Florida Society of American Foresters

2012 Events

December 8, 2012

Jack Vogel named SAF Fellow

adapted from Summer 2012 The Southeastern Forester

Another Florida Division member receiving recognition at the SAF National Convention in October was John T. "Jack" Vogel who was named an SAF Fellow. One of the highest honors for members of the Society, this exceptional recognition is bestowed upon a member by their peers for outstanding contributions and service to the Society and the profession.

Jack is a Consulting Forester and Principal of Natural Resource Planning Services, Inc. in San Antonio, FL. He co-founded the company in 1974 and it has grown to be one of the largest consulting forestry firms in Florida. Jack serves as the firm's President and is responsible for supervising employees and setting policy for the company's three Florida offices.

Jack has served as a leader in the forestry community in the State of Florida for many years, including serving as the President of the Florida Forestry Association (FFA) and Chairman for the Public Lands Committee of FFA. Jack has willingly shared his knowledge and expertise by helping develop the silvicultural Best Management Practices (BMPs). He continues to serve on the BMP Technical Advisory Committee today as well as the FFA's Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

Jack has been a long-time supporter of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation (SFRC) at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He has supported SFRC both financially and publicly. Jack has provided input on course curriculum and currently serves on the advisory council for the SFRC. He assisted on the selection committee for the director of the SFRC and is a past- president of the SFRC Alumni Association. To further assist the SFRC, Jack is currently serving as the Chair of the fundraising committee to replace the classroom building and conference center which burned down at the Austin Cary Memorial Forest and has tirelessly travelled throughout the state seeking financial support. This building is utilized by forestry students for classrooms and professional groups such as SAF Chapters and others for meetings.

Jack has also been an active member of SAF since joining the organization in 1970. SAF service includes serving as Florida Division Chair in 1982 and assisting with the National Convention as the Program Tri-Chair and as a moderator in 2009.

November 10, 2012

Chapters from Florida and Georgia meet and tour exceptional longleaf pine

by Charlie Houder

Four SAF chapters, the Big Bend and Suwannee from Florida and the Flatwoods and Flint River from Georgia, held a joint meeting in Thomasville, GA on November 2, 2012. Harper Hanway, chair of the Big Bend Chapter, organized and presided over the meeting which drew about 25 members.

The business meeting began at 10:30 in the Plaza Restaurant in downtown Thomasville. District X Council Representative Dave Lewis provided a national perspective on SAF affairs, beginning with the recently concluded national convention at Spokane, WA. After mentioning the respectable attendance of about 1,600 at the convention, Lewis segued into a discussion of SAF membership levels. He said that the Society had "turned the corner," noting that membership had dropped by only 22 in the preceding year and that dues receipts had risen by 6%. This was attributed somewhat generally to the improvement in the economy and more specifically to SAF's revised dues structure and incentives.

Lewis then briefly addressed a variety of issues and projects being addressed by the Council:

Lewis concluded with a reminder of the Southeastern SAF meeting to be held in Mobile, AL, January 27 - 29, 2013.

Hanway opened reports from local units with a mention of the Florida SAF/SFRC Spring Symposium to be held May 21 - 22 in Gainesville. He then reported on Big Bend Chapter activities including the tour or the Stan Mayfield Biorefinery in March, a screening of "The Greatest Good" at the Bear Creek Educational Forest, and a program on the National Forest's trust management issue planned for 2013.

Craig Vickers from the Flint River Chapter and Buddy Coleman from the Flatwoods Chapter gave a view of activities in the Georgia Division. Coleman reported that the Flatwoods Chapter had held three meetings in the preceding year. He mentioned the chapter's involvement in an FFA field day and work with the Billy Lancaster Forestry Youth Camp.

Scott Crosby discussed upcoming plans for a Suwannee Chapter tour of the Ordway-Swisher Preserve and a joint meeting with the University of Florida Student Chapter. Hanway wrapped up the chapter reports with a call for volunteers to serve as chapter officers, particularly in chair-elect posts.

The business meeting concluded with a discussion of service projects undertaken by various chapters and the possibility of developing "multi-chapter" projects. The Big Bend Chapter's work at the Barksdale Foundation property was presented as an example. Buddy Coleman discussed a therapeutic riding program for veterans in Brooks County. Hanway asked for member's comments on the subject by December 15.

Following lunch, attendees caravanned to the Wade Tract a short drive south of Thomasville. The Wade family purchased this exceptional property with its stand of old growth longleaf pine in the early 1900s. In 1978, the family placed the 200 acre core of this stand under a conservation easement. Tall Timbers Research Station has had access to the property for scientific study since that time.

