Since the last report the High Sierra Chapter members have been busy with meetings, Scholarship fundraiser and field work dealing with the disastrous drought and pine die off from beetles. During the last few months the chapter has been involved with special events, chapter dinner meetings will resume in the fall.
Science Days at Shaver Lake, CA, May and June 2016. Several members of the High Sierra Chapter of the Society of American Foresters gave presentations at two SCE Forestry Department sponsored two “Science Days.” SCE’s Camp Edison area and the Central Sierra Historical Society Museum at Shaver Lake were used as an outdoor classroom for local elementary schools on May 20 and June 3. Science Days were coordinated by Wildlife Biologist, Steve Byrd from the Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Forestry Staff at Shaver Lake. The overall theme each week was “The Forest.”
The students arrived in buses at 9:30 to 9:45 am and returned at about 1:30 pm. The largest attendance was on Friday, May 20, when around 500 students first through sixth grades plus parent volunteers arrived from the Foothill Elementary School. On Friday, June 3, about 220 K through eighth grades plus parent volunteers from Pine Ridge and Big Creek Elementary attended.
The students were divided up into class groups and assigned a Group Leader. They walked around to from eight to twelve learning stations located in and around the Museum. Specialists at each station taught the students a different “Forest” related topic. Over the two weeks there were different specialists on some of the learning stations. At lunch time the students enjoyed a bag lunch on the museum grounds.
The group tour guides included volunteers from the Shaver Lake Volunteer Organization, private individuals and SCE employees.
The learning stations and instructors included: “CAL FIRE Engine 4362” was staffed by crew members and members from Pine Ridge Volunteer FD teaching how the engines can be used to control forest fires and prescribed fire. Fire Safe Council staff members had a diorama depicting how to make defensible space around homes.
At the “Thinning” station SCE Forestry staff took the sixth to eighth graders out to do an actual thinning of trees on June 3 only.
Michele Gilmore and assistants from UC Merced talked about “How trees grow and transpire” using creative a skit with the students.
At the “tree rings and bark beetles” station, SAF members, Don Dukleth, SCE and Diane Savin-Dukleth,USFS, showed students how the bark beetles kill trees by cutting into rounds of dead insect killed trees.
At the “Tree Game and Wood Products Production” station Thomas Catchpole, from SAF and “The Forest Foundation” demonstrated, using a skit, how the forest trees compete with each other and factors that contributed to the pine mortality.
Other learning stations included: Water Cycle / Water Quality; Reforestation and tree nurseries; Plant Powered Power Plants; Wildlife in Dead Trees; Pollinators and Seed Dispersal plus many other great stations staffed by volunteers from SAF, SCE, USFS and private individuals.
The students received a fun and well-rounded science lesson in what make up a “Forest”and the factors behind the extensive pine tree die off. This annual Science Day event was coordinated by Wildlife Biologist, Steve Byrd from the Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Forestry Staff at Shaver Lake.
Forestry Institute for Teachers (FIT) 2016: The High Sierra Chapter Education Chairman, Thomas Catchpole was on the FIT Staff again for all three FIT sessions which took up most of May for preparation of teacher kits and three weeks in June and July.
Chapter Facebook Group: Check this out! The High Sierra Chapter has a Facebook group it is linked to the National SAF page and the NorCal SAF website. The page can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/HighSierraSAF
26th Annual Forest Conservation Days 2016- will be on September 26 to 30, 2016 at Sequoia Lake YMCA Camp. Help is needed in all aspects for Forest Conservation Days at its new Sequoia Lake location! Diane Savin-Dukleth is the main coordinator. We are planning on over 1200 students from the greater Fresno area. Help is need at all levels including: school contacts, volunteer recruitment, lunch making set up, tour guides, staffing stations and greeting school buses. This year FCD T-shirts are being made so turn in your Volunteer Form early so we will know what sizes of shirts to order. Thanks again to all the volunteers that helped in 2014! For FCD info go to: Don and Diane at 559-841-3309 HM or 559-250-6752 firstname.lastname@example.org or Thomas W. Catchpole, 559-855-2194 or email@example.com
High Sierra Chapter SAF Members Host and Assist With SAF Centennial Conference: Members of the High Sierra Chapter, SAF hosted and helped with the logistics of putting on the 2016 Summer Conference – California SAF Centennial Celebration Thursday and Friday, August 25 and 26 at the Chukchansi Gold Resort near Coarsegold, CA. Student SAF Chapter members from Reedley College also played a major role in the success of this important meeting.