December 11, 2018

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 tfa@texasforestry.org.

DR. JERRY MARCONTELL ELECTED AS PRESIDENT OF TEXAS FORESTRY ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MONTGOMERY, TEXAS – Dr. Jerry Marcontell of Rye, Texas has been elected President of Texas Forestry Association (TFA).  Dr. Marcontell was recommended by TFA’s Nominating Committee and approved by the Board of Directors to fill the position in 2017 during TFA’s annual convention held Oct. 26-28, 2016 at La Torretta Resort and Spa in Montgomery, Texas.

“Dr. Marcontell has been a great asset to TFA in the various capacities he has served within our association,” said Ron Hufford, Executive Director of TFA.  “His experience will prove invaluable as we deepen the commitment to growing our membership and increasing the reach of this organization.”

Marcontell has served on boards for various organizations including Texas Forestry Association, Texas Farm Bureau and the Montgomery-Harris County Forest Landowner’s Association. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors, Vice President and President for the Southeast Texas Forest Landowner’s Association.

Dr. Marcontell served as a Major in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and attended the Baylor College of Medicine. He spent 20 years in private practice in the Houston area before retiring and finding a new passion in forest and timber management. Since 1994, Dr. Marcontell and his wife, Mary, have been forest landowners and wildlife managers, managing their land for production of timber conservation of wildlife, aesthetic considerations and recreational opportunities.  In 2012, they were named the Outstanding Tree Farmers in the State of Texas.

PHOTO: 

Dr. Jerry Marcontell receives the President’s cap and name badge from Past President Mike Hamilton. Dr. Marcontell was elected President of the Texas Forestry Association at the annual convention held Oct. 26-28, 2016 at La Torretta Resort and Spa in Montgomery, Texas.  

 

ABOUT: 

Texas Forestry Association, the voice for forestry for more than 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 ANNOUNCES EXCELLENCE IN WOOD DESIGN AWARD RECIPIENTS

MONTGOMERY, TEXAS – Bruce Lyndon Cunningham received the Excellence in Wood Design Award in the Special Projects category during Texas Forestry Association’s annual convention held Oct. 26-28, 2016 at La Torretta Resort and Spa in Montgomery, Texas.

wooddesignaward“He is well known for his elaborate carved wood picture frames, many of which are displayed in the library at the Arthur Temple College of Forestry & Agriculture at Stephen F. Austin State University,” said Ron Hufford, Executive Director of Texas Forestry Association.

In addition, Cunningham also creates wooden crosses and wooden ornamental boxes. His choices of wood include southern pines, American pines and a vast variety of hardwoods.

“Each year, Bruce Cunningham generously donates an original print in an ornate longleaf pine carved frame to the recipient of the Texas Society of American Foresters Distinguished Service to Forestry Award,” Hufford said.

In the Institutional Category, James Houser, chair of the TFA Building Committee; Mark Strong, Goodwin-Lasiter-Strong; and Jeff Vinson, Timberline Constructors were presented with the award for the application, implementation and design of wood throughout the new TFA Forestry Education and Office Building in Lufkin.

“The new TFA Headquarters is truly a wood showcase, with varieties from across Texas, utilizing southern pine in the framing and OSB panels, as well as the Cypress in the entrance the use of hardwoods and Cypress as accent walls in the offices and reception area and southern pine flooring and beaded ceiling in the training room,” Hufford said.

“We want to recognize and thank all of the TFA members who have made financial and materials donations to the new office building,” he added.

PHOTOS
Bruce Lyndon Cunningham accepts the Excellence in Wood Design, Special Project Award from TFA Executive Director Ron Hufford during the association’s annual convention held Oct. 26-28, 2016 at La Torretta Resort and Spa in Montgomery, Texas.

James Houser, Mark Strong, and Jeff Vince accept the Excellence in Wood Design, Institutional Award from TFA Executive Director Ron Hufford during the association’s annual convention held Oct. 26-28, 2016 at La Torretta Resort and Spa in Montgomery, Texas.

