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  • VOL 2015, Issue 1 Branching Out Page 1

    Volume 2015, Issue 1

    Friends of the Forest Sedona

    FEBRUARY 2015

    From the President Jennifer Young

    Fellow Friends,

    At the December meeting the Board of Directors

    voted on officer positions. Jean Ober is Secretary,

    Rick Baldauf continues as Treasurer, and I have

    stepped into the President position upon Spence

    Gustav's completion of his two year term.

    The Vice President position is vacant at present.

    The Board also elected Mike Ward to return to the

    Board and continue his handling of our evolving

    internet-based opportunities.

    In accordance with Friends of the Forest tradition,

    Spence Gustav's service as President were

    acknowledged with a special gift at the December

    meeting. Some members may not know that long

    time FOF member Ruth Cornell is a very gifted

    artist. For quite a few years Ruth has painted and

    donated large murals of various wild animals for

    use as targets for the atlatl demonstration at the

    annual V Bar V Archaeology Discovery Days.

    Spence is known to admire these paintings and

    mourn their inevitable destruction each year at the

    hands of atlatl novices. So, Spence was gifted a

    custom-made "target" - a life size grizzly bear

    mural painted by Ruth. It was a fitting acknowl-

    edgement of the life size contribution Spence has

    made to Friends of the Forest as President.

    During Spence's term the achievements of Friends

    of the Forest were many and diverse. As we enter

    our 21st year, FOF is larger in membership and in

    active volunteers, numbering over 450 with half

    actively volunteering. FOF support to visitor infor-

    mation needs continues to grow as visitation

    swells. Skilled and effective volunteers are in place

    to lead Committees and respond to new needs of

    the Forest Service. The capacity of our organiza-

    tion to respond to "special projects" ranging from

    cultural site documentation, to specialized con-

    struction, to internet communication, to public edu-

    cation, to wildlife monitoring -- is truly astonishing.

    With a combination of heart, humor and endless

    hours, Spence and our dedicated volunteer base

    have positioned the Friends to meet the needs and

    Mr. Grizzly

    Painted by Ruth Cornell, Photo by Spence Gus-


  • Page 2 Branching Out VOL 2015, Issue 1

    Branching Out Editor, Jean Ober, would like to

    thank all of you who turn in great articles and

    pictures for Branching Out.

    opportunities of our third decade. And this founda-

    tion makes my job a pleasure!

    Also completing a notable term of service to the

    Friends in December was Susan Vitek. Susan

    served as FOF Secretary for ten years. She sup-

    ported the varying styles and needs of a succes-

    sion of five FOF Presidents. I wish to express our

    thanks to Susan for so skillfully documenting the

    organization's meetings through these years.

    I am greatly appreciative that Jean Ober will pro-

    vide a smooth transition in the Secretary role and

    that Rick Baldauf will continue as Treasurer.

    As we start the new year, Friends volunteers will

    enjoy the return of Justin Loxley who is on tempo-

    rary assignment as Red Rock Ranger District Vol-

    unteer Coordinator. Many FOF members will re-

    member Justin as RRRD Volunteer Coordinator in

    years past. And he has not forgotten us! Justin

    will likely be on assignment from Flagstaff to the

    District at least into the summer.

    In January I had the honor to accept an award on

    behalf of the Friends from the Keep Sedona Beau-

    tiful organization: a 2014 Award of Excellence for

    community service "in recognition of 20 years of

    protecting and enhancing the forest experience for

    residents and visitors." It was a noteworthy recog-

    nition from an organization that shares FOF stew-

    ardship values toward the National Forest. And it

    was a fitting final chapter for the anniversary

    acknowledgements of 2014.

    On a lighter note, one of my first official duties in

    my new role was indoctrination into the Christmas

    Elf Committee, greeting visitors and hikers on the

    Bell Rock Pathway on Christmas day. I will be

    speaking to Justin about a Job Hazard Analysis/

    JHA for that group.

