Foresters honor members at 35th annual LASAF
convention in W. Monroe

By Terry Haines
Communications Chair,

Louisiana's organization of professional foresters, the Louisiana Society of American Foresters (LASAF), held its 35th annual meeting in Alexandria at the Hilton Garden Inn in West Monroe, January 21-23, 2014.

The conference began with day-long technical session focused on wetland regulation and delineation. The session was presented by professionals with the US Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District. Topics covered included the Corps regulatory program and wetlands delineation in the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains. A session on field indicators for wetland determination was held in the afternoon.

The general session for the conference, Managed Forests, Clean Water began on January 22 with a series of presentations and a panel discussion on topics related to Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs), Federal cost-share programs, the Louisiana non-point source pollution program, and forestry BMPs effectiveness and compliance.

Several awards were presented to LASAF members at a Luncheon on January 22nd. These included: Outstanding Student Awards to Maggie Witsell ( LSU) and Isaac G. Moore (LA Tech); Sparkplug Award to Bill Patterson (Louisiana Tech); Outstanding Leadership Award, Fred Hagaman (Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries); Presidential Award for Leadership, Steve Templin (Templin Forest Industries); and the Golden Membership Award to Bill Wieger for his 50 years of membership in SAF.

Terry Clason (NRCS, retired) received the Distinguished Service to Forestry Award. This award is prestigious in that it may only be awarded to an individual once in his/her career. Dr. Clason was recognized for his dedication and long-time support to the LASAF and the national SAF organization in various capacities over the past twenty-plus years, as well as his professional contributions to forestry.

John Barnwell, the National SAF Director of Policy, presented highlights of SAF's actions to improve water quality across the nation at the evening banquet. He also discussed the Clean Water Act's Section 404 silvicultural exemption and recent litigation challenging the exemption.

The LASAF annual business meeting was held on the morning of January 23.