August 22, 2019

TFA Welcomes Robyn Gillespie to 2017 Board of Directors

LUFKIN, TX (Feb. 20, 2017) – Texas Forestry Association is pleased to welcome Robyn Gillespie to the 2017-2019 Board of Directors. Gillespie was chosen by the TFA Nominating Committee to fill a term recently vacated.
Gillespie is the third generation to manage Gillespie Lumber Ltd on Highway 59 North in Nacogdoches, Texas, which supplies hardwood products throughout the Texas/Louisiana region. The lumber company, which began by producing hardwood cross ties for the railroad industry, is today manufacturing Crane/Dragline Mats, Laminated Mats, and pallet lumber.
“We are grateful to have Robyn join TFA in this capacity,” said Dr. Jerry Marcontell, President on TFA’s Board of Directors. “She brings a sense of the tradition to the Board that is found throughout the timber industry, whether it’s the landowner or the mill. That sense of tradition will be necessary as TFA continues to advance into the future.”
Gillespie is married to David Guillory. Together, they have two children, Austin and Evan. She also serves on the Stephen F. Austin Gardens Board of Advisers and is a member of The Longleaf Alliance.

Texas Forestry Association Executive Director to Retire At End of Year

LUFKIN, TEXAS Jan 31, 2017 — Texas Forestry Association today announced that Ron Hufford, Executive Director, will retire by the end of the year.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have spent 33 years doing what I love with people I admire and respect,” Hufford said. “We have faced many challenges in our industry and have survived all of them. We have created an effective means for the public and the industry to work together and to communicate with legislators for and against issues in forestry. We have continued and deepened our partnership with Texas Forest Service and many other state agencies to keep forestry a viable and valuable resource. With our long-term vision and the five year plan in place, I am confident the growth and partnerships will continue in the future.”

Hufford has been the association’s executive director since January, 1984.  During his tenure at TFA, Hufford established Project Learning Tree and the Teacher Conservation Institute, and developed several councils under TFA’s umbrella to bring together the diversity of the forest industry.

“It is humbling to see the support and encouragement from staff and friends alike as I retire,” Hufford said. “While I am stepping away from the desk and closing the door on this chapter, I am not leaving the forest. The woods and its many benefits have been a long-time passion for me. I’ll be out there among the trees, spending time with my wife and my children and sharing that passion with my grandchildren.”

Before joining TFA, Hufford worked with Southern Forest Products Association based in New Orleans, Louisiana as Mid-Western Field Representative before being elevated to director of Field Services, and later named the Vice President of SFPA’s Forest Resources and Environmental Division.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry from Southern Illinois University. Following his college education, Hufford served as an officer and pilot in the U. S. Air Force.

Hufford is the Past Chair of the Texas Agricultural Council, Advisory Board Member to the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership Program, Past Chairman of the Texas Society of American Foresters, Member of the Society of American Foresters, Past Chair of the Texas A&M Forest Science Advisory Council, Past President and member of the Lufkin Rotary Club, Past Board Chair and member of First Christian Church- Lufkin.

“Ron has served the landowners and industries directly and indirectly involved in forestry with the same conviction,” Board of Directors President Dr. Jerry Marcontel said. “He has spent a large portion of his career in Austin protecting Texas forests as well as the individual landowner, the corporations and the service professionals. For that, and all that he has done for Texas Forestry Association, we are forever grateful.”

Hufford is a Fellow in the Society of American Foresters and a Life Member in the Texas Forestry Association. He has received the Distinguished Service to Forestry Award from the Texas Society of American Foresters and is a recipient of the Build East Texas Bill Clements Memorial Award for Outstanding Leadership in Agriculture. He is an Eagle Scout and has received the District Award of Merit, Scoutmaster Award of Merit, and Silver Beaver from the Boy Scouts of America.

“All of us at TFA are very proud of Ron and his accomplishments with Texas Forestry Association,” said Susan Stutts, Assistant Director of TFA. “While we are deeply saddened to see him go, we know that he will enjoy this next step. Ron’s dedication to open communication and strong partnerships have benefited everyone involved in TFA and forestry in Texas.”

TFA will begin accepting applications beginning Feb. 1, 2017. Resumes should be emailed to

Texas Forestry Association Welcomes Dave Duren as Texas Logging Council Coordinator


Photo: Misty Boggs | MSGPR

Texas Forestry Association (TFA) is pleased to welcome Dave Duren of Lufkin as the Texas Logging Council Coordinator, an affiliation of private business men and women who make their living from the harvesting and delivery of wood fiber to forest products mills all over East Texas.

