Update on American Forests Big Tree Program

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dbhguru
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Update on American Forests Big Tree Program

Post by dbhguru » Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:44 am

Hi Ents,

A quick summary of the status of events on American Forests big tree program initiatives follows.

1. On January 7th, American Forests will hold a telephone conference with state big tree program coordinators to introduce them to the National Cadre. Bryant Smith will kick off the meeting and then turn it over to Don and me. Our challenge will be to sell the state coordinators on the concept and how the Cadre can serve their needs without over-taxing Cadre members. We will emphasize our training role, settling disputes, and certifying trees with questionable dimensions. The AF Big Tree Program Coordinator is responsible for enforcing the rules, but once a Cadre member measures a tree for the Coordinator, that is law.

2. On January 9th, we'll have our regular MGWG telephone conference when we'll review how we thought the 7th meeting went. After the 7th is when the real work for Cadre members begins.

3. On January 22nd, we'll have our first National Cadre telephone conference. Since all Cadre members know one another, this will be more for members to meet Bryant Smith. Of course questions will be entertained, but the basic duties of Cadre members are fairly well established. We hope to have a special communications channel set up for Cadre members. That will be discussed.

4. Sometime in January or February, the new measuring guidelines will be posted on the AF website. A lot of eyes are going to be opened wide on seeing them. At present, with appendices, the guidelines cover 80 pages.

5. On April 16-17, we'll have the first National Cadre Workshop at Cook Forest, PA. Don and I will be drafting the training program over the next couple months. Other Cadre members will be regularly consulted.

6. On May 8th, we'll have the second training program at Mohawk Trail State Forest, primarily for people designated by the Mass Big Tree Program Coordinator, Ken Gooch. This should kick off a cooperative effort for Mass. Presently, only Doug Bidlack and myself are Cadre members for the Bay State. I'll try to recruit my friend Ray Asselin. He now owns a Nikon Forestry 550 and possesses the necessary skills. There's plenty of time.

7. On June 26-27, we'll have the third training program in Durango, CO. It will involve Federal and State Forestry people and state big tree hunters. Should be a blast.

8. In October, we'll have a 4th National Cadre Training workshop. Originally, I had planned it for MTSF, but since we'll have that one in May, a different location would be preferable. We will likely get a better idea on location after January 7th.

9. Don Bertolette will be building up a library of pith traces for access and use by all interested. They will be available on the AF website. I'll let Don describe what he has in mind.

10. We have a monumental job of developing a species maximum database for American Forests keyed to geographical location and hopefully tree form. We have a lot of data now, but need so much more. Lots to talk about here.

11. We'll be working on an extensive certification course for National Cadre recruits. This will be an evolving project. We'll learn as we go. But basically, as we conceive it now, each recruit will be assigned an existing Cadre member to be the primary trainer. Trainer and Trainee will stay in Internet communication with one another throughout the period of apprenticeship. The trainer will assign responsibilities. This is where a digital camera becomes an absolute necessity. The trainer will be photographing each tree being measured to the satisfaction of the trainer. I expect individual trainers will call upon other Cadre members for assistance. The Cadre will be a very close nit group.

Happy New Year Everyone

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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Will Blozan
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Re: Update on American Forests Big Tree Program

Post by Will Blozan » Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:59 am

Bob,

Looking forward to it! However, I would rather be part of a "knit" group than a "nit" group ;)

Another topic is the co-champion point spread reworking...

Will

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RayA
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Re: Update on American Forests Big Tree Program

Post by RayA » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:17 am

Ya... since a "nit" is a louse's egg, I don't know that I really want to be recruited into that group either. Then again, I'm not the knitting type. Oh man, decisions, decisions. And when Bob first asked me if I wanted to participate, I thought he said "would you like to be part of the National Cod, Ray?". I thought, "Uh oh, Bob's neurons are lignified".

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bbeduhn
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Re: Update on American Forests Big Tree Program

Post by bbeduhn » Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:02 am

There's something fishy about the National Cod, Ray. Someone with quick quips could be the nitwit of the close nit group. I know, I'm such a louse...quite lousy.

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RayA
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Re: Update on American Forests Big Tree Program

Post by RayA » Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:15 am

I guess that's just the Life of Brian.

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John Harvey
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Re: Update on American Forests Big Tree Program

Post by John Harvey » Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:52 am

Bob,
If there is a representative from New Jersey on the conference call please tell him how he can reach me. State champs have fallen but are still listed as standing and I have several nominations that easily trump what is currently on the NJ page. Thanks.
John D Harvey (JohnnyDJersey)

East Coast and West Coast Big Tree Hunter

"If you look closely at a tree you'll notice it's knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully." - Matt Fox

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dbhguru
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Re: Update on American Forests Big Tree Program

Post by dbhguru » Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:23 pm

John,

Would like to join the National Cadre? If you could make it to Cook Forest, PA for April 17th, we would work with you, one on one. The main areas we would cover include: (1) Spoke Method for crown measurements, (2) measuring diameters through photographic analysis, (3) pith tracings, and (4) use of the monocular for diameters. I'm assuming that you regular do sine-based height measurements. The other area is quantifying sources of measurement error. Please let us know if you can make it. If not, we could also work long distance through the Internet.

Will, Ray, Brian, et al.,

Nit versus knit: Guys, I've become a phonetic speller. I'm getting better and better. Why add silent letters? Oh Boy, the curse of an aging brain.

The National Cod, Ray? So that's why I got that totally weird look. But to be a member of that group, you have to wear a cape. How low can this go?

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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RayA
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Re: Update on American Forests Big Tree Program

Post by RayA » Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:57 pm

I didn't have a clue... Thought maybe it had something to do with a champion beach tree.

Ohh, that's bad.

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John Harvey
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Re: Update on American Forests Big Tree Program

Post by John Harvey » Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:33 pm

Bob,
I'd love to join you guys! April 17th sounds good to me. I'm down for all the practice and education I can get. I've been doing laser-sine height measurements for almost 2 years now but pith tracings and monocular training sounds great. Ill forward my contact info to you in a PM. Thanks.
John D Harvey (JohnnyDJersey)

East Coast and West Coast Big Tree Hunter

"If you look closely at a tree you'll notice it's knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully." - Matt Fox

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edfrank
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Re: Update on American Forests Big Tree Program

Post by edfrank » Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:56 pm

There is a guidebook available for download from the American Forests website:

American Forests
NEW tree-measuring guidelines for champion trees. With the guidance of the Measuring Guidelines Working Group, American Forests has released the National Big Tree Program’s tree-measuring guidelines handbook. This comprehensive guide was assembled and published to ensure accuracy and integrity in the national register of Champion Trees. Visit http://bit.ly/13EW0e8 to read the guidebook and learn how to measure trees like a pro!
afguidelines.JPG
http://www.americanforests.org/wp-conte ... nes_LR.pdf

It was posted Dec. 26, 2014 on the American Forest Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/AmericanForests

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"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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