FSA Newsletter-Fall 2012


Presidents Perspective

I would like to thank you for taking the time to read the first edition of the Forestry Scholarship Association newsletter.   I know there are a lot of questions about the Forestry Scholarship Association and I hope some of them are answered here, if not, please visit the FSA website ( or contact us via email (
It has been ten years since I graduated from the School of Forestry at The University of Montana.  I look back at those years spent on campus and in student groups as some of the best times of my life.  The foundation of lifelong friendships were established while, hauling logs up the back steps of Schreiber Gym or taking a van ride to Lubrect for a lab.  There were always alumni and other community members involved in some of the student activities. I used to wonder why?  I have since realized, those people truly cared about what we, as students, were doing. They cared to ensure that some great traditions were carried on, traditions that created lifelong friendships in their lives.  Those people wanted to give back in any way they could.
Most of us get into the field of natural resource management because we have great passion.  We may not be able to fund scholarships or have a building named after us, but what we have is time, knowledge from our careers, and a perspective from life experiences.  These things are valuable, they can be handed down in the form of mentorship, helping out with a student group’s project, or showing up for the student chapter of the Wildlife Society “Beast Feast” to get some good food and donate a little to the silent auction. 
After the 95th Foresters’ Ball, the students were handed a big challenge of simply keeping the Foresters’ Ball going.  I know many of us wanted the students to simply move the Ball off campus; however, the Foresters’ Ball is put on by students for the benefit of students. It is truly their Ball, and their wishes were to continue the tradition of holding the Foresters’ Ball on campus for many different and valid reasons. The Forestry Scholarship Association supports them in that decision.
 While the students worked on their strategic plan for the Foresters’ Ball, a group of alumni, faculty, and other community members spent many hours mentoring them, not telling them what to do, but asking some hard questions, suggesting areas to research, and supporting them in their hard decisions.  The Forestry Scholarship Association grew out of that group. We recognized that all College of Forestry and Conservation (CFC) student organizations need help and mentorship from time to time.  Incorporating the FSA and filing to become a 501(c)3 non-profit were a way of establishing an organization that could provide things like, funding for attending conferences, establishment of a scholarship fund, and a recourse for networking students and perspective employers, to name a few.
The FSA is not an alumni association. The membership is varied and includes parents of students, current students, alumni, faculty, friends, and many others with a vested interest in the success of CFC students. The best way to support the FSA is to become a member.  Living in Missoula is not a requirement for membership or to participate as a Board member or Officer of the organization.  As a member you can help in many different ways, not just financially.  If you’re interested in some of the many different ways you can help, please contact us at
The last ten months or so have been incredibly enlightening, watching the growth and education of the Foresters’ Ball committee that came from the mentorship of FSA members was inspiring.  Additionally, the interest in the Forestry Scholarship Association shown by current students, faculty, alumni, and community members is growing.  I am looking forward to the year to come; we will be working with student leaders to establish how the FSA can help each student group.  I would ask all of us to look back in our lives and remember those individuals that lent us a helping hand, provided mentorship, and took an interest in our well-being.  The Forestry Scholarship Association is a way we can give back to the students who now fill the boots we once wore.  Please consider joining the FSA, and continue to ensure that great traditions are carried on and new ones take root.

I hope to see you at a Forestry Scholarship Association event soon.

 Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season,

Cory Noordermeer
Interim President Forestry Scholarship Association

About the Forestry Scholarship Association

The Forestry Scholarship Association is an organization dedicated to serving and supporting students and student organizations of the College of Forestry and Conservation (CFC) at The University of Montana.  The goals of the FSA focus on benefitting students and their future.   We want students gain valuable experiential lessons outside the classroom while succeeding in the classroom.  It is the intent of the FSA to ensure CFC students gain valuable experience while successfully completing their education.  The FSA will work with the faculty and administration of the CFC and The University of Montana to ensure that the needs of the students are met. 

