Annual Meeting Photo Highlights Highlights of the MFA Annual
Meeting field day and awards dinner and auction will give you a
snapshot in time of the fun and comradeship enjoyed by all who
attended. Though the turnout was down a bit this year, the attending
membership’s enthusiasm was on a high the entire weekend.
Linda Smith’s young ladies gave a full meaning to the term “tree
huggers” as they wrapped their arms around a towering white pine,
one of many in a stand of giant conifers that had grown on the site
for 200 years and more. The forestry crew, operated by Kim and Marty
Zenker of Fairview, has done most of the timber harvesting on the
1,300-acre BSA camp’s forestlands. Marty Zenker and his crew led the
tour through the current stages of forestry efforts – explaining
their efforts that have now been recognized this year by the MFA
Logger’s Award for excellence.
Camp director Gus Chutoraash, also a MFA member, oversees the
1,500-acre Cole Canoe Base BSA camp, as well as the 1,300 acres of
it being managed for its forestry values. The timber revenues have
helped to keep this camp open to serve the many scout troops of the
SE Michigan area.
The Cole Canoe Base staff provided the built-up outdoor tour
appetites with a number of hearty meals, and the rangers on the
staff were always available to answer questions; to guide on canoe
trips; and to handle transport for the forestry tour, giving us
courteous support all weekend.
Also awarded the MFA Woodlands Honor Award was editor Don Ingle
(who admits to being “sand bagged” by the surprise announcement made
by presenter Collin Burnett) for his long time work as editor for 31
years of Michigan Forests.
The day included tours of: a cedar mill that supplies national
companies like Home Depot and Sears with custom milled products;
canoe trips down the Rifle River; walking tours of several trails
weaving through the Cole Canoe Base Scout camp; van and walk-in
tours of the on-going forestry work on the large acres of managed
woodlands – all this plus the evening’s dinner, awards and auction.
As usual, “Col.” Dave Wellman’s exhortations to bid on donated
items helped bring in needed funds for MFA’s treasury, allowing for
more projects to further good forestry and stewardship in Michigan.
(And yes, you may have noticed that that birdhouse has been featured
at past auctions. Bill Botti has bought it at least twice before and
added it back into the auction items. More than a few good jests
were aimed his way this year.)
All things considered, this was an enjoyable annual
meeting. If you missed it, you missed a great gathering. Now set
your sights on next year’s meeting – set for Fort Custer, a working
military facility that also has some interesting forestry projects
to tour and enjoy. Watch for details in future issues of Michigan
Forests – then mark your calendars to be there.
Who knows? You might even get to bid on a bird house!