ODNR recognizes outstanding achievements in forestry

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Vinton County, Ohio forest
A mixed forest of oaks, suagar maple, yellow poplar and beech in Zaleski State Forest. (Mark DeBrock, Vinton County)

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources recognized individuals and groups for their efforts toward the preservation and development of healthy, sustainable forests throughout Ohio, Oct. 8 at the Forest of Honor ceremony at Zaleski State Forest, near McArthur.

ODNR held a tree planting ceremony at the ODNR Division of Forestry’s Forest of Honor to acknowledge the efforts of this year’s honorees.

Their leadership in education, innovation and forest management practices continues to be instrumental in maintaining Ohio’s urban and private woodlands.

“The example they set in good forest stewardship is crucial to sharing the message that healthy forests are essential for the well-being of our communities and benefit every Ohioan, said Robert Boyles, ODNR deputy director and state forester.

Randall Heiligmann was honored for his 30 years of enthusiastic and inspirational forestry instruction as a professor in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University, retiring in 2009.

Career paths

His teaching was instrumental in many of his students pursuing careers in forestry.

Heiligmann also served as the state forestry extension specialist for OSU, and he led countless workshops and talks for foresters and landowners on his specialties of maple syrup production, Christmas tree plantation management, and herbicides used to manage forest and tree plantations.

He wrote numerous fact sheets and publications that helped professional foresters and landowners understand a wide variety of forestry related topics and practices.

David Gamstetter was recognized for his leadership and innovative development of the natural resource program for the city of Cincinnati, where he serves as the natural resource manager.

He manages the urban forestry, greenspace and park land management programs along 1,000 miles of public streets and in 5,000 acres of parks.

Gamstetter created an innovative Urban Timber Program in response to dead trees resulting from the invasive emerald ash borer insect, finding use for ash tree lumber for building material in Cincinnati Public Schools.

His work has been widely published in urban forestry, arboriculture, horticulture and public works journals, and he serves on several local and regional boards.

The East Central Ohio Forestry Association is an association of private woodland landowners in 16 counties that has actively promoted sustainable forestry and wildlife management for more than 30 years.

To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, forest health and tree care, visit forestry.ohiodnr.gov.

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