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.PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE SEPTEMBER 2013
This month CLFA Vice President Kevin Conway, Bill Keye and I had the opportunity to meet with Director Ken Pimlott and Chief Deputy Director Janet Berentson to discuss issues related to forestry in California. Such meetings are truly worthwhile as we all have a chance to exchange perspectives on various issues. The Director is great to meet with due to his candor, his respect for our issues and genuine desire to achieve results. One of the first discussion items at this month’s meeting was an overview of successful outcomes from a previous meeting we had in April.
In preparation for the September meeting, I was able to develop subjects from various CLFA members. We touched on such issues as the archaeology certification program, the seed bank and the upcoming state listing of NSO among others. This was not a one-way conversation and the Director shared some of his concerns about forestry in California. One such topic was the steps needed to get more young people interested in becoming foresters. We all agreed that a major part of getting young people into forestry includes education and outreach.
A philosophical area of discussion was what California forestry would look like in ten years. There was a general consensus that at present the public accepts forest management more than as recently as just ten years ago. An important point made was that foresters need to maintain their social relevance. This is an important point to me and effectively this subject permeates most of my messages in the Update.
I have long believed that what we do as foresters is incredibly important to society. We manage the resources so that there is a healthy environment while also providing economic benefit. Without proper forest management we will see a decline in a wide array of resources, including water quality, air quality and aesthetic values among others. It is this concept that we need to foster to keep the public in support of what we do.
These meetings with Director Pimlott are an important part of CLFA and I believe important for forestry in California. They are an opportunity for the membership to bring their issues to the capital while giving the Director another perspective on what challenges the people in the field are facing. It is very clear that we all have to deal with substantial bureaucracy in the regulatory environment, just ask any RPF who has submitted a THP recently. The Director knows this just as well as most of us and I know that he can’t unilaterally make changes to most aspects of the program. However, I know that working together we can make progress and we have seen that already. Director Pimlott has generously offered to make these meetings a reoccurring event and we will surely take him up on the offer.
Left to right: Ken Pimlott (CAL FIRE Director), Mike Tadlock (CLFA President), Bill Keye (CLFA Government Affairs Specialist), Kevin Conway (CLFA Vice President), & Janet Bareston (CAL FIRE Chief Deputy Director)
Mike Tadlock, CLFA President