We are a retired group of men and women who have worked and/or retired in the Southern Region of the USDA Forest Service
New and past retirees are welcome! Join Now!
This organization is a non-profit (501c4), based in Atlanta, Georgia, to serve present, former and anticipated Forest Service retirees of the Southern United States. Members are former professional, technical and administrative employees of the USDA Forest Service and have at one time worked in or now live in the 13 Southern States or Porte Rico. Area chapters or other special interest or more intimate groups, have been organized throughout the region.
There are a lot of good books about Forest Service history that would make for great reading and gifts. See links below:
Dixie Ranger Newsletter
"The Dixie Ranger" is our newsletter published two to three times per year and is included with the purchase of the annual dues. Articles, information and obituaries can be sent to the editor Sid Haggard
We want to keep in touch with our old friends and coworkers. We have two luncheons every year around the first of June and first of December in Atlanta. Local groups all over the region get together more frequently. The Dixie Ranger Newsletter, Facebook Page and the e-mail notices also keep our members informed.
The Southern Forest Service Retirees Association
The Southern Forest Service Retirees Association Constitution was written prior to 1971 and has been amended 13 times. There are several areas that need attention. For example, there is no provision for approval of expenditures without approval at a formal business meeting. This means that things like paying for the printing and mailing of the newsletter would have to wait until the next meeting which could be a few months. Instead of amending the document with the changes that are needed, the Directors decided a complete re-write would be better. They have completed that task and forwarded it to the President to be presented for approval at the December 2020 meeting.
There are requirements that the proposed document be provided to all members at least 30 days prior to the meeting and that it be included in the newsletter prior to the meeting. This statement will be included in the July and November newsletters, therefore including the document by incorporation. This means the proposed Constitution becomes a part of the website.
Each member is entitled to vote “approve” or “disapprove” with the following statement and, if they will not be physically present at the December 2020 meeting, can send the statement by email or US Postal Service to the SFSRA Secretary, Joyce Keith, at or 20 Sweet Briar Lane, Jefferson, GA, 30549. Verbal votes are not allowed.
“I __________________ (print name) (approve) (disapprove) (circle your choice) the proposed new SFSRA Constitution.”
Please direct questions to Malcolm Gramley, 404-277-1247 or
A Memorial Fund category has been established. If you would like to donate to the Southern Forest Service Retiree Association in memory or in honor of someone, you can now do so. Funds will be used to cover costs of memorials or however you wish to designate.
Send note and check to:
941 Northrope Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30324-4219
History and Culture of the Southern Region-
The Forest History Society has several historical documents and literature about the Forest and Range lands of the southern region. Check these out https://foresthistory.org/research-explore/us-forest-service-history/u-s-forest-service-publications/region-8-southern/
OVERVIEW OF THE REUNION AT THE CRADLE
Respectfully Submitted by a tired Reunion attendee—Jeannette Hartog, President 2018, OldTimers (Reprinted with permission)
The Southern FS Retirees Association in conjunction with the USDA-FS Southern Region and USDA-FS Southern Research Station welcomed FS Retirees from all parts of our nation. The purpose of the reunion was not only for visiting, reconnecting and enjoying each other, but also to rediscover (or discover for some) the Birthplace of Forestry in the US.
There were stories and history of the Pinchot family shared by Bibi Gaston, the great-grandniece of Gifford Pinchot. She shared untold stories of brave souls who launched the American Conservation Movement. We also heard from Chase Pickering, a great-great-grandson of George Vanderbilt. As a fifth generation family owner of Biltmore, he shared his family’s mission to preserve Biltmore as a conservation effort. These two speakers set the stage for the week as we explored The Cradle of Forestry in America, the Birthplace of science-based forest management.
We were offered two field trips: One to the Cradle of Forestry which included a visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center and to the Cradle located on the Pisgah NF. We learned about Carl Schenck and saw his first American forestry school in Pisgah. This unique tour showcased the culture and music of the Southern Appalachian Mountain. We were served a luncheon of local taste treats followed by a local musician and story teller. Great stories, all in attendance won’t soon forget!
The second field trip was Biltmore Behind the Gate Tour which took folks behind locked gates to explore conservation history connections with Gifford Pinchot and Carl Schenck who established the first American forestry school on the Biltmore property. This tour also included the Mansion, gardens, and highlighted a limited engagement of Chihuly Glasswork
We enjoyed a presentation by Lisa Tate, Executive Director of the National Museum of FS History. She shared recent happenings with the Museum which will include a premier virtual exhibit which is now available to view at www.forestservicemuseum.org
The Reunion was also a fundraiser for the museum with new memberships. All proceeds, after expenses, from the Silent Auction and other monies left over after expenses will be donated to the museum.
A highlight of the week was the banquet on Thursday evening that feature the Bailey Mountain Cloggers from Mars Hills College in the Mountains near Asheville. They even taught some brave folks to Clog—our group has talent!!
Friday morning saw a tired, but happy group sad to say “Goodbye” to those they had reconnected with during the week. The Southern FS Retirees Association closed out the Reunion by passing the baton and a $5,000 check to the 2021 Reunion Hostess, Nancy Gibson, of the Pacific Southwest Retirees. The 2021 Lake Tahoe Gathering will be held September 13-17, 2021, at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Stateline, NV.
This was my first National Reunion, and it was great. My “congrats” to the Southern Retirees for their hospitality and an overall memorable experience!!