ABOUT
Texas Forestry Association, the voice for forestry for over 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 PRESENTS FORESTRY INNOVATION AWARD TO DR. TOM BYRAM

MONTGOMERY, TEXAS – Dr. Tom Byram, Director of Western Gulf Forest Tree Improvement Program (WGFTIP),was presented with the Forestry Innovation Award from Texas Forestry Association for his efforts to provide better forest genetics and the future of Texas forests.

“To be innovative, one must be forward-looking and Tom’s research is just that,” said Misty Bowie, TFA Education Coordinator. “Dr. Byram worked as Assistant Geneticist to screen hundreds of acres of Texas Forestry Association members’ lands for select southern pines and assisted with program delivery through progeny test and seed orchard reviews.”

WGFTIP is a pine and hardwood breeding and testing cooperative housed within the Texas A&M Forest Service. On behalf of the WGFTIP, Dr. Byram is relentless in his pursuit of genetic gain. In a quest to make clonal lines available to members to increase their probability of capturing gain, Dr. Byram took an innovative approach by offering membership in the cooperative to a non-traditional partner with a solid track record of producing clonal lines from pine. He developed a plan to create full-sib lines for the co-op’s wood quality elite program.

Dr. Byram is also honored for his work with molecular markers in forestry, a relatively new development in forestry.

“They hold tremendous potential for changing the way tree breeders operate and Dr. Byram’s research has produced one of the largest marker datasets for loblolly pint to-date,” Bowie said. “He has also been actively involved with the PINEMAP genetics group focusing on research to develop seedling deployment guidelines under different climate scenarios.

Dr. Byram serves on te Southern Forest Tree Improvement Committee, where he diligtently defended the use of chemicals by seed orchard managers to control seed bugs and coneworms.

“Dr. Byram’s work in forest genetics and tree improvement has the very best genetical material available for future forests,” Bowie said. “Improved productivity in pine plantations will have large regional economic impacts. Increased availability of hardwood species and ecologically important species, such as longleaf pine, will have significant societal impacts.”

FORESTRY INNOVATION:

Dr. Tom Byram accepts the Forestry Innovation Award for his efforts as Assistant Geneticist with WGFTIP from TFA Executive Director Ron Hufford during Texas Forestry Association’s annual convention held Oct. 26-28, 2016 at La Torretta Resort and Spa in Montgomery, Texas.

ABOUT:

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 ELYCE RODEWALD AND KERRY LEMON AS OUTSTANDING FORESTRY EDUCATORS

MONTGOMERY, TEXAS – Elyce Rodewald and Kerry Lemon received the Outstanding Forestry Educators Award during the Texas Forestry Association’s (TFA) annual convention held Oct. 26-28, 2016 at La Torretta in Montgomery, Texas.

“Together, Elyce Rodewald and Kerry Lemon have built a model program for K-12 and adult education programming at Stephen F. Austin State University,” Ron Hufford, Executive Director of TFA, said.  Rodewald has been the Coordinator of Environmental Education Programming at SFA Gardens since 2001. Kerry Lemon retired at the end of this summer as Assistant Coordinator and was a long-time program volunteer before she came on as a staff members.

“Last year alone, over 8,000 adults were involved in their garden seminars, tours, monthly lecture series, and outreach events,” Hufford said. “Elyce and Kerry also emphasize the importance of family time in the outdoors, and have developed a successful series of Weekend Outdoor Adventures and Family Days.”

Rodewald, a graduate of Purdue University, and Lemon have also developed innovative children’s programming that focuses on the four seasons and introducing students to age-appropriate activities where they discover rocks, erosion and deposition, flowers, soil composition, and Texas’ native plants and ecosystems. The program also provided an opportunity for more than 80 SFA Elementary Education interns to introduce elementary students from across East Texas to science and nature through the annual Bugs, Bees, Butterflies, and Blossoms Festival. By the end of the school year, Rodewald says about 13,000 children have participated in the outdoor classroom.