“We are very happy to welcome Dave Duren to the TFA staff,” said Ron Hufford, Executive Director of TFA. “His experience and passion for forestry makes him a strong liaison for TFA and the Logging Council which work together to improve relationships with landowners, loggers, and municipalities.”

“I’m honored to be selected as the new Coordinator,” said Duren. “I want to work with loggers and other forestry professionals to help East Texas continue to be a great place to live.”

Duren began a life-long career in the woods by going out with his father and grandfather, both foresters who passed on a passion to see Texas forests thrive for generations. He later worked for and as a partner with his father, “a priceless experience. He was the best in every way.”

“I remember being in high school and passing a clear-cut with my grandfather,” said Duren. “He was a career forester and seeing the mismanagement of that tract brought him to tears. I really hadn’t thought about taking care of the forest until I was taught Best Management Practices and learned that we have to protect and manage Texas forests through education and conservation.”

After a year of college, Duren worked full-time in the logging industry until 2010. As a logger, Duren has worked with Southland Paper and Temple-Inland. One of his sons, Daniel, “is carrying the flag” and runs his own logging and trucking operation.

Duren is a charter member and past president of Chapter 3 of the Texas Logging Council, which is dedicated to the preservation of East Texas’ wood-based economy, and its legislative efforts are designed to keep men and women working. He is also the 2003 recipient of TFA’s Texas Logger of the Year Award.

“I want to work with Logging Council members to build a positive image of logging in the public eye,” said Duren. “Together we can increase the understanding and awareness of industry best management practices that have made me and others better stewards of the land.”

The Texas Logging Council is a council under the Texas Forestry Association, the voice for forestry for 100 years, which promotes an economic, social and political climate that will advance forestry in Texas through education, political action and public relations, as well as serving the broad needs of the forest resource of landowners, producers and consumers, and to enhance and perpetuate the Texas forest resource.

Texas Forestry Association Announces 
2016 Dates For Teacher Conservation Institute

TCI photo

LUFKIN, TX – Texas Forestry Association (TFA) announced two sessions for Phase 1 of Teacher Conservation Institute (TCI) will be held this year beginning July 10, 2016, at BugScuffle Inn near Henderson, Texas.

TCI is a week-long workshop held in East Texas which uses the forest to teach environmental education. Activities are led by foresters, educators, natural resource conservationists and industry professionals.


“We are excited to present TCI again this year,” said Misty Bowie, TCI Co-Coordinator. “Educators from across Texas come together and find unique, creative ways to present the outdoors as a classroom by participating in lessons and tours.”
Phase I, A Complete Natural Resource Cycle, will run July10-15 and July 17-22 and will consist of interdisciplinary workshops focusing on the environmental, economic, and social well-being of the state that comes through the scientific stewardship of its natural resources. Sessions take place indoors, in the forest, and on a variety of field trips. Elementary, middle school, and secondary teachers participate in field trips together. Teachers are divided into grade level groups for afternoon curriculum sessions.


Just a few of the sessions include Tree Trails, GreenSchools Investigations, Project Learning Tree, evening natural history programs, and morning nature walks. Field trips for Phase I include Forest Nursery, Logging Operations, Sawmill, and Oriented Strand Board (OSB) Mill, and Texas Forestry Museum.


For participating in Phase I, educators receive certification in Project Learning Tree, TEKS Correlations, 45 hours of State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) Continuing Professional Education, 45 hours of Texas Environmental Education Advisory Committee (TEEAC) credit, Professional Development Appraisal System (PDAS) hours, as described in Links I and II. Gifted/Talented credit through your district is available.


Registration per person, including all teaching materials and instruction, food, lodging, and transportation during the workshop is only $250.


Phase II of TCI will be held in 2017 for those have completed Phase I. Inquiry and Field Investigations in the Forest is a comprehensive look at East Texas forest ecology with some of the best foresters, anthropologists, soil scientists, wildlife biologists and education experts in Texas. Graduates of Phase I will be able to participate in field investigations in water quality, best management practices, vegetation surveys, special wildlife management areas and an in-depth look at cultural impacts on the forest.


“TCI is full of fun, engaging activities educators can take back to their classroom to engage students of all grade levels, said Bowie. “It’s also an amazing time to network and learn in a great location.”