    I look forward to being a part of the next decade for

    FOF, and I wish to thank many and all for the sup-

    port, guidance and friendship which propelled me

    into the President's chair. I hope to see many of

    you at the New Member Welcome Event on Feb-

    ruary 25th and out and about on the Forest this



    Thirteen new members have joined FOF since the December Newsletter Report: Catherine Weld, Genie and John Sawyers, Terry Ann and Greg Morris, Annalis and Werner Reis, Judy Lovelett, Kathy and Nick Baldasari, Judie Argo Bill and Lisa Preeg On behalf of The Friends, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all new members. Eloise Baldauf 928-284-4356

    year. Do not hesitate to contact me with ideas, in-

    spirations or concerns at or


    Best regards for the New Year,

    Jennifer Young

    Elves Jennifer Young, Mike Ward, Frank Wir-

    kus, Bob Shuman, Michael Campbell, Vicki

    Garrard, Al Cornell, and Spence Gustav. Photo

    by S. Gustav.

  • VOL 2015, Issue 1 Branching Out Page 3



    Members are always welcome at Board Meetings. It is a good way to get acquainted and learn

    what the Friends are doing.



    Are you one of our newer members who would like

    to learn more about FOF and meet other mem-

    bers? Or perhaps you are a long-time member

    who contributes lots of hours in one activity and

    youd like to see what other volunteer opportunities

    FOF offers. Maybe you have a friend or neighbor

    who is interested in joining the Friends. Or possibly

    you would just welcome the opportunity to socialize

    with this special group of people.

    Whatever your reason, consider attending our an-

    nual Welcome Event for new, prospective and cur-

    rent members, which will be held at 2 pm on

    Wednesday, February 25, at the Red Rock

    Ranger District Visitor Center, located on High-

    way 179, about a mile south of the Village of Oak

    Creek. This is a great way to meet other FOF vol-

    unteers, and to hear from committee chairs about

    trail patrol, trail maintenance, visitor information

    services, graffiti removal, cultural site interpretation,

    and so much more.

    If you have not yet seen our 3-minute video about

    Friends of the Forest, this is a wonderful opportuni-

    ty to do so. And while youre at the Visitor Center,

    check out the many exhibits FOF helped fund, and

    stop by the ANHA gift store where FOF members

    get a 15% discount and no one pays sales tax.

    If you plan to attend our Welcome Event, please

    RSVP to Eloise Baldauf at 928-284-4356 or Come learn more about

    this special group of people and the organization

    we all support with our time and skills. Friends of

    the Forest offers something for everyone who ap-

    preciates and wants to help protect the beautiful

    National Forest we are privileged to call home.

    Carol Wirkus

    Aside from muddy trail advisories and the tempo-

    rary road, Devils Bridge and the cultural heritage

    sites closures due to our remarkable snowfall, it

    was business as usual at the Visitor Center. Our

    unseasonably warm temperatures enticed visitors

    and there was no shortage of volunteers providing

    the type of customer assistance we are known for.

    On January 9th and 10th, the FOF and RRRD host-

    ed a Mexican Gray Wolf education program at the

    visitor center. Bob Beltz (pictured with the Gray

    wolf below) and Jennifer Young, Interpretive Pro-

    gram Co-Chairs, were instrumental in hosting the


    Federal and state experts spoke to the pros and

    cons of the controversial efforts to manage the re-

    introduction of wolves to Arizona and New Mexico.

    The event proved so popular that even with a

    change of venue from the visitor center to a larger

    room in the administration building, twice as many

    were turned away as could be accommodated. A

    refuge wolf travelling as an ambassador was a

    show-stopper for many locals and the visiting pub-

    lic alike.


  • Page 4 Branching Out VOL 2015, Issue 1





    V-Bar-V Discovery Days

    Mark your calendars! This years event will be held on Saturday and Sunday March 21st and 22nd. The usual call for volunteers for parking duty, tent set-up/takedown, etc. will be going out in early March. This is always a fun and highly attended event. Our organizations perennial participation has been a big contributing factor to the success of the event.

    Docent Refresher