“Innovative children’s programming is where Elyce and Kerry really shine,” Hufford said. “With so many great programs, including Pineywoods Camp, Elyce and Kerry have made a tremendous impact on so many.”
ABOUT:
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.
RODEWALD PHOTO:
Elyce Rodewald receives the Outstanding Forestry Educator Award for the work she and Kerry Lemon for their development of model programs that have educated thousands of students with hands-on experiments discovering native Texas ecosystems. She receives the award on behalf of Kerry Lemon from TFA Executive Director Ron Hufford.

TEXAS FORESTRY ASSOCIATION RECOGNIZES DR. JANA WILLIS AS PLT EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR

MONTGOMERY, TEXAS – Dr. Jana Willis, Professor of Instructional Design and Technology at the University of Houston -Clear Lake received the Texas Forestry Association’s Project Learning Tree Outstanding Educator of the Year award at the annual convention held Oct. 26-28, 2015 at La Torretta Resort and Spa in Montgomery, Texas.

“Dr. Willis, at the recommendation of a fellow professor and long-time PLT facilitator, attended a workshop 15 years ago and was inspired to use the PLT Environmental Education Activity Guide for PreK-8 as one of her course textbooks” Misty Bowie, Texas PLT Co-Coordinator. “Since then, Dr. Willis has continued using the Guide and two PLT secondary modules in her courses, training over 10,000 preservice educators in PLT.”

Dr. Willis has conducted longitudinal studies and found that teaching candidates utilize their PLT materials in other education courses and during their student teaching. In addition she has collected data on how her graduates are currently using PLT in their classrooms. She has presented her research at a variety of conferences such as the North American Association for Environmental Education, the PLT International Coordinators’ Conference, and even the prestigious American Educational Research Association. She has also published her research relating to technology, PLT and environmental education in numerous national international journals.

In addition to her work with preservice students, Dr. Willis has made extensive contribution to PLT at the national level, After a couple of semesters of using PLT, she shared with the National office how her students were integrating technology into their PLT activities. National PLT recognized the importance and soon initiated a committee to incorporate technology into the PreK-8 Activity Guide.

“Dr. Willis and her team of Texans were the driving force behind the integration of technology in the revised PLT activity guide and her hallmark is on nearly every page of the book,” Bowie said. “Her leadership will be instrumental to Texas PLT as we strive to see our pgram utilized by more teaching programs in the future.”

She has served on additional committees at the national level including the Urban and Community Forestry Resources committee. Currently Dr. Willis is a reviewer for the document, Implementing PLT in Higher Education Settings: A Resource Guide. The guide is intended to provide ideas, methods and resources for higher education faculty and educators to integrate PLT into their educational programs and was presented in a sessiona t the 2016 PLT International Coordinators’ Conference.

DR. WILLIS PHOTO:

Dr. Jana Willis accepts the 2016 Texas Forestry Association’s Project Learning Tree Outstanding Educator Award for her efforts to integrate PLT in higher education and understanding the importance of infusing technology in the curriculum. She received the award during Texas Forestry Association’s annual convention held at La Torretta Resort and Spa in Montgomery, Texas, held Oct. 26-28, 2016. Presenting the award is TFA Executive Director Ron Hufford and, on the left, John Boyette, Texas PLT Co-Coordinator.

ABOUT:

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 ANNOUNCES BOB HARPER AS ED WAGONER LEADERSHP AWARD RECIPIENT

MONTGOMERY, TEXAS – Bob Harper was named Texas Forestry Association’s Ed Wagoner Leadership Award winner at the Association’s annual convention held at La Torretta Resort and Spa in Montgomery, Texa on October 2-6-28, 2016.

Harper received the award in honor and recognition of leadershop, time and personal attention to the success of the many TFA programs.He has been a TFA member for 28 years, a life member, and he is a past president. He serves on the TFA Board of Directors and the TFA Executive Committee as well as serving as a Board of Director on the Educational Fund. He has served over the past many years as chair and a member of numerous committees that include Tree Farm, Annual Meeting, Administration, Communications.

