Update on AF MGWG

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dbhguru
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Update on AF MGWG

Post by dbhguru » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:31 pm

Hi Everyone,

Those of you who have followed the progress of the American Forests Measuring Guidelines Working Group (AFMGWG) deserve an update. A lot has happened in the last few weeks.

To review, we started with six members. We are now down to four. One of the four has administrative skills, but no measuring experience. That leaves three of us to develop the national measuring guidelines. Fellow Ent Don Bertolette and I now make up two-thirds of the team. That's pretty fair NTS representation, wouldn't you say? Don and I have basically completed the draft for height measurements at Level 4. Given the exodus of one of the group, we may be asked to complete guidelines for Levels 2 and 3. Level 1 is basically what is on the American Forests website now.

Looking forward, it is one of those good news-bad news scenarios. Sheri Shannon, the Communications Director and Big Tree Coordinator is going back to school to further her career. That's good news. We wish her well. AF will not have her leadership and enthusiastic promotion of a stronger national big tree program. That's bad news. Sheri will be staying on in a part time capacity until the basic guidelines are finished. That's good news. She will train a replacement and then the project will take whatever form it is destined to take. We don't know what kind of news that will be. Depends on her replacement.

Regardless, Don and I will most likely have volunteer roles with American Forests for a long time. We hope to keep NTS involved along the lines previously outlined. If we are successful with Don's National Cadre concept, NTS will form its backbone. There will be training webinars in the future and I've been asked to play a part.

The process of revamping the national big tree program has taken its twists and turns, which is par for the course. But considering what has happened to date, NTS is playing a bigger role than I expected, and as of now, it is onward and upward.

We have our next MGWG telephone conference on Friday. A report is forthcoming afterwards.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Update on AF MGWG

Post by Larry Tucei » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:07 pm

Bob- Hopefully Sheri's replacement has her vision and sees the need for a new system of measuring, documenting Champion trees for American Forests Listings. How receptive have they been on Single vs. Multi-Trunk categories? Should the location of Champion Trees be kept a secret to protect them from vandalism or should I be able to find them say with GPS coordinates? Thanks for all that you Don and others have been doing to help make some changes in the way AF compiles there listing. I'm grateful that you keep us in the loop. I look forward to the future of NTS, AF teaming up and making the Champion Tree Listing better for everyone. Larry

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dbhguru
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Re: Update on AF MGWG

Post by dbhguru » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:33 pm

Larry,

We haven't yet tackled the single versus multi-stem issue. Other issues about protecting the exact location of champions isn't within the purview of the MGWG. We'll keep everyone updated.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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dbhguru
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Re: Update on AF MGWG

Post by dbhguru » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:01 pm

Hello Everyone,

A quick update on the American Forests Measuring Guideline Work Group. Don and I have finally completed drafts of measuring guidelines for the Public, State Coordinators and Certifiers, and National Cadre. The State and National Levels each have three volumes: Height, Girth, and Crown-Spread. The Public is all one volume. The total number of pages for all levels and volumes is 163. I expect that a few folks at AF are going to faint when they see the drafts. May cause some of them permanent brain damage. Going from their current guidelines of three pages to 163 is a big pill to swallow.

The next step is for the other Group members to review them and offer suggestions. If they feel a bit intimidated, that will be understandable. But hopefully, they'll be on board. After the review process, the guidelines will go forward to AF for a final scrub-down and then presumably posted to the AF website. I'm recommending that the National Cadre Guidelines be posted as a product of NTS developed for AF. That will build some insulation for AF. The National guidelines are 107 pages. The State is 44, and the Public, a modest 12.

The current plan is for some webinars to be presented for teaching purposes in May. I expect that I'll cover the advanced topics for height and crown-spread. Not sure. Anyway, it is onward and upward.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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edfrank
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Re: Update on AF MGWG

Post by edfrank » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:19 pm

Good job, Bob. I am glad you are making progress.
"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

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dbhguru
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Re: Update on AF MGWG

Post by dbhguru » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:35 pm

Ed,

Thanks. An equal amount of credit goes to Don. Up until now, we've been pretty much the whole AF team on the guidelines. However, we have a new team member aboard, so our strength is back up to 5. In terms of the guidelines, we're still in refinement mode, but oh, so very much closer. I've attached the latest draft of the height guidelines for the National Cadre for NTS members to look at, and hopefully comment on. I wouldn't want tp back up and head in a new direction, but individual clarifications, better titles, etc. can still be accommodated. If substitutions can be made on a one for one basis, diagrams could be upgraded. Remembering that these are for the National Cadre, proficiency in elementary algebra and trigonometry is assumed.

Bob
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Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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Don
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Re: Update on AF MGWG

Post by Don » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:22 am

Larry-
I'm realizing that virtually all the live oaks I've seen have been in their mature state, and I've very little grasp of their early growth habits.
As a species with a form that tends towards multiple stems, what is your perception of live oak reproduction, from the perspective of the germination of a single seed? If one for whatever reason had to sever at ground level, the growing live oak at 1 year, at 5 years, at 20 years, what would you predict the cross-section would look like, specifically with respect to pith line(s) and concentric rings.
By use of the phrase 'ground line', I'm envisioning the interface of 'root' and 'shoot'.
-Don
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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dbhguru
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Re: Update on AF MGWG

Post by dbhguru » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:16 pm

Hi All,

Time for a quick update. With the AFMGWG, we're now in the single versus multi-trunk tree debate, or should I say, war? Don is carrying the torch for pith testing, but we have one very strong naysayer who isn't going budge. It is partially a case of "academicitis" combined with inexperience in actual champion tree measuring. I can't predict the outcome of the current debate, but it isn't looking good.

As for the actual measuring guidelines, the plan is for them to be reformatted by AF to take up less page space, which is what we want. But there is a limit to the shrinkage, and one of our group suggested that the guidelines shouldn't be longer than maybe 12 pages. That would leave us not much better off than where we are now. Needless to say, neither Don nor I will go along with such a drastic reduction. In addition, we will continue to maintain that we need three distinct sets of guidelines: (1) one for the public (currently 12 pages), (2) one for State Coordinators and Certifiers (currently 44 pages), and (3) one for the National Cadre (currently 107 pages), and the three should not be mixed.

We'll see who prevails, but were I to think that the current makeup of the group is the problem, I'm resigned to the fact that others who might have been selected would likely not believe the number of errors of magnitude that exist in the National Register - or have the expertise to deal with them.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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edfrank
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Re: Update on AF MGWG

Post by edfrank » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:52 pm

The single trunk versus multitrunk is the single most important issue in the discussion and failure to differentiate between the two on the list will be a failure of the entire process.
"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

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dbhguru
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Re: Update on AF MGWG

Post by dbhguru » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:10 pm

Ed,

It would be interesting to develop a survey on the single versus multi-stem topic and send it to all 50 state champion tree coordinators. I suggested that in a recent email communication to Group members, and I plan to bring the topic up again tomorrow in our semi-monthly AFMGWG conference call. We need to keep attention focused on the topic. Lots of discussion.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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