Hall of Fame

The purpose of the Hall of Fame, a function of the Florida Division, Southeastern Society of American Foresters, is to honor foresters who have made outstanding and significant contributions to the forestry profession.

Supervision and election of nominees to the Hall of Fame is the responsibility of the Florida Foresters Hall of Fame Committee as provided in the bylaws of the Florida Division. The Committee shall consist of five members with staggered terms of five years each. The senior member, (5th year term) chairs the Committee.

Any member, or past member, living or deceased, of the Florida Division, Southeastern Society of American Foresters who, in the opinion of the nominators, has made outstanding contributions to the profession can be nominated. The nominee must be, or have been, a resident of the State of Florida.

A dated, formal nomination stating the nominee’s current address and telephone number must be presented to the Chair, Florida Foresters Hall of Fame Committee for consideration by the Committee. Nominations may be submitted any time. If a nomination is not received in time to meet the current year's timeline, the nomination will be held for consideration in the following year. The nomination must be signed by the principal nominator and include address and telephone number. An additional minimum of four supporting signatures must follow that of the principal nominator. All signers must be currently active members of the Florida Division, Southeastern Society of American Foresters.

A professional biography must accompany the nomination. It should not to exceed 1500 words, but should include degree titles and dates as well as birth year and if appropriate death year. The biography should emphasized professional accomplishments and contributions including service to the Society of American Foresters and any SAF awards received.

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Harry Lee Baker

Born February 24, 1888
B.S. Forestry. Michigan State University. 1910

Leader with USDA Forest Service before serving the Virginia Forest Service; rejoined the Forest Service in 1926 to do study of forest situation in Florida. Authored Forest Fires in Florida. Results of both influenced state to pass bill establishing State Board of Forestry which created Florida Forest Service; named first State Forester to head new agency. Established forest fire control program and state nursery to promote tree planting. Affected policy on forest conservation laws, parks, and conservation education. Assisted CCC in developing state parks, fire tower network, telephone lines. First state forest, Pine Log, purchased in 1936.

Founding Member Southeastern Section Society of American Foresters
Southeastern SAF Section Chairman. 1931
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in 2003

John M. Bethea

Born November 14, 1919
Died September 22, 2009
B.S. Forestry. University of Florida. 1941

Career employee of the Florida Forest Service/Division of Forestry; provided distinguished leadership as State Forester for 17 years. Served as President of the National Association of State Foresters. Assisted the state by service on the Florida Conservation and Recreation Lands Selection Committee. Providing leadership to the National Wildfire Coordinating group and other tasks led to the Golden Smoky Award. Earned Mr. Tree-Riffic Award from the Florida Forestry Association and the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation. In 2001 the State of Florida named the John M. Bethea State Forest in his honor.

Florida Section Society of American Foresters Chairman. 1968
Fellow SAF. 1979
SAF National Convention General Chairman. 1981
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in 2003

Austin Cary

1865 -1936
B. A. Bowdoin College. 1887
Apprenticeship: Dr. Bernard Fernow
Additional Study: Johns Hopkins and Princeton
D.Sc. (Honorary) Bowdoin College. 1922

Influenced forest policy and practice through work with federal and state governments. First forester to work for a forest products industry. Lecturer at Bowdoin College, Yale and Harvard. Advisor to new School at the University of Florida. Author in Journal of Forestry and the Manual of Northern Woodsman, reprinted six times. Logging Engineer, USDA Forest Service, influenced the practical side of forestry in the lake states, Pacific Coast and inland forests; concluded career in the South, stationed in Florida; advocated managing forests as a crop with use of prescribed fire. Consultant after retirement.

Fellow Society of American Foresters
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in 2003

Clinton Huxley Coulter

B.S. Forestry. University of Michigan. 1929

Career employee of the Florida Forest Service ascending to State Forester in 1945. Implemented the County Forest Fire Control Law that authorized counties to cost share fire protection with the state. Extended fire protection to all 67 counties. Added nurseries to provide seedling to assure raw material for emerging pulp and paper industry. Expanded management of state lands and the woodland management assistance program. With Governor Leroy Collins planted one-billionth nursery-produced seedling on Capitol lawn and saw the two billionth seedling planted during year of retirement in 1969.

Society of American Foresters Member since 1931
SAF Fellow. 1957
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in 2003

John L. Gray

John L. GrayJuly 4, 1920 - May 25, 2007
Born in Falls Church, Virginia
B.S. Forestry. Pennsylvania State University. 1941
M. Forestry. Yale University. 1942
Doctor of Forestry. Duke University. 1969

Began career with Crossett Timber Company in Arkansas. As N.C. State University Extension Service Program Leader for Forestry, provided visionary and enthusiastic leadership. Became Director of the School of Forestry at the University of Florida in 1963. Led change to an integrated forestry curriculum and growth in forest biology research and discipline diversity. Started annual Symposium for Florida SAF. Effected significant industry support for research and attracted a new building to house programs. Served nationally as President of the land grant association for forestry schools. In 1976, joined the USDA Forest Service policy staff and then became Director of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation Studies.

