My Future in the Native Tree Society
I started with the Eastern Native Tree Society by attending an event at Cook Forest in 2003. There I met Colby Rucker, Bob Leveret, Will Blozan, and many other early members of the group. I had previously met Dale Luthringer as I visited Cook Forest State Park many times before. Shortly thereafter I took over as the new webmaster of the group. I wanted to put a better face on the organization on the web from their initial small website. I orchestrated the move of the discussion list from the original forum to Topica, to Google Groups, and finally to the present format as the Native Tree Society BBS. I maintain the Facebook Group for the organization. I wrote the five articles on Wikipedia that talk about how to measure trees. I have been very active in the organization for a dozen years.
The Native Tree Society was always an interest group. It was an association of people who shared a mutual interest and love of trees and forests. Today that is still true. One of the goals, driven relentlessly by Bob Leverett and a handful of others was to bring some credibility and accuracy to published tree measurements. That is still a goal of the group. We are pushing the boundaries and developing new methodologies to better access the size and role of trees and out forests. Over the past year and a half, Bob Leverett and Don Bertolette as NTS representatives (Will Blozan was recently added into the mix) have been working with American Forests to develop better criteria and measurement standards for their Championship Tree Program. Once implemented then we will have a national organization with a publicly accessible database of the biggest trees of each species in the country, with real accurate measurements. This is a major step forward for tree research and a coup for the Native Tree Society. NTS is still a valuable organization driven to better understand what we are seeing in the forests through accurate measurements, documentation, and supporting scientific research. The future could not be brighter for the group.
As for myself. I will continue to be a part of the organization, but want to take a smaller role in the proceedings. My mother passed away this past December. I had spent the last several years taking care of her, 24/7. There are things I want to do and places I want to visit outside of my tree interests and I want to pursue them while I am young enough and healthy enough to do so. This summer I will be taking a 3 month+ trip around the country visiting various parks, natural areas, and sites of interest. I will not be able to take a daily role in the BBS and Facebook group during this time. The Facebook Group is taken care of pretty much. Chris Budesa administrates it as much as I do, adding members and bouncing spammers. As for the BBS I will need someone to take my place during the time I am gone. I have not been posting much, but I visit the BBS almost every day. I manually approve every member who asks to join, I delete spam and ban spammers, I moderate posts, so I am active on the BBS. It isn't that great of a burden (in most cases), but it is something that cannot be put off for 100 plus days while I am gone.
I need someone to take over moderating the BBS over the summer for me. I will show them what they need to do, and let them go at it. After the trip I will share the task of moderation. In the long term I would like to phase out my participation. I am looking for someone to take over the website – essentially an archive at this point. I want someone to bring new life into the website and BBS. An example is Matt Markworth’s tree of the week series – this is the type of stuff we need to do. Matt are you interested in being the BBS moderator while I am gone this summer?
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky