California 2016 Golden Members

Golden members are recognized for 50 years of membership in the Society of American Foresters. This year’s members  joined in 1966. They each have their own memories of that year, but here are a few things that were happening; the Vietnam War was being protested, the Miranda Warning & Rights became law, cigarette packages starting carrying a warning about them being hazardous to your health and air bags in cars were still science fiction.

Our 10 Golden Members this year are:

  • James Able, Eureka
  • Ronald Cunnington, Placerville
  • Ken Delfino, Bakersfield
  • Timothy La Farge, San Francisco
  • Harold Johnson, Eureka
  • William Knispek, Grass Valley
  • Donald Perkins, Sacramento
  • George Roby, Claremont
  • Alan Stangenberger, Albany
  • Dale Wierman, Davis

At the Winter Meeting held in Santa Rosa, CA, January 2016 three of the Golden Members joined us.  They were James Able, Alan Stangenberger and Dale Wierman.

James Able joined SAF as a young forester. He graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Forest – Range management. After graduation he started working for the Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station doing research on the application of herbicides on conifer plantations. He served in the Army and went to South Viet Nam. Upon his return he went back to work for the US Forest Service in California. Then he spent 10 years with the Georgia Pacific and Louisiana Pacific Corporations Big Lagoon operations in Eureka.  Beginning in 1979 he formed James L. Able Forestry Consultants which specializes in providing forestry advice and services primarily to non-industrial forest landowners in NW CA. He employs 8-12 foresters, botanists, technicians and office staff including his wife.

Alan Stangenberger joined SAF as a student member during his junior year in forestry at U.C. Berkeley.  He then entered graduate school and received his Ph.D. in Wildland Resource Science under Paul Zinke.  His entire career was spent in research with the forestry group at Berkeley.  He and Paul Zinke assembled the soil carbon data for a global carbon cycling study produced by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the early 1980’s, which was one of the first such studies attempted.  For fifteen years he team-taught elementary computer programming for forestry students at Berkeley.  Al retired in 2003.  For the past 30 years he has been executive Secretary of the California Alumni Foresters.

Al said, “SAF has provided me lots of in-depth knowledge of land management issues over the years.  The opportunities to learn from practicing professionals  through articles, presentations, and site visits are invaluable, especially for someone working in an academic setting”.

Dale Wireman joined SAF as a student and has been active in the Sacramento -Tahoe Chapter as a member and officer. He was on the NorCal Executive Committee as the Awards & Forester Fund Committee Chair for 13 years.  He was elected Fellow in 2009.  Dale completed a B.S. in Forest Management in1964 at Washington State University.  He worked seasonally for the US Forest Service on the Snoqualmie National Forest  from 1958 – 1963. He worked for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection for 32 years out of Fresno, Nevada City & Sacramento.  The scope of his work included; Fire protection – control, prevention & law enforcement; Resource management – service forestry, forest practice, & prescribed fire; Environmental Protection & Forest Resource and Land Use Planning  and Administrative Staff and Legislation at State and Federal levels.

In addition to these three members I heard back from Harold Johnson. He was spending his winter in Arizona and regretted that he would not be able to attend the awards ceremony. I also learned that Ronald Cunnington has passed away. I remember Ron with great fondness, he was a mentor to me early in my career on the Eldorado National Forest.



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