Society of American Foresters Council. 1980-81
SAF Fellow. 1983
SAF Golden Member. 1993
Arkansas SAF Hall of Fame. 1994
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in 2003

Lewis R. Grosenbaugh

November 4, 1913 - April 22, 2003
Born East Orange, New Jersey
B.A. History. Dartmouth University 1934
M. Forestry. Yale University. 1936
D.Sc. (Honorary). University of Florida. 1986

Served USDA Forest Service on national forests. Identified need for highly efficient forest inventory techniques. Served in World War II. Returned to Forest Service on Supervisors staff, National Forests in Florida. Genius in mensuration recognized and transferred to the Southern Forest Experiment Station, ascended to Division Chief, Forest Management Research. Scientific abilities as a mathematician recognized; named head of the first Pioneering Research Unit, UC, Berkeley. Remained Chief Mensurationist until retirement. Became Adjunct Faculty at the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, UF. Sampling and measurement advancements-Bitterlich’s Angle Count Sampling, 3P(Probability Proportional to Prediction), and SP-STX Dendrometry-methods are universally applied.

Society of American Foresters Fellow. 1960
SAF Barrington Moore Award. 1965
SAF Golden Member. 1986
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in 2003

Sherwood J. Hall

B.S. Forestry. New York State University, Syracuse. 1920

Entered profession as a consultant for James D. Lacey Company directing assignments national-wide. Opened first Florida consultant’s office in Jacksonville, 1927. In 1931, formed Forest Managers Inc., managed forests, advised individuals and supervised crops of turpentine trees. Aided client J. C. Penny in sculpting barren land into a forested home for a retirement center. Published widely in journals advocating reforestation, investing in forestry, and chronicling the permanent forest industry developing in the South. Played major role in development of industrial forestry in the South. In 1948, moved to Pacific Northwest and used 27,000-acre cut over redwood tract to demonstrate sustained yield forestry and conservation. At his death, the Forest Economics Foundation was created to advance forestry among students and sponsor S. J. Hall Lectureship in Industrial Forestry and S. J. Hall Chair in Forest Economics in the University of California, Berkeley.

Society of American Foresters Southeastern Section Chair. 1932
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in 2003

Verne Lester Harper

B.S. & M.S. Forestry. University of California, Berkeley. 1926, 1927
PhD. Forest Economics. Duke University. 1943
D.Sc. (Honorary). N.C. State University. 1967

Dr. Harper joined the USDA to form a first field research unit in Starke, Florida. He developed the Olustee Experimental Forest and Research Laboratory; organized research on all aspects relating to naval stores including silviculture and the use of prescribed fire. He became Director of the Northeastern Forest Experiment Station and later Deputy Chief for Research. He was an innovator in national research planning and management, establishing research project autonomy, multi-disciplinary research and collaborative research with universities. He became Professor of Forest Policy, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida where he advocated an integrated forestry curriculum. First recipient of the B.E. Fernow award for service to world forestry, American and German Forestry Associations.

Fellow, Society of American Foresters. 1959
SAF Golden Member. 1985
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in 2003

Harold S. Newins

B.A. Philosophy. Lafayette College. 1909
M. Forestry. Yale University. 1911

Gained early experience with the USDA Forest Service and teaching at Oregon State College. U.S. Army aircraft inspector during World War I. Directed kiln operations for Culter Desk Company, served as State Forester for West Virginia and Inspector of ECW Camps in Michigan. Taught forestry at Pennsylvania State, and Michigan State Universities before joining the University of Florida in 1935 to become a one-person forestry program. Built the program to a School of Forestry by 1937. Procured comprehensive faculty, acquired land for Austin Cary Memorial Forest, won a WPA project to obtain forest buildings to support instruction; obtained SAF accreditation in 1943. Taught wood technology, organized collaborative research with wood preservatives industry and installed long-term durability tests on Austin Cary Memorial Forest. Statewide advocate for forestry.