The original concept that evolved into the Forestry Scholarship Association originally stemmed from a small group of alumni wanting to assist with additional planning related to the 100th Foresters’ Ball.  Following the 95th Foresters’ Ball, student leaders were tasked with developing a plan for the continuation of the Foresters’ Ball.  While the students worked on their strategic plan, a small group of alumni, faculty, and other community members came together to assist in the development of that plan; the Forestry Scholarship Association grew out of that group.  It was recognized that there were needs in all the CFC student organizations for assistance and mentorship from time to time and forming and incorporating the Forestry Scholarship Association was way of establishing an organization to accomplish that.

The Forestry Scholarship Association is not an alumni association. It has become evident over the past several years that a large number of individuals, organizations, businesses and industry professionals that have a vested interest in the many student organizations within the College of Forestry and Conservation.  Because many of those parties do not fit in the traditional alumni definition and because some of their donations are in time, mentorship, equipment, diesel and other non-monetary items, it made sense to form an organization which has a much broader support base and perhaps a more specific mission.  While FSA membership includes School of Forestry and College of Forestry and Conservation alumni, it also includes CFC faculty, current students, community members, and supporters around the world.  Our organizational structure consists of a Board of Directors as well as Officers.  The membership-elected Board of Directors is currently comprised of five Community Representatives and two Student Representatives.  The Board-appointed Officer positions are President, President-elect, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Strategic Plan for the Foresters’ Ball

The 95th Foresters’ Ball faced a challenge last fall when we found out that the Ball could not be held in Schreiber Gymnasium due to changes in fire codes.  The solution was to hold the event in the Adams Center, which came with an $8,000 rental fee compared to $500 for Schreiber.  This put our main focus for year to sell out and stay out of the red.  In addition to selling out the normal number of tickets, we also increased the attendance limits from 1250 to 1,750 people per night.  We accomplished the sell out for both nights which was a good financially, as well as for showing the popularity of the event we all love.
With almost half again as many people attending, the security logistics for the event increased proportionately.  Aaron Abbott, the security officer for the year, did a fantastic job managing the posse and working with Public Safety and event staff to throw what we considered to be a successful Foresters’ Ball.  Unfortunately, a few days after the Ball, the university newspaper, the Montana Kaimin, decided to title an article “From Foresters’ Ball to Drunken Brawls”.  An article which at best could be described as “yellow journalism”, considering there hadn’t actually been any drunken brawls.
Other events on and around campus were changing the political climate of the University as well.  As many are aware, it was around this time that sexual assault in Missoula and on campus was dominating headlines.  A University commissioned report by former Montana Supreme Court Justice Diane Barz found that alcohol was a common factor in nearly every instance of sexual assault examined.  During this time, the city and University were holding forums where administrators and faculty members were available for questions from the community.  At one of these forums, an former member of the football team stood up, pointed to the Kaimin article, and asked how the football team was under the gun but the Foresters’ aren’t.  CFC Dean Jim Burchfield responded, saying that events at the 95th Foresters’ Ball were “reprehensible…We will absolutely make changes. There will never be another event like that Foresters Ball again on campus.” From this and other messages we were receiving from administration, we were under the impression that Foresters’ Ball had gotten the axe without us ever getting a chance to speak with anyone or discuss anything.  The committee scrambled and managed to get a meeting with President Royce Engstrom and Provost (former CFC Dean) Perry Brown.  We were able to work with them to not cancel the event outright, but conditions were laid out that we had to meet requirements of controlling attendance, changing the hours, making the event more educational, and eliminating the party atmosphere.
Clearly, some of these requirements couldn’t be met.  The Foresters’ Ball is a dance, eliminating the party atmosphere would essentially eliminate the Ball.  We did, however, begin drafting a Strategic Plan to create rules and guidelines under which the Foresters’ Ball will operate that would be meet the objectives of all parties.  The committee spent the entire spring semester meeting with the people in charge of insuring campus events, Public Safety, faculty, and administration to create acceptable standards.  The important changes the Strategic Plan sets forth are:
1) Changing the hours of the dance from 7 pm – 11 pm with entry not allowed after 9 pm
2) Sobriety is a condition of entry.  This will be enforced by: substantially increasing the amount of security, creating an entrance which will allow security personnel time to observe attendees for intoxication, Public Safety enforcing the law in respect to disorderly behavior, and a publicity campaign that lets students know that these are the rules and will be enforced.
3) Eliminating the “Passion Pit”, replacing it with a theme based exhibit focusing on the theme of the current year.  For instance, the exhibit for the 96th Ball “Lightning Striking, Crews A’ Hiking” will highlight initial attack wildfire suppression.
4) Two new events will broaden our scope of impact.  The Careers in Natural Resources Fair will showcase career and educational opportunities in natural resource management. and share the benefit of networking that we all receive with high school and college students.  Family Forestry Day will open up the Ball to anyone interested, particularly families with school-aged children.  This event will feature Woodsmen’s Team demonstrations, Smokey Bear, Smoke Elser and his pack mules, and other fun activities.
These changes to the Foresters’ Ball are a good compromise and maintain the important aspects of the Ball.  The two new events are just plain good ideas anyway (as well as being fun), and the others are all designed to make the Foresters’ Ball safer yet still a “Swingin’ Good Time”.  Anyone with thoughts, comments, suggestions, or a desire to help out is, as always, more than encouraged to get in touch with us.
Dylan Brooks
95th, 96th Foresters’ Ball Committee

