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Joining hands for trees.

Participants in the largest-ever urban forest conference came away with canvas totebags crammed with information and hearts swelled with pride.

Fess up! Neither you professionals here nor citizen foresters like me can save the urban forest alone. The only answer is partnership," urged Bill Press, TreePeople board member and speaker at the Fifth National Urban Forestry Conference.

Held November 12-17 in Los Angeles at the historic and elegant Biltmore Hotel, the meeting's theme was Alliances for Community Trees"-partnerships for building the urban forests of the future.

The landmark get-together also marked the 116th annual meeting of the American Forestry Association, which sponsored the conference in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Forestry, and TreePeople. This was the first Urban Forest Conference to have support from corporations, with Geo automobiles being the presenting sponsor and the Discovery Channel as the media sponsor.

Over and over, conference-goers shared their amazement at the changes urban forestry has undergone since the first conference was held in 1978. Bob Skiera, recently retired as Milwaukee city forester, summed up the sentiment: "These conferences are shaping the urban ecosystem of the world."

Close to 1,000 attendees-professional and citizen foresters, researchers, environmental activists, and corporate representatives-came to listen and share, to touch trees by touching people.

In addition to hosting the conference, Los Angeles is the home of TreePeople, whose Andy and Katie Lipkis are the winners of this year's first-ever Global ReLeaf Special Achievement Award. The tree couple aired a video titled 2 Protect Our Planet," a film on TreePeople's training program for citizen fores

AFA President Charles Tarver welcomed a packed house at the opening ceremony and first general session. The urban forestry movement works," he said, "because it's more than air and water and soil. It's people. You and I are the future of the urban forest."

Neil Sampson, AFA executive vice president, added, "If we're ever to heal this planet, we have to heal it first in the communities that make it up."

National Urban Forest Council President Donald C. Willeke pointed out that all the priorities set at the last conference, held in St. Louis in 1988, have been met-including the "courage to sponsor a fifth conference!"

Congressman Jim Jontz (IN), author of the Urban and Community Forestry Act of 1990, held a "listening session' with urban forestry representatives from state and local governments and citizen tree-planting organizations from around the nation. Jontz promised to carry their messages back to Congress, which is expected to hold hearings on the federal urban forestry program next year.

Peter Ueberroth, vice chairman of the National Tree Trust, captivated the audience, talking about baseball, about winning, about trying. He concluded with.

As you deliberate, form alliances, and find solutions, remember, almost anything is possible if enough people care.'

Some 53 concurrent sessions covered topics such as assessing the costs and benefits of urban forests. An evening session on international urban forestry allowed participants an opportunity to span the oceans.

Commercial and educational exhibits offered wanderers a chance to catch up on the latest products and ideas. The importance of corporate partnerships and how to cultivate them was discussed by Daniel Pearlman of the Pearlman Group/Geo cars and David Gabrielsen of Mr. Coffee.

A Global ReLeaf Partnership Banquet was not only an elegant affair on white linen but also a time to recognize and thank many for their continued dedication. Discovery Channel previewed 'In Celebration of Trees,' a documentary that was shown nationwide on December 16. Famed actor Eddie Albert read the long list, pausing to exclaim: "This is awesome! Do you realize what you've done? The millions-the billions-of trees: how they've changed people's lives?'

After the keynote speakers, AFAs Gary Moll and TreePeople's Andy Lipkis introduced a second video program. As the lights dimmed, Ray Charles's voice, rich with feeling, filled the room, singing the simple and beloved words, America, sweet America . . . " Scenes of trees and people planting trees mingled with vignettes of places bare of trees. "As the trees disappear,' he commentator said, 'so do our dreams ... As the trees disappear, so does our hope for ourselves and our planet."

Neil Sampson said we are the healers and the teachers. The task is no small one. But then, as David Brower once said, Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir people's blood."



Available to both members and non-members of the association, it is given for noteworthy service to forestry and other aspects of resource conservation.


Art Smyth began his forestry career in 1941 as a land examiner on the nation's first tree farm, the Weyerhaeuser Company's Clemons Tree Farm in Washington State. He spent 40 years with Weyerhaeuser, retiring in 1984. He has served as chairman of both the Columbia River and the Washington, DC, sections of the Society of American Foresters. He was elected vice president of the national society in 1989 and served as president during 1990. As immediate past president, he is a member of the SAF Council. He is presently associated with the Columbia Consulting Group.


Presented annually to someone who has made major contributions to forest conservation in the area or region in which he or she live.9 and works.


DeWitt Nelson's career has been in the broad field of public administration and education, with emphasis on protection, development, management, and conservation of natural resources. He served 19 years with the U.S. Forest Service, nine years as state forester in California and 13 years as that state's director of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. During the last five years of his active career, he served as professor of forestry and outdoor recreation at three major universities.


Named for AFA's founder, this medal is presented each year to a member for long-term accomplishments in forest conservation, with special consideration for service to the association.


Jane Westenberger retired in 1988 as director of the Forest Service's Office of Information, Pacific Southwest Region. She also served as conservation education specialist for the agency and was chief of the Environmental Education Branch in Washington, DC. While in the Washington office, she pioneered new environmental education teaching materials for schools and conservation organizations, and organized and administered a teaching-team approach for the Forest Service to use with educators stressing conservation and resource management. The U.S. Office of Education cited this program, saying it was one of the four best environmental education programs in the country.


Established in 1965 by joint agreement between the American Forestry Association and the German Foresby Association Deutscher Forstverein), the Fernow Award recognizes individuals for outstanding achievements in international forestry. Each association alternates in selecting the honoree.