Society of American Foresters Southeastern Section Chair. 1936
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in 2003

Roland Joseph Riebold

B.S. Forestry. Pennsylvania State Forestry School, Mount Alto. 1927

Career professional, USDA Forest Service. Began with North Carolina national forests, provided leadership on several others, with interruption for World War II, Captain, U.S. Marine Corp. In 1957, became Supervisor, National Forests in Florida. Advocated prescribed burning, greatly increased the acreage burned on national forests for wildlife habitat improvement and wildfire prevention. Early advocate and practitioner of even-aged management for fast reforestation on cut over, under stocked stands, placing Florida forests ahead of reforestation schedules. Designed nation’s first recreation area for physically disadvantaged. Dedicated with Florida governor and David and Julie Eisenhower at ceremony. Longtime member and advocate of the Society of American Foresters.

Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in 2003

Donald Day Stevenson

B.A. History. Yale University
B. Divinity. McCormick Seminary
M. Forestry. Yale University. 1936

Learned the need for woodlands in China while serving as a missionary. Earned masters degree in forestry and returned to teach forestry at Lingnan University, China until war forced him to leave. Became a professor at Pennsylvania State University and co-authored a book on forest management. Did relief work for Quakers during war while on leave and later worked for the U.S. government establishing tree plantations in Central America for obtaining quinine to treat malaria. Joined forest industry as forester with Champion Paper and Fiber Co. and then became Chief Forester, for Buckeye Cellulose Corp. of Proctor and Gamble. Built highly regarded programs in forest management, forest science and mill operations.

Society of American Foresters Southeastern Section Chair. 1960
SAF Golden Member. 1965
SAF Fellow. 1967
SAF Council Member. 1964-67
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in 2003

Eley C. Frazer, III

1926 - 2018
B.S.F. University of  Florida. 1950

While still an undergraduate, he owned and operated a logging business which he continued for four years after graduation.  From 1954-57 he served as manager of the Blackwater River State Forest.  Then he began a five year period as an Assistant Unit Forester for the Georgia lands of St. Joe Paper Company.  In 1962 Frazer co-founded and became Operating Partner of F & W Forestry Services, becoming President in 1967 and Chairman of the Board in 1988.  Today, F & W operates 15 offices in nine southern states. He has served as a major officer in numerous professional and business organizations, testified in forestry issues before Congressional Committees, and became a expert in rural real estate and forest appraisal. Association of Consulting Foresters' Distinguished Forester; Forest Farmer of the Year; Outstanding Alumnus Award, University of Florida, School of Forest Resources and Conservation

SAF Fellow. 1979
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in 2004

John Clayton Gifford

B.S. Botany. Swarthmore College. 1890
Advanced study at U of Michigan, Johns Hopkins, and Tulane in botany, pathological histology, bacteriology, and medical science
PhD. Forestry. University of Munich. 1899

Dr. Gifford was appointed Professor of Forestry at the Cornell University Forestry School under Dean Fernow. In 1902 Dr. Gifford authored PRACTICAL FORESTRY, and was editor of "Forester". During this period he also served as a special agent to the Bureau of Forestry, USDI and served throughout the Caribbean. He moved to Miami in 1903 and became the first SAF member -- until 1916 the only member -- in Florida. He was a consultant on land use and landscaping and a prolific writer of books and articles on tropical forestry and horticulture. At his death he was serving as Professor of Tropical Forestry at the University of Miami.

Fellow, Society of American Foresters. 1942
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in 2004

K. Robert Swinford

B.S.F. Purdue University. 1937
M.S. University of Florida. 1948
PhD. University of Michigan. 1960

Dr. Swinford was one of the pioneering forestry faculty members at the University of Florida in 1937. Just before WWII he served as Alachua County Extension Forester. During WWII he served in the Philippine Theater, and continued until 1960 in the USAR, retiring as a full Colonel. After WWII he returned to the University of Florida and began a long career as Professor at the School of Forestry. During this period he was National President of Xi Sigma Pi, charter member of Florida Registration Board of Directors, speaker at major forestry symposia in the South, graduate of the Army's General Staff College, and a much respected and beloved instructor by generations of students. In 1976, after his retirement from the school, he worked 14 years as a consulting forester.

Fellow, Society of American Foresters. 1984
SAF Golden Member
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in 2004

Ruthford Henry Westveld

B.S. Forestry. Michigan State. 1922
M.F. Forestry. Yale University. 1925
PhD. Soils. Michigan State. 1946

After working for the USFS in New Mexico and Oregon and then at Michigan State and Missouri, Dr. Westveld joined the faculty of the School of Forestry at the University of Florida in 1938 as Professor of Silviculture. He did pioneering work on the nutritional requirements of southern pines and wrote two widely used texts, APPLIED SILVICULTURE and FORESTRY IN FARM MANAGEMENT. He served as Director of the Forestry School at Missouri from 1947-1965. He chaired the Council of Forestry School Executives and was Program Chair for the 1941 SAF National Meeting held in Florida. He was the creative and persistent force behind the McIntire-Stennis Act of 1962 that changed the face of forestry research by providing a continuing source of funding for forestry research.

