Publishing The Bulletin of ENTS:Change of Guard

Discussions related to the Bulletin of the Eastern Native Tree Society and copies of the most recent issues.

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#1)  Publishing The Bulletin of ENTS:Change of Guard

Postby dbhguru » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:36 am

Hi Ents,

  Our esteemed producer of the Bulletin of the Eastern Native Tree Society, Dr. Don Bragg, will soon publish his last edition. Don is not only an extremely busy research forester in the U.S. Forest Service, he is also the editor of the prestigious SAF Journal of Forestry. In addition, Don is one of 4 members of the AF Measuring Guidelines Working Group. But one's time for extra projects has to have limits, as does it for this very busy scientist. So it is with regret that Don must pass the baton to someone else if the Bulletin is to continue being published. Don is soliciting volunteers, and asked my help in the call. An editor must be someone who is experienced with detailed formatting, good at layout, and understands what is needed to achieve the excellent balance of materials that characterize the 24 existing editions of Bulletin,all of which are available on the NTS website.

  For those unfamiliar with the Bulletin, it is intended to be the scientific voice of NTS. It communicates our highest and best achievements in a more scientifically rigorous way. The Bulletins offer researchers a genuine research resource. I hope we can continue to offer that service.

  As a final comment, I wish to offer my personal thanks to Dr. Don for his superb support of the NTS mission. BTW, Don isn't leaving us, he simply cannot any longer commit the time to such a labor intensive effort as producing the Bulletin. I do hope someone with the publishing expertise will step forward. Let's not let the Bulletin fall by the wayside.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder and Executive Director
Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
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#2)  Re: Publishing The Bulletin of ENTS:Change of Guard

Postby DonCBragg » Wed Dec 30, 2015 8:12 am

It has been my privilege to serve in this capacity, and I look forward to continuing to help into the future with the Bulletin.  I am very willing to help with the transition in any way I can--now all we need is someone to step up to the plate!

Don Bragg

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#3)  Re: Publishing The Bulletin of ENTS:Change of Guard

Postby dbhguru » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:49 pm

As a continuation of this thread, I soooo appreciate Dr. Don Bragg's contribution to NTS. He, as much as anyone, helped us define our role vis-a-vis science, and I'm thankful that he will remain with us. The challenge has always been for us to organize our individual efforts and make them count in the disciplined world of science using the undisciplined world of the Internet. This is what the Bulletin was/is intended to help us with, and it has. However, we need to periodically take stock of where our labors are being directed, i.e. through what communications vehicles. The Bulletin is a lot meatier than simple posts to the BBS and a light year removed from the shallow spontaneity of Facebook. Routine BBS posts should continue to be our primary vehicle for sharing information, with periodic volumes of the Bulletins representing the culmination of our best efforts. By contrast, I see little, if any, future for Facebook as a serious expression of our mission. It serves its purpose for keeping friends in contact with friends, but I'd hate to see our limited energies drained off in attempts to keep up with the daily stream of Facebook tweets, jabs, pokes, comments, etc.

   I wish that I possessed the experience with publishing software and the time to take on the task of publishing the Bulletin, but I do not. I have no idea who among our members does, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that someone will step forward. If, and hopefully when, that happens, we will still have a tough nut to crack. Don made frequent calls for material for the Bulletin, but seldom got much. I'm unsure why. I expect that some members were unsure of the scientific worthiness of their contributions or didn't feel they had the time to devote to the drafting serious articles.

   One way around the hesitancy of members to contribute to the Bulletin is to return to our bread and butter mission: site reports with plenty of Rucker Indices. Years ago, our scientifically trained friend Jess Riddle established the gold standard for site reports. Jess has enough material to fill two volumes of the Bulletin. Other great site contributors include Turner Sharp, Matt Markworth, Brian Beduhn, plus our three New York friends, and our West Coast superstars. All have posted material of great value, and the Bulletin is the ideal vehicle for consolidating and presenting their trip reports with attendant analysis. If we did little more than consolidate trip reports, again with analysis, with a few articles on advances in tree measuring, we would continue providing the outside world with a valuable service, one not clearly available elsewhere in a popular form/format.

   We in NTS know that the Internet stays saturated with incorrect/misleading information on the historic and current maximum dimensions attained by virtually every tree species. Authors who otherwise are well informed, crash when they report on tree heights. I expect that most assume the "official" sources of information are the right ones to use, but they couldn't be more wrong, and incidentally, as a challenge to any outsiders who might stumble on this, prove me wrong. It just isn’t a debatable point. NTS is the right source, if not the only one they can go to get accurate data and intelligent analysis on the maximum dimensions of tree species, range-wide and geographically pinpointed. Our challenge continues to be the organization, consolidation, and reporting of our data in an efficient and scientifically credible way. Bulletin of the Eastern Native Tree Society anyone?

