CLFA

The California Licensed Foresters Association, with a membership responsible for the sustained management of millions of acres of California forestland, represents the common interests of California Registered Professional Foresters.

The Association provides opportunities for continuing education and public outreach to its membership, which includes professionals affiliated with government agencies, private timber companies, consultants, the public, and the academic community.

Governed by an elected Board of Directors, CLFA was established in 1980 after the passage of the landmark California Professional Foresters Law.

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
August/September 2014
Kevin Conway

On August 9, your Board of Directors was on the road, meeting at the Humboldt Redwood Company in Scotia.  One of the issues discussed was the importance of youth outreach activities that get young people thinking about the role of resource professionals in the sustainable management of the State’s forests.  This resulted in the Board digging deep into the 2014 budget to find a $500 donation to support the California Forestry Challenge.

According to their website, http://www.forestrychallenge.org/, The California Forestry Challenge is a competitive event for high school students in technical forestry and current forestry issues.  It is a four day event that takes teams of 4-5 high school students into the woods for field training, field skill tests, a field trip to explore a current topic, consultation with a RPF regarding the topic, and ends in a graded presentation about that topic.  This year the Forestry Challenge will hold five events in Shasta, El Dorado, Santa Cruz, San Bernardino, and Tulare Counties and is expected to host over 300 students.

I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer at the El Dorado Forestry Challenge for the past two years and have found it to be very rewarding.  The students seem to be genuinely enthusiastic about having the forest as their classroom and spend significant effort in their short time there to improve the skills presented to them.  More importantly it is introducing these young students to some of the principles of forest management and stimulating them to think about why a forest is in its current condition and the challenges of manipulating it into a desired future condition.

The Board also appointed Coastal Director Colin Noyes to be the point of contact between CLFA and the various forestry colleges and junior colleges in California.  The intention is to engage these students early in their careers to realize the educational and networking benefits of being CLFA members.  Not all student members will go the route of obtaining their RPF licenses, but they will hopefully gain a better understanding of the powerful role RPF’s play in the management of the State’s timberlands through their participation in CLFA sponsored activities.  We look forward to Colin increasing the awareness of CLFA at forestry colleges and providing students with a dedicated point of contact in our organization.

I encourage all of you to take the opportunity to volunteer at an event such as the Forestry Challenge, Forest Conservation Days, FFA forestry competitions, education day at the logging conferences, or college career fairs.  Doing so raises awareness of our profession and can play a small but important part in changing the public dialogue about forest management.  You will be amazed at the number of people that are unaware of the regulatory oversight we receive or the amount of time and effort we take to mitigate potential environmental impacts of our actions.  You can help correct these misperceptions one small conversation at a time through volunteer activities in your community.