Researchers from Tall Timbers have worked with the family's forester to maintain the uneven aged longleaf, using prescribed fire and some selective harvesting as their main tools. In addition to the longleaf pine with individual trees approaching 500 years old, the property supports red-cockaded woodpeckers, Bachman's sparrows, gopher tortoises, and over 400 species of vascular plants.

Tall Timber's Jim Cox led the tour along with colleague Kim Sash and consulting forester Paul Massey. Much of the discussion centered on the use of fire and its effects on individual species like bobwhite quail as well as the composition of ground cover vegetation. Old-growth stand dynamics, the importance of the forest to imperiled species, and the setting of the property within the larger Red Hills region were also presented.

October 28, 2012

Florida Division member receives National award

Adapted from SAF press release

The Society of American Foresters has awarded Clark Seely the John A. Beale Memorial Award, one of nine national awards that SAF is giving this year. The award was presented during a ceremony at the 2012 SAF National Convention in Spokane, Washington

Presented annually, the John A. Beale Memorial Award recognizes outstanding efforts over a sustained period of time by an SAF member in the promotion of forestry through voluntary service to the Society.

An SAF member since 1977, by 1979 Seely had started to serve in key roles at the chapter level, first as secretary-treasurer of the Blue Mountain Chapter, then as chapter chair in 1982. In 1984 he became secretary-treasurer for Oregon SAF and, two years later, he was elected delegate-at-large, a role in which he organized the 1987 Oregon SAF Leadership Workshop. Between 1987 and 1990, Seely served on the Oregon SAF Executive Committee as Education Committee chair and membership chair. In 1990 he became chair-elect of the Oregon SAF and served as chair in 1991. Named Fellow in 1996, Seely served as chair of the Capitol Chapter in 1997 - 1998. Currently, Seely serves as awards chair for the OR SAF and, for its 2012 annual meeting, he is serving as exhibits and fund-raising chair. Seely now resides in New Smyrna Beach.

He began his service at the national level in 1991 as a member of the National Membership Committee. In 1992 he served as chair of the House of Society Delegates and, from 1998 to 2000, he served on the Society's Certification Review Board. He served as general cochair of the 2007 SAF National Convention, and that same year he was elected to the SAF Council, where he served as SAF representative for District 2 from 2008 to 2010. As a member of the Council, Seely was assigned to the Finance Committee and, in 2009, he served as its chair.

October 27, 2012

Florida Division Annual Meeting

By Charlie Houder

The Florida Division held its annual meeting at the Hillsborough Community College campus in Plant City on October 12 and 13. Approximately 50 people attended. The program moderated by Division chair Kimberly Bohn began at 1:30 PM with a session on current timber markets. Eric Hoyer (link to presentation), Natural Resource Planning Services, Inc., Brian Condon, BioResource Management, Inc., and Tim Young, University of Tennessee presented. Alan Shelby, Florida Forestry Association, and Jeff Vowell, Florida Forest Service followed with a session on policy and legislative issues.

The afternoon technical session was followed by the Division business meeting. Chair-elect Pat Minogue reported that the Division has a current membership of 271. Attendees were encouraged to invite prospective members to SAF meetings and events and to make them aware of the new graduated dues structure. Minogue also reported on plans for the SAF/SFRC Spring Symposium that will be held on May 21 and 22, 2013 at the Paramount Hotel in Gainesville. The program will focus on advances in geomatics.

Mindy Moss reported that the Caribbean Chapter was planning a tour to Picayune Strand in December or January and has donated $500 to the fund to rebuild the conference center at Austin Cary Memorial Forest. Scott Crosby has been trying to orgnize a tour of the Ordway-Swisher Prserve for the Suwannee Chapter. Harper Hanway noted the upcoming Big Bend meeting and tour of the Wade Tract near Thomasville, GA. Justin McKeithen reported that the Panhandle Chapter is working on a walk-in-the-forest event for December. Michele Goodfellow discussed activities of the Student Chapter including sending eight students to the SAF national convention in Spokane, WA. A BBQ dinner followed the business meeting.

The final technical session was held on Saturday morning and featured Jimmy Bielling discussing vegetation management techniques. Bielling supplied supporting research papers on Imazapyr and Sulfometuron. This was followed by a presentation on forest insects and other pests by University of Florida professor Jiri Huler.

The meeting was capped by a tour of mine reclamation on lands owned by the Mosaic Company. Mindy Moss and Eric Hoyer of Natural Resource Planning Services, Inc. organized the tour. Mosaic's Callie Neslund was also instrumental in the planning. Jeff Dodson, Mosaic's Reclamation Superintendent, lead the tour with assistance from Diana Youmans, Community Relations, and Bryan Valladares, Sustainability Analyst.

