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.

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
December 2015
Clayton Code

The President’s Stump

Never underestimate CLFA’s ability to influence the practice of forestry. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Board of Forestry’s meetings in Fresno, CA. With the majority of people there for the meetings staying in the same hotel there was oppor-tunity to interact socially with people I wouldn’t have otherwise. One night, a dozen of us congregated in the hotel lobby to go to dinner. While at the restaurant, I paused from visiting with my table to look around and noticed that excluding myself there were 4 past CLFA presidents and one past board member. Half of my dining companions had (or are currently serving) served on our board. Though only one of us was there officially repre-senting CLFA, it was clear that CLFA’s underlying message of balanced responsible stewardship was alive and well. It may be impossible to quantify the influence CLFA has by simply being present, particularly in the face of special interests that advocate managing forests for specific val-ues without balancing all values. I believe wholeheartedly that the practice of forestry would be drastically different if CLFA did not exist. In the grand scheme of things, we are a small organi-zation, but we have a prolific presence. We may never be able to fully measure our impact, but I am convinced that our constant message of balanced responsible stewardship has a profound ef-fect on the mindsets of those that have the power to affect the practice of forestry.

This brings me to my call for action. Not only does CLFA rely on membership for continued ex-istence, we rely on our membership to serve as leaders of our profession. Providing leadership for our profession can take many forms. Leadership is not just being keenly knowledgeable of or ex-perienced in particular aspects of the profession, leaders who build and maintain the association is equally critical.

If you have never served on the board I encourage you to seriously consider doing it. Serving on this board has been the most rewarding experience of my career. Not only have I enjoyed the ca-maraderie of spending time with like minded professionals, exposure to and engaging in the big-ger picture of the practice has vastly improved my skills and abilities. When I first started on the board I questioned whether I had anything to offer. It became very clear very quickly that this dirt forester did. I have been able to provide leadership in terms of continuing education, outreach, legislation, and regulation. Don’t just take my word for it, talk to anyone who has served on the board and hear for yourself their experiences.

If you have served on the board I encourage you to seriously consider doing it again. Not only does CLFA need leadership to grow and maintain the association, we need leadership who are at the “been there, done that” stage of their careers. Our board cycles through board members faster than new foresters obtain their license. Combine with that, the overall number of RPFs is declin-ing, the need for past board members to serve again is essential to the association’s survival. The growth and experience gained by past board members in the years following serving on the board is of great value to the profession and needs to be shared.

Call for nominations to serve of on the board will be coming early next year. I hope that many of you will consider taking on this important and rewarding leadership role.