 2000. He coordinates and administers state and federal cooperative forestry programs and provides technical assistance to ~3,200 non-industrial private forest landowners. Brian also has combined satellite imagery, GPS, and mensuration to estimate timber composition and volume in a four county inventory area in MS and, as a private contractor, has performed forest inventory services for a number of clients. He has presented foresty programs to the Live Oak Rotary Club, Lions Club, Kiwanis Club, Women's Club, Advent Christian Retirement Village, and many local schools. Brian serves as a certified Tree Farm Inspector and Wildland Firefighter in FL and as a member of Emergency Response Teams for Hurricanes and Wildfires in FL, MS, and LA. He first joined SAF at MSU, is also a member of the National Wild Turkey Foundation, and participates in the Suwannee County Conservation District. He is married to Ronna Meeks of Live Oak, and with their two boys, they reside on a 75 acre Certified Tree Farm and Stewardship Forest. Brian attends the First Baptist Church in Live Oak where he teaches in the Awana youth program.

Oghenekome U. Onokpise receives the Florida Division Stephen Spurr Award for technical contributions to forestry in Florida. Currently Associate Dean, CESTA, Florida A&M University (FAMU), "Kome" joined FAMU in 1986 after earning a BS in Agriculture from the University of Ife in Nigeria, MS in Plant Breeding and Genetics from the University of Guelph in Canada, and PhD in Tree Breeding and Forest Genetics from Iowa State University. Since 1993, he has also been Courtesy Professor at the University of Florida (UF). His research involves developing biological control measures for controlling cogongrass invasion of forest ecosystems and silvopastoral agroforestry systems using small ruminants such as goats as a management system for limited resource landowners. In 2001-02, he was on sabbatical with Winrock International in Nigeria and the Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding at the University of Gottingen in Germany. Kome also led the development and implementation of the 2+2/3+2 joint BS degree program in Forestry and Natural Resources Conservation between FAMU and UF that has been instrumental in building diversity in the forestry profession, especially in Florida. He has received over $3.5 million for teaching, research, and international programs. An SAF member since 1982, Kome is also a member of the Florida Forestry Association, Florida Academy of Sciences, Agronomy Society of America, American Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Commonwealth Forestry Association, Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding, National Geographic Society Smithsonian Institution, Society of Economic Botany, and Gamma Sigma Delta.

Michael C. Long is the recipient of the Florida Division C. Huxley Coulter Award for contributions to the profession of forestry. The State Forester of the FDF since 2003, Mike received his BS in Resource Management from Syracuse in 1972 and began a distinguished career of 36 years with FDF first as Clay County Forester, then District Forester in Ft. Myers, followed by Chief of the Fire Control Bureau, and in 1996 Assistant Director. Of the many contributions Mike has made to the profession in Florida, the most significant have been his continuing work in fire protection and his influence on younger foresters. He is greatly respected for his leadership as Chairman of the Southeastern States Forest Fire Compact Committee to Implement the National Interagency Incident Management and Incident Command Systems. Mike was a member of the Extreme Fire Potential Task Force to develop an equitable way for FEMA to provide assistance. Mike has also been instrumental in the development of improved radio communication standards and meteorological reporting support for fire and land management programs. His passion for fire prevention has sustained a very effective Smokey campaign as well as promoted the newer Wildland-Urban Interface Program. Mike is Past Chairman of the SAF Fire Working Group. He co-authored New Legislation Aids Hazard-Reduction Burning in Florida in the 1979 Journal of Forestry and several parts of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group's Prescribed Fire Smoke Management Guide. Mike's many awards include: Award for Outstanding Service in Fire Management from the USDA, Florida Fire Chief of the Year Award, Silver Smokey Award from the USDA Forest Service and National Advertising Council, the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture's Sustained Superior Achievement Award, Current Year Achievement Award for Fire Protection and Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of State Foresters. Mike is a decorated Viet Nam war veteran. He lives in Monticello with his wife of 39 years, Lynn. Their son, Doug, also a forester, has given Mike two lovely granddaughters.

Green Circle Bioenergy is the recipient of the Florida Division Wood Utilization Award for development of an unique use of wood. Starting in 2007, Green Circle developed the world's largest wood pellet production facility in Cottondale, FL, which opened March 2008 with a production capacity of 560,000 tons/year. Debarked pine logs are chipped, dried to a specified moisture content, and pulverized. Since the bark is used to fuel the dryers, the drying is very efficient. The resulting wood is compressed into small pellets which are shipped to 1) power generation plants where they are pulverized and burned with coal dust to generate electricity or 2) central heating facilities. The cofiring process substitutes renewable wood for coal, thereby reducing carbon emissions. Because the pellet plant uses underutilized small diameter pine logs, Green Circle thus is creating a market for small trees and encouraging pine planting and plantation thinning. Green Circle's parent company is the JCE Group of Sweden.

