Florida Society of American Foresters

2010 Events

June 12, 2010

Big Bend Lends a Big Hand to Local Charity Foundation

A few of the members of the Big Bend Chapter banded together in the heat and rain on Saturday, June 5th to help the Barksdale Foundation in Madison County with clean-up chores in preparation for their Grand Opening/ Fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, June 12, 2010.

Of course, as we foresters are wont to do, among the first things we did when we all arrived was to crank up our chainsaws and start a fire! The Big Benders lopped limbs, cleared brush, removed trash and barbed wire from the home site premises. In other parts of the property they helped remove small patches of exotics such as Chinese tallow and cut and removed a large pine log that had fallen across the main hiking trail.

While the foresters were bending their backs two locals were opening most of the fire lines and clearing the paths around the lake with bush-hog mowers. The Foundation even had one of the Madison County Commissioners, Wayne Vickers, who also serves on the Board of Trustees, doing some carpentry work on the house.

Another work day is tentatively scheduled for the fal when the weather is cooler! A special thanks to David Norton for coordinating this event and all that participated. It was a worthwhile service day and lots of fun.

The Chapter's next activity will be an evening next month to learn about invasive plants and their control, as many have expressed interest. The meeting will provide continuing education credits for those who attend. More information will be forthcoming.

June 4, 2010

Florida Division Society of American Foresters 2009 Awards

The Florida Division announced its annual awards for 2009 at a luncheon during the Spring Symposium in Gainesville on June 2, 2010.

Melinda Moss 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. Mindy is currently Senior/GIS Forester with Natural Resource Planning Services in San Antonio, FL. She is a certified Arborist and is working towards a graduate certificate in Geographical Information Systems from the University of South Florida. Mindy graduated in the inaugural class of the University of Florida (UF), Plant City Campus Natural Resource Conservation program with a BS in 2007. She helped found the UF Plant City SAF student chapter and served as its President/Chair in 2006. Mindy was inducted into the Xi Sigma Pi Forestry Honor Society in 2006 and was awarded the FLSAF Outstanding Senior Student and the SESAF Overall Student Awards in April 2007. Upon graduation, she joined the Caribbean Chapter of SAF, shortly after that became its Secretary and Treasurer, and currently serves as Vice Chair. She is a liaison between the Plant City student chapter and the Caribbean Chapter, encouraging members to be active and collaborate. She has been instrumental in the development and organization of a yearly tree seedling sale that funds scholarships, over $1,000 in 2010, for UF Plant City forestry students. She does an outstanding job of keeping all members informed of upcoming SAF regional and national opportunities. She has developed a Chapter website to disseminate SAF and Chapter information to members and to facilitate discussion of forestry-related topics. Mindy's contributions to the profession of forestry began when she was an intern for the City of Largo developing hands-on educational material for the Junior Naturalist Summer Camp and the city's Urban Forestry Program. She also assisted the city in developing an Urban Forestry Master Plan. While working with UF, she assisted in field research and data collection for the City of Tampa's UFORE project that allowed city officials to assess the composition and condition of Tampa's urban forest and to correlate policies with future objectives. Mindy is active with various civic and professional memberships and volunteer activities in Central Florida. She is a member of SAF, International Society of Arboriculture, Suncoast Native Plant Society, and the Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Her volunteer activities promote forestry education as she judges at Forestry Field Day for Polk County's FFA students and organizes Walk in the Forest activities in Volusia County as well as SAF Field Days at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. Mindy's hobbies include taking care of her two border collies, spending time with her family, mountain biking, and dancing. She lives by the motto "Never stop exploring." Her explorations and journeys continue alongside her husband, Charles, her family, and close friends.

