National Convention Summary

"Great Lakes," "Great Forests," "Great Convention"
By Michael Murphy, Conference Manager (301) 897-8720, ext. 123;
fax (301) 897-3690; or email

Despite the lingering effects of the Northwest Airlines strike, 1663 individuals made the trip to Traverse City, Michigan to attend the 1998 SAF National Convention.   Delegates were rewarded for their persistence with informative educational sessions, gorgeous Michigan scenery, beautiful fall weather and, most of all, good times with fellow foresters.  Delegates arrived from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. Once again, the students turned out in large numbers, with over 300 participating in this year's convention.

Delegates attended a variety of excellent educational sessions, including William Rustem's keynote address "Great Lakes, Great Forests". Over 700 people took part in the 15 Technical Tours that were offered this year, while another 140 people participated in one of the various workshops that were offered that same day. Delegates also learned about the latest in forestry equipment and services by visiting over 70 exhibitors and watching several interesting product demonstrations.

There was time for fun also. Delegates attended the Icebreaker reception that was held on a perfect Michigan fall evening, sang along with the Song of the Lakes group during the banquet, and met up with old friends at the many alumni socials. Attendees also joined together to help the Traverse City community by framing a home for Habitat for Humanity. This fantastic convention was possible due the dedication and hard work of the 1998 Arrangements Team, Program Committee, the Michigan SAF, and all the other volunteers who gave their time and energy to support their profession and their professional association. Our thanks go out to each and every one of you.

"Great Lakes," "Great Forests," "Great Success"
National Convention Publicity Update
By Jennifer Plyler, Communications Manager, (301) 897-8720, ext. 117;
fax (301) 897-3690; or e-mail

I am pleased to report that with the assistance of the 1998 SAF National Convention Publicity Co-Chairs, Bill Sterrett and Phyllis Green, and other SAF volunteers, we were able to reach all media outlets including regional and local print, radio, and TV with SAF Convention news and the Habitat for Humanity house build.  It is impossible to detail all the media coverage so here are a few highlights.

* Several local TV stations covered the convention and it was very satisfying for attendees to comment that they had seen convention highlights or the Habitat house build on TV while eating breakfast. We even had a local reporter from Channel 7 (NBC) go on the student tour. Several students were interviewed and served as great spokespersons for SAF. What a great experience for our future forestry professionals!

* Larger urban markets outside the Traverse City viewing area also aired convention news and the Habitat for Humanity house build via film footage that was mailed to them.

* A special on urban sprawl and fragmentation and the Kirtland's Warbler is set to air on local public access TV in the near future.

* Collectively, 13 radio interviews were conducted and seven stations played PSA's related to Michigan forests.

* Thus far, the print media has written three articles and more are expected.

Home Sweet Home
By C.J. Lockman Hall, Centennial Assistant, (301) 897-8720, ext. 155;
fax (301) 897-3690; or e-mail

This year at the SAF National Convention, the Michigan SAF elected to continue the work that the Kentucky/Tennessee SAF began last year -- Michigan framed a Habitat for Humanity home at the convention site. The response to the Habitat for Humanity house build in Traverse City was phenomenal. With countless helping hands from across the nation, SAF members helped make a dream come true for Melissa Boger and her daughter, Jacqueline. The framing of the home was personally rewarding for the many members who contributed. This event also provided a key opportunity to connect forestry with people through numerous radio, TV, and newspaper interviews.

You can relive this experience in your town by joining forces with your local Habitat for Humanity affiliate. Just ask the Minnesota SAF.  They have already completed one home and are hard at work on their second home. Look for their update in the December issue of The Forestry Source. You might also want to check out the Michigan SAF video documenting their build (contact project manager Bill Sterrett for more information on purchasing this video at (616) 824-9240).

Our goal of building 100 homes to celebrate our Centennial is one step closer following the Michigan build. Every step counts and, with your help, our goal can be reached 100 grateful families will have homes.


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Last update of this page was 09 July 2003




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