Two New Events to Debut
at the 96th Foresters’ Ball

The Foresters’ Ball is partnering with the Forestry Scholarship Association to host two entirely new events at the 96th Foresters’ Ball.  The catalyst that led to the addition of these events was a desire by the student leadership to broaden the scope of influence of the Foresters’ Ball within the Missoula community by involving an audience which, historically, has not been directly associated with the Ball.  Both events will be held within the venue of the Foresters’ Ball, providing an opportunity for a much broader audience to experience some of the wonder of the Foresters’ Ball. 

In addition to the traditional happenings at the Ball, on Friday afternoon, from 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. we will be hosting a Careers in Natural Resources Fair.  This event will be geared toward high-school juniors and seniors, as well as undeclared students at The University of Montana and will feature a variety of presenters focusing on the many varied career and education options and opportunities within the field of natural resource management.  If you are interested in helping with the Careers in Natural Resources Fair or want more information, please contact Alex Williams ( or Eric Hoberg (

Saturday will feature Family Forestry Day, held from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m which will be intended for families with school-aged children.  The FSA will be recruiting a variety of interactive presenters for Family Forestry Day representing a wide array of topics including forestry, wildlife, recreation and many others.  This will be an excellent opportunity to get kids and parents excited about the natural world around them. If you are interested in helping with the Family Forestry Day or want more information, please contact Neil Simpson ( or Alyssa Stewart (

Homecoming Barbecue

On Saturday, September 22, the FSA hosted a Homecoming Barbecue for our members, supporters and friends.  We had more than 40 pounds of pulled pork and 9 racks of ribs on the smoker, as well as numerous side dishes brought by attendees.  The food was great and those who didn’t have tickets to the football game listened on the radio as the Griz squared off against the Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona University.  Unfortunately, the added cheering of the FSA wasn’t enough and the Grizzlies fell to the Jacks 41-31.  Regardless of the final score the inaugural FSA Homecoming Barbecue was a success and a great time was had by all.  Stay tuned for plans for next year’s festivities.

FSA Sponsored Training

L-280 “Followership to Leadership”
This fall, the Forestry Scholarship Association hosted leadership training for CFC students in the form of L-280 “Followership to Leadership”.  The content of the class was tailored to address the types of challenges students would likely be faced with over the coming academic year and focused on the transition into a leadership role.  Course topics included: the role of a leader, developing values and character, leadership principles, and
decision-making to name a few.  Instructors and field facilitators were all FSA members and donated their time to provide this opportunity to CFC students free of charge.  Many students gained credit for professional training, as L-280 is required for many positions in the wildland fire service.