Dennis Pawlowski is the recipient of the Florida Division Rising Senior Forestry Student Award for outstanding academic scholarship, leadership, and potential. His GPA as a Natural Resource Conservation major at UF/SFRC is 3.85. Dennis is a member of Gamma Sigma Delta and SAF and member/secretary of Xi Sigma Pi. Since 1995, he has served as a Plant City police officer. He has started the non-profit Trinity Special Sportsman Ministries, which provides quality hunting or fishing trips to the disabled, terminally ill, or fatherless. His degree will give him the experience to manage large parcels of land to provide the best possible experience for future clients.

Devon McFall receives the Florida Division Outstanding Graduating Senior in Forestry Award for academic performance and leadership potential in SAF. A Forest Resources and Conservation major, he has a GPA of 3.86. He obtained an Associate of Arts degree with honors from Daytona Beach CC. Devon is a member of Xi Sigma Pi, UF Chapter SAF, Florida Forestry Association, and National Scholars Honor Society. As Forestry Club President, he led a food drive service project for Alachua County Schools, firewood sale and t-shirt sale fundraisers, and arranged an array of speakers about jobs/internships. He was active in planning and conducting the 2008 UF hosted ASFC Forestry Conclave. He has worked as a research assistant for the FBRC with Dr. Staudhammer and Brian Roth and for Dr. Jose at Etoniah Creek S.F. Devon also had a summer internship with the USFS at Giant Sequoia National Monument/Sequoia National Forest doing regeneration sampling, insect sampling, genetic cone crop counts, and some GIS/GPS. Upon graduating, he hopes to work as a forester with a public agency or a natural resource consulting firm. His longer term plans include a Masters that would allow him to incorporate research into upper level management for sustainable, multiple use forestry.

Mark Milligan receives a Recognition Award for his strong leadership as Chair, Florida Division, 2007. During Mark's term, an historical marker was dedicated at Cedar Key, FLSAF supported a teacher on the 2007 FFA Teachers Tour, a partnership supplying both financial and technical support was begun with Project Learning Tree, support continued for SFRC students attending the National Convention and SFRC was given more latitude in making decisions on support between Gainesville and Plant City, a $1,500 Forester's Fund Grant for a Florida Historical Database for Famous Places in Forest History (a national prototype) was applied for and received and a followup grant of $5,000 initiated, the Policy Committee crafted two statements dealing with forest loss and fragmentation and another on wildland fire, and SESAF leadership directly engaged US Representative Allen Boyd and other representatives on the House Agricultural Committee regarding the Farm Bill. Mark also served on the SFRC Advisory Board, was active in refilling the Division's Chair-Elect, which had to be decided by a revote, and oversaw Florida's hosting the SESAF Conference in Sandestin in the Fall. Mark is currently serving on the Executive Committee as the past-chair.

In addition to the Florida Division awards, recipients of national and Southeastern SAF honors were announced at the Division's business meeting on Thursday morning. Three members of the Florida Division have recently reached the status of Golden Member by virtue of their 50 years in SAF. Bob Sage was on hand to receive his certificate. David P. Smith and David Jacobs have also reached the 50-year milestone. It was announced that Elizabeth Ramirez has received the SESAF Student Leadership Award.

Bob Sage (left) and Doug Carter

Long gives the "long and short" of his career and the future of forestry in Florida

The Big Bend Chapter of Florida invited Mike Long, Director of the Florida Division of Forestry, to speak at their first meeting of the year on March 18th at the Division's Bear Creek Educational Forest on Lake Talquin State Forest west of Tallahassee. Long, who will retire this year, reflected on the professional challenges of his career and presented his views on the future of Florida forestry, citing a recent blue ribbon panel survey that addressed the numerous barriers facing forestry in the Sunshine State over the next 20 years or more.

Among Mr. Long's top ten issues facing tomorrow's foresters were tighter air quality standards that could potentially restrict foresters ability to conduct prescribed burning; water quantity concerns and the lack of adequate PR by the forestry profession in communicating the role that forests play in assuring a supply of clean drinking water; biomass utilization, competition between traditional and emerging forest markets; and, especially in Florida, the dilemma of what might be called, people not seeing the forest or the trees: what to do with a growing population that continues to reduce forestland through development and land use conversions while at the same time demands more and more natural areas in which to recreate?