June 24, 2012

Florida forest heritage landmarks added to website; more sought

by Charlie Houder

Several years ago, the Florida Division took on a project to identify sites important to Florida's forest heritage and to have historic markers erected. Led by Dr. Ed Barnard, this effort resulted in the erection of five markers from Cedar Key to Pensacola. Locations, marker text, photos, and other information may be viewed on the State Heritage Landmarks page of this website.

Foresters in this state realize that the forest products industry touched almost every part of Florida. I encountered evidence of this on a recent trip through Sarasota County. Amid the suburban development along a busy four-lane road, I passed the marker for the Bee Ridge Turpentine Camp, established by "B.T." Longino, Sr. and Luke Grubbs in 1937. It seemed reasonable and proper that this site should be to those already recognized by the Division.

In researching the site, I discovered two other Sarasota County sites related to the forest products industry, Laurel Turpentine and Lumber Industry, and Woodmere Lumber Company and Town. These have also been added to the website.

State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/show/25512

I am now asking members of the Florida Division to gather information on other important sites that help detail the history of Florida's forests and forest industry. The Florida Division of Historical Resources has a listing of historical markers around the state, but it is surprisingly incomplete. Therefore, members can provide an important service by documenting markers that they pass each day or encounter during their travels.

Detailed location information, marker text, and photos may be sent to Charlie Houder at chouder@treeware.com.

March 24, 2012

Suwannee and Big Bend tour UF Biorefinery

by Charlie Houder / Photos by Charlie Houder and David Fox

On March 15, the Suwannee and Big Bend chapters held a joint meeting to tour the University of Florida's Stan Mayfield Biorefinery Pilot Plant in Perry. The plant is being built in cooperation with Buckeye Technologies, Inc. and will primarily produce ethanol using a process pioneered by UF microbiologist Dr. Lonnie Ingram. Construction is in its final phase and the plant is expected be operational in April. Depending on funding, UF will conduct research at the facility for the next five years.

Photos from the tour

UF's Ralph Hoffman and Ismael Nieves conducted the tour. The plant is scaled to process three to five dry tons of raw material per day. Hoffman indicated that that to be commercially viable a plant would need to process 300 dry tons per day. Initially, bagasse, the residue from sugar cane processing, will be used since its properties and behavior are so well understood. Hardwood chips will become the primary feedstock although many sources of cellulose are likely to be tested.

Yields from the plant will vary depending on the feedstock, but an output of 80 gallons of ethanol per ton of input is expected. The process uses cellulose and hemicellulose as the source of the sugars that are converted to ethanol. This leaves the lignin which can be used to produce an additive to make bioplastics more durable. It requires about 1,000 gallons of water to produce the 80 gallons of ethanol, but much of the water can be recycled. A weak phosphoric acid is used in the pretreatment and liquefaction phases. A portion of the water carries the used phosphorus along with other soluble biproducts that can be retrieved and sold as a fertilizer. The stated goal is to have a process that generates no waste material.

After the plant tour, an informal meeting of the two chapters was held. Suwannee chair Scott Crosby presented lapel pins to Tony Wallace, Bob Heeke, and George Maxwell in recognition of their more than 20, 30, and 40 years of SAF membership, respectively. As thanks for their service to the chapter, Big Bend chair Harper Hanway presented copies of Leon Neel's The Art of Managing Longleaf to Tom Gilpin and Pat Minogue. Possible meetings for the upcoming year were discussed including a tour of the Wade Tract in Thomas County, Georgia this fall.

Focus then shifted to the energy crop trials by Buckeye Technologies, Inc. Kathy Brooks gave an overview of the program which has included switchgrass and energy cane in addition to fast growing tree crops. Former UF professor Dr. Don Rockwood, now a consultant to Buckeye, then led a tour of eucalyptus and eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides) trials. The cottonwood was found to produce about 11 tons per acre per year but requires large inputs of water and nutrients as well as intensive competition control. Two eucalyptus species have been planted. E. grandis can produce about 15 tons per acre per year while E. amplifolia produces one to two tons per acre less. The various cultivars of the two species have different degrees of cold hardiness.

The tour concluded with an examination of a two year old stand of E. amplifolia that had been heavily damaged by a cold snap last winter. Dr. Rockwood explained that the mild temperatures through most of the winter had left the trees particularly susceptible when freezing temperatures finally came. While most trees were killed to the ground, some hardy individuals prevailed. These trees will provide the genetic material for the next, hopefully better adapted, generation. The situation provides an excellent opportunity for continued research, Rockwood remarked.

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