Skill Sets for Cadre Members

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Skill Sets for Cadre Members

Post by dbhguru » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:21 pm


This is one of the updates on the AF Measuring Guidelines Working Group (MGWG) that I present from time to time. First some history. Since May 2013, we've been at the task of upgrading the Big Tree Program of American Forests.The job of writing the tree measuring guidelines fell mainly on Don Bertolette and myself, originally under Sheri Shannon, and now under Bryant Smith, the new AF Big Tree Program Coordinator. The guidelines job officially was assigned to Working Group, originally 6 in number. But members kept dropping out until only two were left. We hope to build the Group back up to at least 4. More on this to come.

After completing the guidelines, the second big result of the MGWG has been to establish the National Cadre - Don's original idea. But the Cadre is still evolving. We originally envisioned it as a single inclusive unit, but we are moving toward what Don is calling a two-tiered approach. The main National Cadre force, i.e. Tier One, will function as previously envisioned. The first tier is made up of heavyweight dudes, the top of the measuring order, all able to leap over tall trees in a single bounce. However, we are starting to see a need for a second tier to operate at the State Level as part of the State Champion Tree Programs. The second tier members will not need to master all measuring methods, e.g. External Baseline in all its variations. This acknowledged, we won't compromise accuracy of measuring results, though. The Sine Method will be the predominant way the second tier measures height. But because we'll be leaving out the most advanced measurement methods, the level of training needed to function in the second tier will be an order of magnitude below that of the first tier. The second tier members will be able to leap over tall shrubs in a single bounce.

Regardless of which tier a new member is assigned to, upward migration will always be possible. In addition, Cadre members will function as a unit, supporting one another in the interests of efficiency, accuracy, etc. AF is setting up a communication channel to allow Cadre members to discuss problems as a unit. Lots of esprit de corps. Of particular significance is that if a Cadre member is asked to measure a tree, the results cannot thereafter be replaced by measurements of a non-Cadre member. If controversy develops around a measurement of a Cadre member, the AF Big Tree Coordinator may elect to call on another Cadre member to render assistance, but the days of accepting measurements from half-trained state people to replace those of accomplished measurers is over.

Where does NTS fit within this brave new world? Well, I see NTS continuing to function as the main crucible from which new measuring ideas are born, new big tree discoveries made, etc. There will always be a need for a free-wheeling, unchained NTS. Why? Because our experiment has worked so spectacularly. So far as I am aware, there is no counterpart or competitor to NTS, as an organization, out there in the champion tree measuring world. There are attractive websites to be visited, but most are saturated with unreliable statistics, innocently included by the designers who have no clue. Of course there are some exceptions, but those are usually personal websites of people who are also in NTS.

So, NTS will continue to grow and prosper, and hopefully support AF's elevated mission in an informal partnership. So, what's upcoming? On the immediate horizon is a database of species maximums. Matt Markworth's efforts to date can form the base for moving forward. Species specific databases such as the one I've been spearheading on black birches should fit in somewhere. Anyone who is willing to step up to the plate and champion a favored species is most welcome. If we get the Excel feeds from Mitch Galehouse, we could make good use of the NTS database, but eventually AF will have their own.

And now back to the Cadre. I realize that most NTS members do not want to wade through the Cadre problem sets. They clearly exceed the level of interest of most of our members, but for those with an interest, we welcome problems, and will try to respond timely with solutions or show why they can't be developed for a problem as stated. No problem is too simple and if a problem is too complicated for me to solve, guess who I'll pass it along to? Michael Taylor, look out.

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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Re: Skill Sets for Cadre Members

Post by Don » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:36 pm

What he said...; ~ }
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
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John Harvey
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Re: Skill Sets for Cadre Members

Post by John Harvey » Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:47 pm

Thank you for the updates and the info. I like the idea of an official state level individual as well. I've been looking over the problem sets and cant wait for April.
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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Matt Markworth
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Re: Skill Sets for Cadre Members

Post by Matt Markworth » Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:16 pm


Exciting times! Kudos again to you and Don for this unprecedented effort.

Just brainstorming about an AF maximums list/database - maybe it could be limited to measurements from National Cadre members. The list would certainly be dominated by current NTS members and I would expect new maximums to start coming in from new National Cadre members (also likely to be new NTS members). The two-tier system that you described could open the door for more Cadre members and therefore open the door for a more complete AF maximums list.


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