The Oklahoma Forestry Association (OFA) is a nonprofit group formed to serve as an umbrella organization for individuals and companies interested in Oklahoma forestry in its many different aspects. Foresters from both private and public sectors, forest landowners, loggers, and timber industry executives are among the association's diverse membership. Wise use, conservation, and improvement through management of Oklahoma's forest resources and respect for private property rights and free enterprise are the primary philosophical underpinnings of the OFA.
Since the original bylaws were formally approved September 16, 1971, the group has been active in the Oklahoma forestry community on a number of different fronts. A salaried executive vice president and volunteer board of directors conduct most of the organization's routine activities. One important OFA function is to monitor proposed legislation affecting forestry in Oklahoma, advise the membership, and make recommendations to legislators. Another service to Oklahoma's private forest landowners is managing inspections for participants in the American Tree Farm System. Certified tree farms must meet certain standards of sustainable management to qualify for Tree Farm System benefits. OFA works with Oklahoma Forestry Services (the state forestry agency) to maintain and periodically publish the list of State Champion trees. Support for youth education and activities in forestry is another major outreach activity. OFA supports numerous 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) forestry competitions, and Project Learning Tree, an educational program for youth about trees and forestry.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Oklahoma Forestry Association Quarterly Newsletter (Idabel, Okla.: Oklahoma Forestry Association, 1971-). ODA Forestry Services, Oklahoma Forestry Association, and USDA Forest Service, The Great Trees of Oklahoma (Muskogee, Okla.: Hoffman Printing Co., Inc., 2000).
William G. Ross
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