Stanton Rosenthal receives the Florida Division Stephen Spurr Award for technical contributions to forestry in Florida. As Leon County Forester since 1989, both with DOF and UF, Stan has been a tireless promoter of urban and rural Forestry through Future Farmers of America, Project Learning Tree (PLT), American Tree Farm Program, Forest Stewardship Program, Master Gardener, Master Wildlife, Master Tree Farmer, North Florida Prescribed Fire Council, Girl Scouts, SAF, Florida Forestry Association (FFA), International Society of Arboriculture, garden clubs, local schools, and many other programs and organizations. He has spent considerable time assisting Florida A&M (FAMU) by teaching forestry, education, and landscape architect majors in classes, field trips, and landscape restoration projects. Classes and field trips include a biannual urban forestry class, tours of local forestry operations, and two to three PLT certification classes per year. Stan also helped a forestry intern gain valuable job skills and forestry knowledge while working daily over several months, and he assisted with graduate student research projects including an ongoing cogongrass control study and an inventory of FAMU's live oaks. He had a major role in the highly successful FAMU Forestry Symposium in 2002. Stan is a member of FFA, a board member of the FFA Landowner Committee, past president and steering committee member of the North Florida Prescribed Fire Council, board member and treasurer of the Leon County Association of Science Teachers, and a member of the Florida Association of County Agricultural Agents. He has a BS in Forest Management from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.

Samuel Van Hook is the recipient of the Florida Division C. Huxley Coulter Award for contributions to the profession of forestry. While employed as Forester, United States Air Force (USAF), Avon Park Air Force Range (APAFR), FL, from 1977-2007, Sam served as inventory and timber sales forester and mostly as the Fire Management Officer (FMO). Under his leadership as the FMO, the USAF was the lead public agency in the application and management of wildland fire in Central Florida. He was responsible for all phases of the fire management program, including training, equipping and supervising personnel, planning and implementing prescribed fire plans, and managing wildfires. In the prescribed fire program that burned over 20,000 acres annually, burns were planned and implemented in an unusually complex setting which required the accomplishment of numerous and often conflicting goals to support a diverse natural resources management program and military training support requirements. In the late 1990s, the USAF and many public land managing agencies re-focused to ecosystem-based management. Consequently, APAFR implemented fire techniques more closely mimicking natural fire regimes, primarily growing season burning. Sam aggressively led this transition by learning new skills and passing them on to fire crew personnel. As a result of his expertise, the USAF smoothly transitioned, and today over 75% of prescribed fires are during the growing season. Sam was instrumental in training wildland fire personnel in prescribed fire. He made the Prescribed Fire Training Center the premier inter-agency training resource for prescribed fire. APAFR served as a regional training hub and played a key role in training hundreds of personnel in the application of prescribed fire. As training coordinator, Sam was responsible for scheduling burns and mentoring crews as they experienced hands-on training on fire in Florida. Also while with the USAF, Sam played a critical leadership role in the formation of the Central Florida Prescribed Burning Council. Sam's efforts over a 30+ year career, now as a Consulting Forester, as a wildland fire specialist have had a lasting effect on the natural landscape in central Florida, and he exemplifies the leadership role that foresters and SAF have in the management and protection of natural resources. Sam is a long time member of SAF and an active member of the Caribbean Chapter, serving on numerous committees and twice as Chapter President, and organizing multiple Chapter field trips and outreaches such as a Habitat for Humanity tree planting. He received a BS in Forestry from UF and was granted Certified Forester status by SAF in 1995.

Jarek Nowak receives a Recognition Award for his strong leadership as Chair, Florida Division, 2009.Ê During Jarek's term, together with the Alabama and Georgia Divisions, Florida SAF hosted the 2009 SAF National Convention in Orlando, FL, between September 30 and October 4. The Live Oaks and Naval Ship Timbers historical marker at Naval Live Oaks Reservation located within Gulf Islands National Seashore in Gulf Breeze was dedicated. The FL-SAF supported a teacher on the 2009 Florida Forestry Association's Teachers Tour. Support continued for SFRC students attending the National Convention. The FLSAF bylaws were revised granting student members full membership rights consistent with recent National SAF policy, the FLSAF Nominating Committee charter was approved, and the Hall of Fame Committee charter was being revised.Ê Jarek also served on the SFRC Advisory Board helping revise the BoardÕs Bylaws after recent SFRC expansion to include Fisheries and Geomatics. Jarek is currently serving on the FLSAF Executive Committee as the past-chair.