To register for TCI or for more information, please call 1-866-TX TREES or email us at Please include your name, complete mailing address and the grade level you teach.


Educators participating in Phase I of TCI participate in an object lesson where they have dated rings on a tree then try to place personal or national events on the corresponding year’s ring in the ‘tree cookie.’

Texas Forestry Association Recognizes Senator Robert Nichols As Legislator Of The Year

TFA Ed Fund Mtg-20

Senator Robert Nichols receives the Legislator Of The Year Award from TFA Executive Director Ron Hufford during a TFA Board of Directors meeting held at the Angelina College Small Business Center on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. (Photo: Misty Boggs | MSGPR)

LUFKIN, TEXAS – Texas Forestry Association presented Senator Robert Nichols with the Legislator of The Year award during the Association’s Board of Directors Meeting on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, at the Angelina College Small Business Center in Lufkin, Texas.

“It is our great honor to present Senator Nichols with this achievement,” said Ron Hufford, Executive Director of TFA. “This year has been especially important with changes to Highway 59 into the I-69 corridor and what that would mean for the future of forestry in Texas.”

Senator Nichols represents 19 counties in the Piney Woods and serves as Chairman for the Transportation Committee where his most recent work included updating transportation policies to better benefit industry and forestry as the I-69 transportation system moves through East Texas.

“This is a real surprise,” Senator Nichols said. “I am proud to represent this area and to the have the opportunity to change things. When working with our urban counterparts on various issues, it becomes very clear why we need the Texas Forestry Association.”

The Senator has also worked to protect landowners’ rights during his tenure and continues to be an advocate of protecting the water rights in East Texas, both important focuses for Texas Forestry Association.

“We strive to be an integral link for landowners, providing them with information on laws and issues that affect them,” Hufford said. “We are grateful for the work Senator Nichols has done to protect the interests of our members.”

Texas Forestry Association Presents Joe Pitcheralle With Forestry Innovation Award


Joe Pitcheralle accepts the Forestry Innovation Award for his efforts to develop eucalyptus as a viable crop for pulp and biomass production from Misty Bowie during Texas Forestry Association’s annual convention held Oct. 21-23, 2015, in College Station, Texas. (Photo: Misty Boggs | MSGPR)

LUFKIN, TX – Joe Pitcheralle of Buna received the Forest Innovation Award for his efforts to develop eucalyptus as a viable short-rotation woody crop for pulp and biomass production in the United States at Texas Forestry Association’s (TFA) annual convention held Oct. 21-23, 2015, at the Hilton in College Station, Texas.

From its outset in 2006, the eucalyptus program has been conducted at an operational scale in East Texas and western Louisiana because it is much more difficult to anticipate operational-scale management issues that can arise based on research done in smaller plots.

“Joe has been vital to making operational-scale plantations become a reality,” said Misty Bowie, TFA’s Education Coordinator and Texas PLT Co-Coordinator. “He and his team have researched many species and varieties to find those best suited to the climate of our region. They also created silvicultural guidelines for growing eucalyptus and developed a unique short-term land leasing system that differs from how forest products are traditionally grown on private land.”

Westrock, formerly Westvaco, has been transparent about all components of their eucalyptus management; their interest is in fostering the growth of these plantations by other forest product companies and forest landowners. “To share information, they have partnered with extension specialists in Texas and Louisiana on field tours, workshops, and publications. Joe has been an integral part of all of these efforts,” said Bowie.

Westrock and the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement have also partnered with Stephen F. Austin State University to study the potential impacts of eucalyptus on regional avian and vegetation diversity. Their interest in proactively examining bird and vegetative communities of eucalyptus stands demonstrates that the company has a more comprehensive concern with the full implications of the eucalyptus project.

Texas Forestry Association Announces Lawrence Kloesel As 2016 Texas Outstanding Tree Farmer

Texas Forestry Association (TFA) recently named Lawrence Kloesel as the 2016 Texas Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year for the excellent management of his Tree Farm in Houston County. The announcement was made at the Annual Meeting on October 22, 2015 at the Hilton College Station.  

Kloesel purchased the 995 acres in 2009, choosing to manage the property for timber income, wildlife habitat and recreational hunting. His management practices include reforestation with Loblolly pine, mulching, prescribed burn, herbicide banding on new plantings, firelanes and food plots. He has been actively involved in improving the health and quality of the trees and the wildlife habitat, which includes bluebird houses and wood duck boxes on areas of his tree farm. He was nominated by Michael Easley, Texas A&M Forest Service, Crockett District.   