S-212 “Wildland Fire Chainsaws”
Plans are being made for this spring to instruct S-212 “Wildland Fire Chainsaws” for the student chapter of Society of American Foresters.  The need for this class was brought to the FSA by students and naturally, we were very excited to help them gain practical experience which will benefit them both professionally and personally. 

If you are interested in helping with S-212 as an instructor or field evaluator, please contact Alex Williams:

Join the Forestry Scholarship Association!

Joining the FSA is easy and your membership dues help us accomplish our mission of serving and supporting students and student organizations of the College of Forestry and Conservation.  To join, go to You can join online with our secure payment process or download the membership form and send a check in the mail.  Membership dues are $35 for general membership or $10 for students.

Board of Directors Elections and Officer Appointment

Elections for up to 3 positions on the Board of Directors will take place at the FSA Annual Board of Directors Meeting.  Following the election and installment of the new Board members, the Board of Directors will appoint members to the offices of President, President-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer.  Forestry Scholarship Association membership is the only condition for serving on the FSA Board of Directors or as an officer, so make sure you have your membership application submitted before March 24.  If you are interested in serving on the FSA Board of Directors, please contact Alex Williams:

A Message From the Students

As very active members in CFC student groups, it was quickly evident to us that the Forestry Scholarship Association could be a huge benefit to student groups and their leaders. The goal of most student groups is to provide activities for students to gain experience that they will use to further their careers. Simply providing a forum where students can connect with alumni and other supporters is probably one of the best forms of support that the FSA provides.

There are many other ways in which the FSA can support students. For example, this fall, members of the FSA collaborated with students to put on L-280 “Followership to Leadership”, a valuable training course that emphasizes leadership skills for students working in the field. This class provided quality education for participating students and instruction experience for student volunteers.  We look forward to future training opportunities presented by the FSA.

 The FSA recently encouraged students to attend a workshop put on by a local Missoula business, which was designed to help with fundraising strategies. We all came away with some new ideas about how to help develop our student group fundraisers. Student attendance for this opportunity would not have been possible without the financial support and encouragement of the FSA.

It is through contributions like this that the FSA can really help students and student group leaders by providing a boost in the right direction. As the FSA continues to grow we believe many more opportunities like this will arise. We are excited to be a part of the continued development of the Forestry Scholarship Association and its support for students and student groups in the future.
Shannon Agner & Ken Plourde
Student Representatives
Interim Board of Directors

Upcoming Events

Missoula Chapter of the Society of American Foresters-November Meeting
The Forestry Scholarship Association will be presenting at the November meeting of the Missoula Chapter of the Society of American Foresters.  Please join us for an evening of good food, conversation, and information about the Forestry Scholarship Association as well as supporting our local chapter of the Society of American Foresters.  The meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 20 at Westside Lanes in Missoula, MT.  Social begins at 5:30, dinner at 6:15, SAF business meeting at 6:45, and program at 7:00.  Please R.S.V.P. to John Goodburn ( if you are planning on attending and will be having dinner.  Cost for dinner is $14.
December Board Meeting
The Forestry Scholarship Association Interim Board of Directors will hold their next meeting at 9:00 a.m. on December 2 in the upstairs meeting room at the Pressbox Sports Bar.  The meeting is open to the public and anyone who is interested in the FSA is encouraged to attend.  If you are not in the Missoula area and would like to participate in the meeting, let us know.  We are exploring remote conferencing options to make FSA meetings as accessible as possible.
Foresters’ Ball Sunday Brunch and Annual Board Meeting
The Forestry Scholarship Association will host a brunch in conjunction with the FSA Annual Board of Directors Meeting on Sunday, March 24, 2013.  The brunch will be an excellent opportunity for folks who are in town for the Foresters’ Ball to find out more about the FSA as well as get together one last time before everyone begins the return journey home.  The brunch will be held at the Missoula Winery, 5646 West Harrier, Missoula MT 59808.  Stay tuned for additional information and schedule.
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