Fellow, Society of American Foresters 1963
SAF Council Member 1952-1955
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in 2004

Edwin Allen Ziegler

B.S. and M.S. Mathematics, Economics and Public Service, Franklin and Marshall College. 1902 and 1913
Honorary ScD. Franklin and Marshall College. 1923
Economics course, Columbia University. 1923
German and Swiss field course. 1924

Dr. Ziegler began his professional forestry career with the federal forest service in 1903. In 1910 he began serving first as Professor, then Director of the Penn State Forest School. He then spent a year as Senior Forest Economist of the USDA’s Southern Forest Exp. Station, followed by five years as Senior Research Forester for the state of Pennsylvania. In 1937 he was appointed Professor of Forest Economics and Management, UF School of Forestry, where he served until 1951. During WWI and until 1940 he served as reserve artillery officer, rising to rank of Colonel. He also served 15 years as a consultant for American Creosote and during WWII he was Chief of Lumber Distribution, War Production Board in Washington, DC.

Fellow, Society of American Foresters. 1950
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
University of Florida’s Newins-Ziegler Hall is co-dedicated in his honor.
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in 2004

Harold K. Mikell

July 25, 1926 -September 15, 2018
B.S. Forestry. University of Florida, 1950

Following two years of duty in WW II and his graduation from U.F.'s Forestry school, Harold Mikell began a 41 year career with the Florida Forest Service (later the Florida Division of Forestry). He held a long list of positions with the agency, eventually working his way up to State Forester. As State Forester, he developed a model system of fire protection organizations for Florida's rural areas. In 1990, he received the National Bronze Smokey Bear Award. After retirement, he embarked on a second career of 17 years as a Congressional liaison for the agricultural industry, environmental groups, and related federal agencies. Mr. Mikell, along with his wife Juanita, was one of the driving forces in rebuilding the Austin Cary Memorial Forest's Learning Center. He received the U.F. School of Forest Resources and Conservation Outstanding Alumni Award in 1995, along with its Distinguished Service Award in 2006.

Member of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) since 1950
Florida SAF Section Chair, 1974/75
Florida SAF C. Huxley Coulter Award, 1992
Florida Forestry Association Distinguished Service Award, 2012
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in August 27, 2015

Wayne H. Smith

1938 -
B.S.A. University of Florida, 1962
M.S. Mississippi State University, 1962
Ph.D. Mississippi State University, 1965

Dr. Smith began as Assistant Professor, UF School of Forestry, and became recognized for academic scholarship in forest soils/nutrition, biogeochemical cycling, and biomass energy/waste utilization. He co-founded the UF Cooperative Research in Forest Fertilization Program (CRIFF) leading to operational fertilization in southern pine forests, and the Intensive Management Practices Center (IMPAC) to assess impacts of forest management on resource values in a watershed. Smith directed three IFAS interdisciplinary centers, was an author of 149 papers, edited seven books, and was Editor of Biomass. He was Director, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, (1995- 2003) and then Professor/Director Emeritus. He earned the UF Distinguished Service, UF/CALS Alumnus of Distinction, MSU Alumni Fellow and FFA Lifetime Achievement awards.

Society of American Foresters (SAF) Florida Division Chair, 2003
FL SAF C. Huxley Coulter Award, 2002
Southeastern SAF (SESAF), Chair 2007
SESAF Practice of Forestry Award, 1998
SAF Fellow, 2006
National SAF Convention Program Tri-chair, 2009
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in August 27, 2015

John T. (Jack) Vogel

BSF University of Florida, 1969

Jack began with the Division of Forestry in 1971, developing a pilot urban forestry program for Miami-Dade County. He joined the Florida Forestry Association (FFA) in 1972 before founding Natural Resource Planning Services, Inc. (NRPS) in 1974 with partner Tom Mastin. NRPS expanded to four offices providing forest inventory, silviculture, urban forestry, wildlife management, appraisal, and real estate services to clients across the Southeast. Jack received UF's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2004 and the College of Agriculture and Life Science Alumni and Friends Award of Distinction in 2010. He twice served FFA as President, participated on the Board of Directors, chaired the Public Lands and Governmental Relations Committees, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. Jack served as President of the 4-H Foundation and on numerous governmental and non-profit boards.

Florida Division SAF Chair, 1982
FL SAF C. Huxley Coulter Award, 1985
SAF President's Award for Outstanding Field Forester, 2004
SAF Convention Program Tri-Chair and Moderator, 2009
SAF Fellow, 2012
Inducted to the Florida SAF Hall of Fame in August 27, 2015