   The last issue of the Bulletin under Don's editorship has been published. I could say that it is intended to flex our measuring muscles, but in truth, it was the only material submitted to Don, i.e. the article by Michael Taylor and myself. But, I'll end on some high notes and thank yous. With both established and budding NTS stars, east and west, we can still have our best days ahead of us. The Big Apple is being transformed -- Erik, Elijah and Tom are turning into super stars. Turner is on a mission, joining yours truly, to bring truth to the numbers. Brian continues as a super star in NC. Matt has become irreplaceable, and annually George hits the ball out of the park in southeastern PA. Our West Coast performers continue to mesmerize us with outstanding numbers and images, and our connections to American Forests have never been stronger courtesy of Don Bertolette, Will Blozan, Don Bragg, other Cadre members, and yes, lil ol' me. And I don't want to overlook our enormously valuable ties to Tree Climbers International through Patty and Peter Jenkins. We have made some extremely valuable connections through them, and it was Andrew Joslin who got it started. Where are you Andrew?
   
  And now to some special tributes. All this incredible material would not have happened had it not been for Ed Frank. I cannot even imagine the number of hours he tirelessly devoted to the cause. I fear that Ed burned himself out in the service of NTS and finely needed to chill out. But Ed's contribution has been so enormous, that he has earned whatever respite he needs, plus Ed is first and foremost a geologist. Perhaps he needed to return to his chosen field. Second I want to say a few words of thanks to our esteemed President Will Blozan. Will is often a person of few words, but his contributions have been absolutely crucial to the credibility of NTS. His tree climbs and explorations of the GSMNP are legendary. Will has by no means left the fold, but I expect the demands of his business and personal life have cut into his time for NTS - at least presently. Plus I think Will awaits the day when American Forests lives up to its promise through the National Cadre. I suppose it is of insufficient comfort to say that Rome was not built in a day, but I do see a time when our expectations will be realized. Keep the faith, buddy.

  And as a final call, the AF National Cadre needs a few good measurers! We now have 25, but need no less than an average of 2 per state.

Happy New Year,

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder and Executive Director
Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest

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#4)  Re: Publishing The Bulletin of ENTS:Change of Guard

Postby Don » Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:24 pm

With so little of this year left, I'll not ramble on unnecessarily, but I do want to fall in behind Bob's post with some added comments. While we are at the cusp of a new year, traditionally a time to do a post-year wrap, I'm unrelentingly optimistic about NTS's future.  I don't know that ANY of us ten, or even five years ago, thought that we'd have been instrumental in revising the AF Big Tree Program measuring guidelines.  But we do have challenges ahead. "Gobsmackers" abound, and we've got pesky non-standard forms of tropical and/or wetland species that defy means of fairly measuring their girth.  Taking a break over the holidays, I found myself wandering in and out of banyans and figs (aka climbing figs, or 'stranglers'), and totally puzzled by their habit of growing up as a tree and down from the crown as roots. In their old-growth phase, those rooting tendrils can become impassibly dense, large, and form a significant volume of cellulose.  Hawaii is a faraway exotic place, but we've also similar species in Florida and the deep South (thinking also of bald cypress, etc.) that await our special measuring guidelines.
But that's another story, and one I hope we take up in the new year (non-standard form, and proper measurement rules).  Echoing Bob's comments on the Cadre, I'm pleased that we are at  our current state of readiness, and am really looking forward to being put to the test.  With Spring not far off (assuming we have a Winter!), folks will be getting out and about in the forest and I suspect nominations to be flying in.  Now would be a good time for our Cadre members to be making contacts with the AF Big Tree Coordinators in the states those Cadre members 'hold sway over', assuring them of our willingness to aid them, and where approached, evangelize or otherwise wax rhapsodic over the simplicity, elegance, and rightness of the Sine Method, the purity of single-stems, and the means for multi-stemmed candidates to achieve parity.  Bob and I look forward to working with American Forests this coming year in the creating of a more effective channel of communication, and a more systematic approach in providing updates on existing champion tree re-measurements.
With about a half dozen Cadre-training workshops under our belts, we are planning on more for this coming year, and the next.  Those Cadre among us with colleagues showing potential, please do entice them into the fold if they seem receptive, as Bob points out, it would great to have two Cadre members per state...we're just half that so far. Those of us still apprenticing, have a full winter of woods available (at least so far, very little snow-bound forests yet!) to be putting the online lessons to the test in the woods! Don't hesitate to call upon your mentors, if you're having 'bumps in the road', most of us can get you through them or to those who can.
Attaching what I'm guessing to be a Koa being slowly strangled by a Fig, in a public square in Hilo, Hawaii on Christmas Eve...Happy New Year everyone!!!
Oops, it shows below out 90 degrees, but when you click on it, it does rotate properly...will do better next time!
               
                       
IMG_6676.JPG
                       
Hilo, Hawaii   12-24-15
               
               
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

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#5)  Re: Publishing The Bulletin of ENTS:Change of Guard

Postby DonCBragg » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:39 pm

Just a quick note of encouragement for those that may be contemplating taking on the mantle of the editor of the Bulletin...Do not be deterred because of fears of having to buy and learn expensive desktop publishing software--I produced every issue of the Bulletin using current versions of Microsoft Word, and its ability to generate PDF files!  I also didn't have to use sophisticated graphics software like Photoshop to manipulate the photographs.

This work can be done using very inexpensive and commonplace software, with only a modest amount of expertise.  I'd be happy to help someone learn the ropes, if needed!

Thanks,
Don Bragg
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