“We are excited to present Lawrence Kloesel with this award,” said Ron Hufford, TFA Executive Director. “The Kloesel Family Trust is a great example of a tree farmer using every tool available for conservation and is representative of the kinds of partnerships we continue to grow between landowners and natural resource professionals.”

Neal Prince of New York City, NY, was presented with an award as a finalist in Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year. The property, once a marginal post oak flat in an active oil field, has been in the Prince family since the 1930’s. Prince has since turned his Franklin County tree farm into a working forest with sustainable forestry practices and assistance from the Texas A&M Forest and the NRCS Conservation Stewardship program. He has also made the tree farm available for birding, educational tours and field trips, and he has participated in EAB monitoring. His focus for the tree farm includes wildlife management and habitat for Monarch butterflies. Prince was nominated by Kevin Matthews with Texas A&M Forest Service in Pittsburg, Texas.

Dr. Jay Fish, academic surgeon of Galveston, was also presented with a plaque as a finalist in the Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year for his LTC Farm in Tyler County. The 234 acre farm was acquired in 1999 and, in 2002, became a certified Tree Farm. In addition to growing pine trees, Fish considers his farm to have several top priorities which include recreation, wildlife, and the restoration of hardwood bottomland.

“It is always a difficult task for the Tree Farm Committee to choose the outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year,” said Hufford. “Yet, each of these three showcase the special partnership between tree farmer and natural resource professionals, something TFA is very proud to be part of as we continue growing partnerships for the next hundred years.”

Texas Forestry Association Announces Ed Wagoner Leadership Award Recipient

Bruce MilesLUFKIN, TEXAS – Bruce Miles was named Texas Forestry Association’s Leadership Award winner at the Association’s 101st Annual Convention held at the Hilton in College Station, Texas, on October 22, 2015.

Miles received the award in honor and recognition of his dedication to the profession of forestry, for his leadership as the sixth Director of the Texas Forest Service, and for his dedication, leadership, and support of Texas Forestry Association (TFA) programs.

As a member of the TFA since 1959, Miles has been a leader in the forestry industry for many years. He became the 6th director of the Texas Forest Service in 1981. He served as the Director for 15 years and retired in 1996 with 37 years of service.

Miles is credited with providing the leadership and support for the private land reforestation in East Texas, which reached record heights during his era. He also battled against environmentalist groups bent on eliminating forest management on the National Forests of Texas. He was elected into the Texas Forestry Hall of Fame in 2008 and is a TFA Life Member.

“During his tenure as State Forester, he took the Agency beyond the ‘pine curtain,’ said Bill Oates, past president of TFA. “The urban forestry program grew to include all of the major metropolitan areas of the state; the Cooperative Oak Wilt Suppression program was established in Central Texas, and the Agency began responding to large wild land fires in Central and West Texas; beginning with (at the time) the largest wildfire event in Texas history; the “Big Country” Fire at Albany. He also expanded our support of volunteer fire departments across the state.

The Ed Wagoner Leadership Award recognizes a TFA member, a community leader or public official who has contributed to the success of the association’s programs and the advancement of the forestry community.  The award recognizes the high standards of leadership of Ed Wagoner, who served as the Executive Vice President of TFA beginning in July of 1955 until his retirement in December 1983.  Chosen by the TFA President, the award is given to an individual who has continued a high level of involvement and leadership in TFA for many years.

“He is an honest, dedicated, selfless, loyal, and compassionate leader,” said Oates. “Those who know him and who have worked with him simply know him as ‘Bruce.’”

Bruce Miles accepts the Ed Wagoner Leadership Award during the 101st annual convention for the Texas Forestry Association held at the Hilton College Station, Oct. 21-23, 2015.  Presenting the award is Ron Hufford, TFA Executive Director.

Texas Forestry Association, the voice for forestry for 100 years, promotes an economic, social and political climate that will advance forestry in Texas through education, political action and public relations, as well as serving the broad needs of the forest resource of landowners, producers and consumers, and to enhance and perpetuate the Texas forest resource.

Lynn Denman Recognized As Outstanding Forestry Educator at Texas Forestry Association Annual Convention

Lynn DenmanLUFKIN, TEXASDuring the Texas Forestry Association’s 101st annual convention held Oct. 21-23, 2015 at Hilton in College Station, Texas, the late Lynn Denman of Huntington received the Association’s Outstanding Forestry Educator award.