The Division also recognized top students from the University of Florda School of Forest Resources and Conservation at the School's awards banquet on April 17, 2010. Mary McKenzie is the recipient of the Florida Division Outstanding Graduating Senior Forestry Student Award for academic performance and leadership potential in SAF. Her GPA as a Natural Resource Conservation major at UF/SFRC is 3.83. Mary is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, the Biodiesel Club, Xi Sigma Pi, and SAF, which she serves as student chapter President and Treasurer. She is currently working as a part-time associate at the environmental consulting firm ENVIRON. Her past work experience includes a student internship with Dr. Michael Andreu, which resulted in her coauthoring 10 EDIS publications, and subcontracting for the environmental consulting firm Biological Research Associates. She received the Florida Division Outstanding Rising Senior Forestry Student Award in 2009. After completing her undergraduate degree, Mary would like to take some time to travel the U.S. and see some of our National and State Parks. She will be pursuing a Master's degree in natural resource/forest resource economics and is applying at both University of Maryland and Auburn University. Because of her experience and interest gained at ENVIRON, she plans on becoming a economic consultant after completing her Master's.

May 10, 2010

Big Bend Chapter kicks off new year recognizing "Longtimers"

The Big bend Chapter held their first meeting of the year at the Old Mexico Restaurant in Tallahassee on March 9th. Approximately 30 members enjoyed an atmosphere of "South of the Border" in the company of colleagues to hear what in-coming Chapter Chair Pat Minogue, Assistant Professor of Silviculture at the University of Florida, had to say about "The Emerging Bio-energy Industry and Opportunities for Forestry".

Big Bend Chapter Longtimers
Big Bend Chapter Service Pin Award Recipients Ð Standing from left to Right: Pat Minogue, 2010
Chapter Chair (20 yrs); Dick Cochran (50 yrs); Ray Geiger (40 yrs); Dave Lewis (30 yrs);
Dan Simmons (30 yrs); HAROLD MIKELL (60 YEARS!); Don Curtis (20 yrs); and Mike Renwick (10 yrs).
Not Pictured are Floyd Marita (50 yrs); Erin Albury (10 yrs), and Jeff Vowell (10 yrs).

Pat and his fellow members also recognized over 3 centuries of collective service to the forestry profession by awarding service pins to those members who've reached a decennial anniversary in 2009 or 2010. In the photo, Bill Rogers - no rookie member himself - might've tried to get out of the picture before the camera clicked but we think he was taking a siesta at the time!

In addition to this Chapter meeting, the Big Bend Chapter has hosted "Chapter Chat" Sessions in Tallahassee and Perry so far this year; has another one scheduled in May/June for the southern part of the Chapter; and is currently making plans for our next Chapter-wide meeting, tentatively scheduled for later this summer.

April 4, 2010

Suwannee and Student chapters help with North Woods plan and burn

On April 3rd, members of the Suwannee and Student chapters of the Florida Division joined faculty and students from Santa Fe College to take a major step in helping the college manage its North Woods Conservation Area. In all, a group of about 15 met to discuss collaberative management actions for the small but diverse wooded area on the Santa Fe campus in Gainesville. A year ago, groups worked together to conduct a vegetation inventory for the area. Charlie Houder shared the results of that work and facilitated a discussion of possible management actions. Three teams were organized to develop projects related to vegetation management, trail management/ interpretation, and hydrologic issues. Houder then led a tour of the site.

Santa Fe College faculty members Craig Gillikin and Denise Guerin then conducted a prescribed burn on a five acre sandhill area within the North Woods. Student Chapter members from the University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation assisted. The area had been burned about seven years ago and planted with longleaf pine. The burn was designed to address the serious hardwood encroachment that had occurred since that time. The burn began shortly after 10 AM and was successfully completed by noon.

Student Chapter members and DOF employees
Student Chapter members (from left) Leland Taylor, Mark Hammond, Derek Jones, Katie Termer, and
Josh Havird discuss the successful North Woods prescribed burn with Division of Forestry employees.

January 31, 2010

Members mourn the loss of Mark Brown

Florida foresters lost a good friend and fellow forester recently with Mark Brown's passing. Mark began his career in Florida with the Division of Forestry in 1978. Until he became too ill, he was a regular attendee of Chapter Meetings, Spring Symposiums, and SESAF meetings. Mark was the organizer behind the annual SAF - Volusia County Walk in the Forest from 1997 to 2006. In addition to his work with SAF, Mark made a positive impact acquiring & managing conservation lands in Volusia County. In 1996, the Chapter presented Mark with the Gene Lain Memorial Award, one of only five recipients.

At the request of the family, donations may be made to the Florida Hospital Hospice Care, 770 W. Granada Blvd, Ormond Beach, FL 32174. For a personal online condolence, or to sign the guest book, visit www.cfandcs.com

Send additions, corrections, or comments to: