Craig Thomas was our guest speaker for our Chapter meeting in Placerville. Mr. Thomas is the Conservation Director for the Sierra Forest Legacy. Mr. Thomas spoke on the Memorandum of Understanding between Federal and State Agencies, conservation and community fire protection groups to promote the careful and expanded use of fire for natural resources and other social benefits in California. With the continued buildup of wildland fuels and with wildfires getting larger and more difficult to control, a unique partnership has begun. Citing recent fire science and large damaging fires such as the Rim, King, Valley and Butte Fires, this new fire partnership is calling for expanded response and a broader suite of tools to restore resilience of the ecosystem and to protect communities across the California landscape.
The April Chapter meeting featured Kendal Young of the Eldorado National Forest, who presented the status of the South Fork American River Cohesive Strategy Project. This project worked to enhance the Good Neighbor Agreement. It involves Cal Fire, El Dorado County, Forest Service, Sierra Pacific Industries and other private landowners. The Cohesive Strategy seeks to use agreements create a landscape vision for better managing the forests and land to reduce the impacts of wildfire.
Jim Branham of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy was the presenter for the May Chapter meeting. He highlighted the deteriorating condition of the Sierra Nevada forests due to the 5 year drought and the increasing mortality due to bark beetles. The Sierra Nevada forests are overstocked and unhealthy. In order to have healthy and resilient forests, ecologically sound thinning is needed, prescribed and managed fire needs to be utilized and appropriate reforestation is necessary. Investments in forests are needed at the federal, state, local government levels as well as by private landowners.
Ray Tretheway, Executive Director of the Sacramento Tree Foundation hosted our Chapter’s June meeting. He gave us the history of the Sacramento Tree Foundation, which began on Arbor Day in 1982. The Foundation had the purpose of planting trees in Sacramento County. It has been promoting the benefits of having urban forests for the community, air quality and overall health.
Mr. Tretheway also shared the Urban Wood Rescue Program that seeks to utilize the wood from urban trees to make durable products for people and divert the material away from landfills when it comes time for trees to come down because of safety, mortality or rot. The Foundation has formed partnerships with tree services to utilize high value woods to manufacture slabs for various products. A new mill is under development in Sacramento near the Sacramento Tree Foundations offices. The Foundation has secured some grants and partnerships to further develop the Program.
Donations: Members attending the June meeting voted to give an additional $250 donation for the California Society Oral History Project. There is a need to raise and additional $3,500 to edit and complete the 40 interviews that have been completed as part of the Centennial for the Society of American Foresters in California.
The Chapter members volunteered to staff the California Forest Center at the State Fair. The volunteers included Brian Barrette, Teri Griffis, Miles Heaton (Forest Center Manager), Rick Standiford, Jane and Raymond LaBoa, Jon Jue and Doug Wickizer in the morning shift. Gary Brittner, Kevin Conway, Miles Heaton, Steve Jones and David von Aspern were the volunteers in the afternoon shift. The Forest Center had a trail with various California tree species, stations learn about the different products that have wood components, animal bones, cones from different species and Douglas-fir, Jeffrey pine and incense seedlings were given away. Miles Heaton coordinated the volunteers for working at the State Fair.
Joanne Drummond, David Fournier, Ken Wilde and Jon Jue from the chapter volunteered at the Nevada County Fair Ag-Sperience Forestry Exhibit on August 10. This booth had a variety of displays that cones of mixed conifer species, a model showing a home that was prepared for wildfire and the dangers of not being prepared, an exhibit showing products made from wood products and a video showing fire safe practices. Sugar pine seedling donated by the Forest Foundation were passed out to fair visitors. Several hundred people stopped by the Forestry Exhibit. Joanne Drummond organized the staffing for the Chapter’s day at the Nevada County Fair.
Chapter member, David Fournier talks to fair visitors at the Nevada County Fair about forestry.
A planning meeting will also be held in September 28, 2017 to plan the future meeting speakers and locations and start nominations for the 2018 Chapter Officers. More information will be out shortly.
Samuel Neill was awarded the Chapter’s 2017 $500 scholarship. Mr. Neill is a forestry student at Humboldt State University. Congratulations to Mr. Neill. We wish him the best in completing him education and starting his forestry career.