Joining Wild South in February, 2006, I was charged with heading up the organization’s canyon survey program, which was designed to locate and document areas within the Bankhead National Forest that are eligible for protection under the Forest Service’s new canyon prescription. This management classification originated in the 2004 Revised Land and Resource Management Plan for the National Forests in Alabama. The level of protection accorded by this prescription is exceeded only by that of the wilderness designation.
The canyon survey field work was completed in April 2012, and my responsibilities at Wild South expanded significantly with the retirement of our Programs Director in 2009. I coordinate the activities of the Restoration Monitoring Team, formerly the Timber and Thinning Working Group of the Bankhead Liason Panel, in monitoring the progress of the Bankhead Health and Restoration Project. My forestry education (B.S. in Forestry, SIUC, 1974) helps me to understand forest management practices and communicate with the professional foresters of the USFS. As program manager, I also oversee our volunteer stewardship efforts in Alabama, including our Helping Hands monthly projects and our Volunteer Wilderness Rangers. Wilderness stewardship has become a passion for me.
Besides spending as much time in the forest as I can, I have two other avocations: gardening and basket making. I have raised an organic vegetable garden every year of my adult life. I have been making hand-split white oak baskets since 1981, and bark baskets for about the last ten years, utilizing bark from many different tree species. All of these activities keep me outdoors and connected to the earth and its natural rhythms and cycles. The perspective derived from this connection is something I enjoy sharing.