“It is with great honor and admiration for the teacher of the forest as well as life, that TFA recognizes the late Lynn Denman for his contributions to forestry education and award in his memory the 2015 TFA Forestry Educator of the Year,” said Misty Bowie, TFA’s Education Coordinator.

Denman left a legacy as an educator and mentor through his involvement with the 4-H forestry teams, the Upper Neches Woodland Clinic competition, and his support for the Teacher Conservation Institute. When a program involved education, Denman was known to respond with, “you can count on me to help.”

“He would many times clear leaves from an area and use the bare dirt as his blackboard,” said Bowie. “Lynn was driven to see that youth have the opportunity to learn about the forests of East Texas. The Woodland Clinic program was his shining star in reaching as many youth about forestry as he could.  Not only did he teach and mentor his children, Holly and Josh, for success in this annual contest, he was able to do the same for his grandchildren, as well as the other students who participated through the years in the Huntington 4-H Forestry teams.”

The effort for establishing a demonstration forest as an outdoor classroom on the Huntington High School Campus was led by Denman. “Lynn’s devotion to the youth in preparing them for this annual contest led his teams to gain recognition of success on the local, State, and National levels,” said Bowie. “In addition, Lynn’s desire for outdoor education opportunities for the youth was so great that he led the effort in establishing a demonstration forest as an outdoor classroom on the Huntington High School Campus.

“Lynn has contributed his heart and soul to educational programs that have touched thousands of students and educators across Texas,” said Bowie. He provided constant leadership in organizing and raising funds for scholarships for the TFA Upper Neches Woodland Clinic program from its beginning in 1991. Since then, 33 high school students have been awarded a scholarship to help with their future educational pursuits.


Sundra Denman, Josh Denman and Holly Denman Howard accept the TFA Forestry Educator Award on behalf of the late Lynn Denman of Huntington during Texas Forestry Association’s annual convention held in College Station on Oct. 21-23, 2015.


Texas Forestry Association, the voice for forestry for 100 years, promotes an economic, social and political climate that will advance forestry in Texas through education, political action and public relations, as well as serving the broad needs of the forest resource of landowners, producers and consumers, and to enhance and perpetuate the Texas forest resource.

Texas Forestry Association Recognizes Outstanding Educator At Annual Conference

Rachel CollinsLUFKIN, TEXASRachel Collins of Zavalla received the Texas Project Learning Tree Outstanding Educator award at Texas Forestry Association’s 101st annual convention held Oct. 21-23, 2015 at the Hilton College Station.

“To say that Rachel Collins, former Director of the Texas Forestry Museum, loves the outdoors would be an understatement,” said Misty Bowie, Texas PLT Co-Coordinator. “When she was introduced to forestry courtesy of the Teacher Conservation Institute, Rachel soaked up the forest conservation message and became passionate about sharing it.”

Collins left her job teaching in public school to found and operate the Lake Sam Rayburn Nature Center. She used her knowledge to create engaging exhibits and programs for the young and not-so-young to learn about the great outdoors. This experience led her to serve as a contract educator for the Texas Forestry Museum, running its summer camps for children.

Collins relied on her training in Project Learning Tree and Project WILD to develop a new summer camp curriculum and format that is still being used today. Shortly afterward, Rachel was hired as Director of the Texas Forestry Museum, and under her leadership the museum underwent major renovations. Rachel’s passion for promoting forestry inspired her to create many new exhibits, displays, and activities for the museum. During her tenure there she attended Teacher Conservation Institute Phase III.

Collins has returned to the classroom to teach seventh and eighth graders in several subjects.

“Her students will undoubtedly benefit from the training she received in PLT and, armed with that knowledge, they will be equipped to become responsible stewards of our forests,” Bowie said.


Rachel Collins accepts the Texas Project Learning Tree Outstanding Educator Award for her efforts in involving students and educators in forestry and conservation during Texas Forestry Association’s annual convention held at the Hilton in College Station, Texas, held Oct. 21-23, 2015. Presenting the award is Ron Hufford, TFA Executive Director, and John Boyette, Texas PLT Co-Coordinator.


Texas Forestry Association, the voice for forestry for 100 years, promotes an economic, social and political climate that will advance forestry in Texas through education, political action and public relations, as well as serving the broad needs of the forest resource of landowners, producers and consumers, and to enhance and perpetuate the Texas forest resource.