James Ca rd has been a member of the executive board of the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations since 1981 and is currently vice president (Administration). He was chairman of the Canada/Soviet Union Working Group on Forestry as well as head of the Canadian delegation at the Eighth World Forestry Congress in Indonesia. He presently serves as editor of the Forestry Chronicle, director of the Canadian Forestry Accreditation Board, and is a forestry advisor to the Canadian International Development Agency.


Given at the discretion of the president of AFA to individuals or organizations for exemplary participation in and support of AFA activities.


Zane Smith retired in 1988 after a 34-year career with the U.S. Forest Service. Since then, he has served as a volunteer field representative for AFA. In that capacity, he has ably and enthusiastically represented the association in dozens of meetings, tours, and exhibits. Zane's outstanding knowledge of old-growth forest ecosystems and management provides AFA with an exceptional voice of reason in the midst of the current controversy.



As executive director of the Sacramento Tree Foundation, Ray Tretheway has been an advocate for trees and tree care throughout the state and the nation. He helped form the foundation on California's Arbor Day, and he now serves on the executive committee of the California Urban Forestry Advisory Council.

His success as a citizen activist and coalition-builder revolves around his ability to work with a wide array of civic, environmental, and business leaders who volunteer and promote foundation activities. His work has had a national influence: Tree groups around the country are now approaching their local utility companies and using the Sacramento model to fund important research and tree-planting activities.



Long considered an urban forestry innovator, john Giedraitis currently is the city forester of Austin, Texas. He has initiated programs and policies that have engaged and educated the citizens of Austin and served as a model for other cities around the world. His was the first city program in America to recycle Christmas trees into mulch and offer tree seedlings in exchange. When the nationally famous Austin Treaty Oak was poisoned, resulting in a worldwide press bombardment, John used the opportunity effectively to educate individuals and the media about the cultural importance of community trees. John Giedraitis has influenced many of his colleagues to get into the trenches and work with their communities.



As director of the Environmental Studies Program at Florida International University in Miami, Dr. Jack Parker is well known for his special skills as educator, researcher, citizen activist, and practitioner.

Dr. Parker founded Trees for Dade, a Global ReLeaf affiliate that coordinates the goal of planting 500,000 trees in energy-efficient locations. His most recent tree-planting project, in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity in Miami, a group that builds homes for low-income families, represents his far-reaching commitment to ecological landscaping and a handson approach to learning.


Global ReLeaf received a Presidential Citation for Innovation last fall as part of George Bush's new Environment and Conservation Challenge Awards. The White House pat on the back was for exceptional vision and creativity in the development of a program that is environmentally sensitive and economically sensible.

Global ReLeaf was recognized as a movement that aims to remove obstacles that prevent people and organizations from working together to plant trees while providing opportunities to do so. AFA President Charles Tarver and Executive Vice President Neil Sampson attended two days of events that included presentations in the Old Executive Office Building and The Rose Garden.-LORI WRIGHT



With the 1992 election fast approaching, AFA's Famous and Historic Trees program has launched its own Presidential Campaign.' Seeds have been collected from trees at the birthplaces and homes of every president from George Washington to George Bush.

Completing this collection was a major goal,' says Jeff Meyer, project coordinator for Famous and Historic Trees.

Many of the seeds have already sprouted into saplings 18 to 36 inches high and are ready for planting by homeowners or in community Historic Groves. AH that's required for an Historic Grove, which is a valuable addition to environmental education programs, is a minimum of 20 historic trees.

Each tree is accompanied by a tree shelter, stake, fertilizer, and Certificate of Authenticity. To order, write Famous and Historic Trees, 8555 Plummer Rd., jacksonville, FL 32219, or call 1-800677-0727.-ERIK EDENHOLM


A special AFA thank you goes to all federal employees who contributed to our conservation programs through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) last fall.

Federal employees have long been known for their generosity to nonprofits participating in the CFC. Among the participants are the nation's leading conservation organizations, which founded the Environmental Federation of America (name recently changed to Earth Share) in 1988 to assist in workplace giving programs at the federal, state, and local levels.

Contributions to AFA support our research, policy, education, and on-the-land conservation action programs, including Global ReLeaf. To learn how to set up a workplace-giving program, call Jim Scott at 800-368-5748.


Damaged forest ecosystems in Idaho were given a jump start toward recovery this fall when MasterCard's Forests for Our Future program funded tree plantings in Global ReLeaf Heritage Forests. Because of extended drought, planting of 100,000 western larch, ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, Englemann spruce, and blister-rust-resistant white pine was delayed until November 7. A ceremonial planting attended by local partners and AFA's Rick Crouse was held November 19.

Another major fall event occurred when Cub Scouts and Campfire girls braved inclement weather to plant 50 trees in a famous and Historic Tree Grove at Farragut State Park near Coeur d'Alene. The trees were grown from seeds collected from historic trees. One of them-a sycamore seedling-is the descendant of one of the seeds carried to the moon in 1971. -BILL TIKKALA



The animals at Miami's Metrozoo-and the human visitors-are a lot cooler now, thanks to 60 large shade trees planted by Texaco and Global ReLeaf. The zoo trees are part of a major Texaco tree initiative, Leaves over Miami, launched at an October kickoff by AFA President Charles Tarver and C. Robert Black, president of Texaco's Latin America/West Africa division.

Partners in the project are the Zoological Society of Florida, Dade County Public Schools, Habitat for Humanity, and Trees for Dade. Bill Theobald of the Florida Division of Forestry is helping identify additional planting projects.
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Title Annotation:AFA Today; includes other AFA news; Fifth National Urban Forestry Conference sponsored by the American Forestry Association
Publication:American Forests
Date:Jan 1, 1992
Previous Article:The critical question of sustainable forests.
Next Article:The fall of the Dyerville giant.

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