“Today, we want to recognize his leadership in establishing and serving as the first chairman of the Texas Accredited Forester Council,” Mike Hamilton, TFA Immediate Past President said. “When the need to organize this new council was identified and approved by the TFA Executive Committee in 2014, it was clear that he was the right person to lead this effort.”

Harper accepted the challenge and held many planning meetings organizing and laying the foundation for a successful program to recognize professional foresters that operate in the state of Texas. The Council became active in 2016 and to date there are — foresters who are Texas Accredited Forester Council members.

“This program recognizes foresters who have the forestry educational and experience we feel are needed to be called an Accredited Forester,” Hamilton said. “I am pleased to announce that this Council is well on the path of being a very successful program within TFA. It gives me great pleasure to recognize Bob for what he has meant to forestry and to the Association. His leadership is immeasurable.”

HARPER PHOTO:
Bob Harper accepts the Ed Wagoner Leadership Award during the annual convention for the Texas Forestry Association held at La Torretta Resort and Spa in Montgomery, Texas on Oct. 26-28, 2016. Presenting the award is Mike Hamilton, TFA Immediate Past President.

Texas Forestry Association Dedicates Reopening of Dr. Griff Ross Woodland Trail

The Dr. Griff Ross Woodland Trail was reopened on April 8, 2016, and provided the location for members of TFA to participate in an electrofishing demonstration to determine the health of a creek that runs along part of the Woodland Trail. (Photo: Bethany Baldwin | MSGPR)

The Dr. Griff Ross Woodland Trail was reopened on April 8, 2016, and provided the location for members of TFA to participate in an electrofishing demonstration to determine the health of a creek that runs along part of the Woodland Trail. (Photo: Bethany Baldwin | MSGPR)

 

IMG_8639

Adam Whisenant, left, and Greg Conley use electro-fishing techniques to search for fish that would indicate the water quality of the creek that runs along part of the Dr. Griff Ross Woodland Trail. The trial was reopened on April 8, 2016. (Photo: Bethany Baldwin | MSGPR)

Texas Forestry Association dedicated the reopening of the Dr. Griff Ross woodland trail near Mt. Enterprise on Friday, April 8.

Dr. Ross, along with his father and brother, were doctors in the small community located off Highway 259 North. Ross inherited the land on Highway 84 and donated it to TFA in 1974.

“We are very excited to dedicate this beautiful trail in honor of Dr. Griff Ross,” said Ron Hufford. “His conservation efforts and passion for forestry are key beliefs we want to instill in future generations.”

TFA created the 17-acre trail which is open to the public for hiking and in preparing high school students for woodland clinics. In the past, the trail was maintained and used as an outdoor laboratory by students in the forest technician program at Panola College.

“The droughts of 2010-2011 hit us hard and the pine would not stop dying,” said Hap Hatchel, Consulting Forester. “That gave us the opportunity to harvest the dying timber and add a gravel parking lot donated by N. D. Williams, and we appreciate it very much.”

After the dedication, TFA members participated in a water quality demonstration led by Donna Work, Biologist with the Texas A&M Forest Service.

“I work with loggers and landowners to understand how best to manage their natural resources,”said Work. “Best management practices are not mandatory. That’s why we are doing a lot of education with loggers and landowners to do practice best management for water quality voluntarily so we don’t have to regulate this.”

Work, along with Texas Parks and Wildlife officials Greg Conley, Pollution Biologist, and Adam Whisenant, Regional Biologist, presented an electrofishing demonstration and a search for benthic macroinvertebrates in a creek that runs through a portion of the trail.

The varieties of fish and small bottom-dwelling insects and larvae found help determine the water quality and overall condition of the streamside. Work said the specimens found shows the water quality is good in the creek sampled.

 

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.”