Mr. Long retires from the Florida Division of Forestry in June after over 35 years of public service. He has been Florida's State Forester since 2002 and has been recognized time and time again for his leadership role in addressing many forestry and wildland fire issues in the state during his career. At the end of the evening, Long was presented a commemorative edition of The Greatest Good, 100 Years of Forestry in America, published by the Society of American Foresters, on behalf of the Big Bend Chapter as a token of their appreciation for his leadership and exemplary professional integrity during his career.

April 4, 2008

Charles Maynard, SAF Philosophy and History Working Group member, introduced the SAF Database of Famous Places in Forest History and its Florida Pilot Project at the March 18, 2008, Panhandle Chapter meeting in Marianna. Shown (left to right) are Panhandle Chair Kimberly Bohn, Tim Baxley, Craig Iverson, Justin McKeithen, and guest speaker Maynard.

Florida Chapters help build Forest history database

The SAF Database of Famous Places in Forest History––a new project of the SAF Philosophy and History Working Group––is off and running with a Florida Pilot Project. The SESAF Florida Division, partnering with the Working Group, received a $1500 Foresters Fund grant to help cover costs of field trips to compile needed data on Florida places. Mark Milligan, then Florida Division Chair, wrote the grant. Florida chapters are scheduling Database speakers and planning field trips. The Panhandle Chapter was addressed by Charles Maynard; a joint meeting of the Suwannee Chapter and the UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation Student Chapters heard Working Group Past Chair Ed Barnard; and the Caribbean, Big Bend, and St. Johns chapters are planning speakers and field trips.

The Database goal is online information about forest history places for foresters, historians, policymakers, journalists, teachers, students, and history buffs. Working Group Secretary-Treasurer Peter Linehan and his son Blaine Linehan, a computer programmer, are testing a prototype database. A Database Committee of Working Group members will review nominations and select entries.

Florida was selected for the Pilot Project because of the data compiled for A History of Florida Forests published in 2007 by the University Press of Florida. The book, by Baynard Kendrick and Barry Walsh, was sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Forestry. The SESAF Florida Division contributed funding to help prepare the manuscript, and numerous Florida foresters provided sidebar text and historic photos. Research for the book revealed a treasure trove of forest history places surviving in relative obscurity.

A Database exhibit, to be displayed at the SAF/SFRC Spring Symposium on April 16-17 in Gainesville, features enlarged photos of famous places in Florida’s forest history. Look for the exhibit during the 2008 SESAF Annual Meeting at Callaway Gardens, September 21-23. Also a demonstration of the Database, using Florida data, is on the program for the 2008 SAF National Convention in Reno-Tahoe, November 5-9.

Plans are for the Database to go nationwide in 2009, and Working Group members will be contacting state and multi-state societies to arrange for Database speakers at chapter meetings and to help with field trips to candidate places. Meanwhile, members of Georgia and Alabama SESAF chapters are encouraged to begin identifying famous places in the forest history of their states as well as any unsung places that should be famous.

February 20, 2008

Big Bend Chapter meeting to feature DOF Director

The Big Bend Chapter has invited Mike Long, Director of Florida Division of Forestry, to speak at their meeting on March 18th. Long, who will retire this year, has been asked to reflect on his career, professional challenges, and views on the future of Florida forestry. Member are asked to come to show their appreciation for Long's service as a forestry professional and SAF member.

The meeting will be at the Bear Creek Educational Forest on Lake Talquin State Forest, 8125 Pat Thomas Parkway, Quincy, FL. Bear Creek is located on the east side of Hwy 267 between I-10 and Hwy 20. The program will begin at 6:00 pm. Plans are to have catered dinner at a charge of $8.00 per person.

February 18, 2008

St. Johns Chapter tours water management district lands

The St Johns Chapter toured the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Bayard Conservation Area in Clay County on February 1st.  Steve Miller, Matt Corby, and Chuck Byrd with the District led the tour, and discussed the challenges and opportunities associated with managing the property in western Clay County.  Other attendees included Brian Brown, Caitlin Sellers, Dan Lombardi, Kathryn Hutchins, Edward Cole, and Joe Roberson.

Florida Division executive committee sets course for 2008

The Florida Division Executive Committee met on February 4th at the Austin Cary Memorial Forest. The group reviewed last year's activities, made plans for the coming year, and heard from the sub-committees and chapters. (View the draft minutes)

Send additions, corrections, or comments to: