California Licensed Foresters Association

Helping Determine the Future of Forestry in California Since 1980

Contact Us Today

California Licensed Foresters Association

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.

January 2016 President's Stump

Clayton Code

Every New Year we all look back on the previous year and look forward to what we want to be different for the year ahead, I’m talking about New Year resolutions. I took a moment away from thinking of myself and turned my attention on what I would want different for CLFA in the coming year. In short, my answer is “not much”.

At roughly 500 voting members, a steady decline in membership seems to have leveled off and has been mostly stable for the last couple of years. This is encouraging given the number of valid licensed foresters statewide continues to decline. CLFA’s voting membership accounts for 40% of RPFs, while this may appear small, when compared to other professional associations, we sit pretty well. I did a quick inquiry of other professional organizations and found their membership as a percentage is generally much lower than ours. Still I am not satisfied, this is why we initiated, for the first time, a membership referral program available to current members. Current members can receive $50 off their 2016 membership by recruiting fellow RPF’s to CLFA. The specifics and details were included with membership renewal notices, if there’s any questions don’t hesitate to contact Kathleen or any board member.

We continue to be well represented and effective on legislative and regulatory fronts thanks to a core group of active members attending the BOF and various other meetings. CLFA’s Government Affairs Specialist continues to serve us well and yours truly has become a regular fixture at the Board of Forestry. Our education, scholarship, and licensing programs continue to be strong.

Membership benefits continue to be regular topic of discussion at our board meetings. I continue to hold that the key to maintaining and building the strength and relevance of CLFA lies in a large part, to benefits of membership. I’m often asked “what do I get out of being a member?” Currently, in my mind at least, the answer comes down to three categories; protection of practice, professional development, and professional networking. Professional networking and professional development continue to be provided by way of workshops, newsletters, our Facebook page and breakfast group meetings. Late in 2015 board members Jack Harvey and Robert Galliano resurrected the Auburn/Grass Valley breakfast group with wonderful success. They’re only three months into it and routinely have a dozen or so members in attendance, many of which have had valuable comments, questions and concerns that have been brought to the board for considerations. Way to go Jack, Robert and Auburn/Grass Valley!!! My heartfelt thanks go out to all the Breakfast Group Leaders, your time and commitment is what keeps these groups alive, thank you! Future and ongoing efforts in improving member benefits include revamping and reimagining CLFA’s website, developing forestry informational videos to be made available online, and resurrecting the Chico Breakfast Group.

Protection of practice is a more nebulous membership benefit that is not easily felt. Laws and regulations are written by those who are present. Without our constant message of the need for responsible forest management and a vibrant forest products market, there are pressures that would see an end to active forest management. I am constantly amazed at the weight CLFA carries; due entirely to the efforts of past boards and past presidents. Their tireless efforts and successes brought us the many years of muted turmoil we’ve enjoyed for many years now. The must be recognized, and I will do it now…THANK YOU!

The glue that has held CLFA together for so many years is weathering and getting dry. The scale of turmoil over forestry in the 1980’s presented a clear and necessary need for solidarity. That turmoil is still there, only instead of facing sweeping changes; the changes we have been facing are more incremental. CLFA’s ability to respond to incremental changes with little fanfare makes it hard for anyone to truly feel the benefit CLFA provides eroding a clear and necessary need for solidarity making me wonder if there is need to redefine what CLFA is about. Don’t get me wrong, CLFA representation in political and regulatory arenas is and should continue to be a cornerstone of CLFA’s charter, but without clear saliency among the membership is it enough to keep CLFA vibrant and relevant?

So while I may not have clear New Year resolutions for CLFA, retaining current members and welcoming new members is constant challenge telling me that maybe there is something that needs to be changed? I just can’t put my finger on what it is.

Contact Us Today!