Tuesday, January 22, 2013

From the Forest with Jim Waters and Ryan Trapani, Wednesdays at 6 pm

From the Forest with Jim Waters and Ryan Trapani has been on the air every Wednesday at 6 pm since the radio station launched on August 27, 2010. The show is being produced by the Catskill Forest Association (CFA), a membership organization with over 300 active members, representing more than 100,000 acres of land in the Catskill Park.

Over the past two years and a half From the Forest has covered in-depth a variety of topics such as common species of trees in the Catskills, biodiversity, forest health, hunting and forestry. If you listened to the show at least once, you know this is a scholarly program done in a casual manner. In the recent months, local sawmill owner and wood artist Gary Mead joined the show with a special feature on woodworking, the third Wednesday of the month.

One of the first shows done by Jim and Ryan in August 2010 was in fact dedicated to the United Nations International Year of the Forest, which happened to fall that year. Other popular shows included the controversy over clear-cutting, hiking, wildlife management, and forest edibles. A number of shows have been done on CFA’s on-site visit program, one of its most popular activities, and tree marking. Under this program, CFA staff works with landowners to identify trees that should be kept alive, and nurtured on the property.

CFA was founded in 1982 with the mission to promote forest stewardship in the Catskill region by forest landowners, timber harvesters, foresters, and the general public. CFA’s main programs include education, advocacy, economic development, and tree marking. On site visits are conducted to assess forest management goals, and recommend best practices. On these visits, CFA often educates landowners about high-grading –an unsustainable cutting practice where most of the trees cut include the healthiest, fastest growing species – leaving behind the poorest quality trees for the future. Instead, cutting practices which improve forest quality for both the present and future forest are promoted. 

Jim has been with CFA since September 2001, when he was hired as its Executive Director. Prior to that, he did consulting work for a large hydroelectric company in New York, setting up its land-use and management programs on its lands, including riparian areas, adjacent to its rivers and reservoirs. Jim earned a B.S. degree in Forest Management from the University of Vermont in 1975. In 1976 he began his career working for St. Regis Paper Co. / Champion International. The work took him from Maine, to New Hampshire and Vermont, and finally to the Adirondack Region of New York. As Regional Manager of Forestry & Leasing with Champion International, he was responsible for all land management activities on more than 500,000 acres in three states. While working, he did post graduate work in business at the University of Maine, University of Tennessee and Clarkson University. In 1989 he went to work as Division Manager of Lassiter Properties, Inc., starting up and managing the largest individual private ownership of timberland in New York. In 1997, he went to work for Gutchess Lumber Company where he spent three years acquiring land for mill expansion and developing its inside and western US kiln dried lumber sales programs as well as the company’s focus on marketing and customer service.   

 Ryan earned his Associate degree in Applied Science in Forest Technology in May 2004 from the New York State Ranger School in Wanakena, NY and his Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Resources Management in May 2005 from the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry in Syracuse, NY.  Ryan graduated from New Paltz High School located on the eastern slope of the Shawangunk Ridge in 1999. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves in June of 1999, and received an honorable discharge in June of 2005. From June through August of 2001 he first worked with the DEC out of the New Paltz office and decided that forestry was the career path he would choose. He entered the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry in September of 2001. After graduating from ESF, Ryan went back to work with the DEC as an Assistant Forest Ranger on the Slide Mountain Wilderness Area for two seasons, then as a Fisheries Technician on the Hudson River. In April of 2006 he worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a Wilderness Ranger on the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont. From August 2006 through February of 2007, Ryan was employed as an Environmental Educator with Frost Valley YMCA located in Claryville, NY. He was hired by CFA as its Education Forester in February of 2007. 

Both Jim and Ryan continue to go to training programs, and stay informed with regard to forest management issues – Jim is on the Board of Directors for the Empire State Forest Product Association, and also served as Chair of the New York Biomass Energy Alliance, and Chair of the Counsel of Forest Resource Organizations, which is unique in that it includes a very diverse group of members who work together to find common ground and work on those issues. It includes New York Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, New York Farm Bureau, various forest industry associations, educational institutions, as well as urban and landowner organizations. Jim is a member of the Society of American Foresters and of Xi Sigma Pi, a forestry honor society. He is also an appointee to the NY State Governor’s Wood Products Development Council and has served on planning and zoning boards. Ryan regularly takes workshops on forest management, wildlife management, edible forest gardening, fruit grafting, deer management, forest history, and other forestry classes.

To find more about CFA, visit their website at http://www.catskillforest.org/ .

To listen to the show, tune in WIOX 91.3 FM, if you are in the Catskills, every Wednesday at 6 pm, or visit wioxradio.org, and wioxradio.blogspot.com.  

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