VOL 2015, Issue 1 Branching Out Page 1
Volume 2015, Issue 1
Friends of the Forest Sedona
From the President Jennifer Young
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
year. Do not hesitate to contact me with ideas, in-
spirations or concerns at email@example.com or
Best regards for the New Year,
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
VISITOR INFORMATION SERVICES
JIM WILSON NOREEN LISOWSKI
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
firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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-
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.