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Tom Darden (left) hands over the Southern Forest Service Retirees Association Presidential gavel to incoming President Tim Mersmann (right) at the December 14 luncheon.  Tim shared with the group his ideas for the next two years of his term, with the first being membership recruitment.  Gretta Boley was elected as the incoming President Elect.  New officers will start their term January 1, 2024, and end December 31, 2025. 

We wish to thank Tom Darden for his leadership and dedication to the Forest Service retirees, and especially for making us a more inclusive and diverse group.

A Memorial Fund category has been established.  If you would like to donate to the Southern Forest Service Retirees 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.  Because our organization is a 501(c)4 "Social Organization", donations can not be tax deductible.

 

Send note and check to: 

Paul Arndt

4899 Raven Court

Marietta, GA 30066-1532

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The Forest History Society has several historical documents and literature about the Forest and Range lands of the southern region.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/

https://www.fs.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/2015/06/The_USDA_Forest_Service_TheFirstCentury.pdf

NOTICE

Due to hacks, scams, phishing, illegal violations and crimes, we have taken all email links off this site.  If you need to get in contact with us, click on the Contact Us link and someone will get back to you.  We are sorry for this inconvenience, but we want to protect the privacy and security of our officers and board members.  The "hard copy" Annual Membership Directory was sent to all paid members and it will provide contact information as well.

There are a lot of good books about Forest Service history that would make for great reading and gifts.  See links below:

 

 

Just Released:

Stories of a Forest Ranger- Tales of Life in the U.S. Forest Service

$14.95

by Pete Griffin

https://forestservicemuseum.org/product/stories-of-a-forest-ranger/

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!!

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