NY State DEC's Big Tree Program non-existant

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morgan
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NY State DEC's Big Tree Program non-existant

Post by morgan » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:15 pm

The list of NY champions is completely bogus:

http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forest ... 061413.pdf

Almost all the trees were measured in 2010 and almost all of them list a Douglas Bassett as the nominator or R. Cook. Basically it looks like one or two guys in 2010 went around measuring trees and made a list from scratch. I have 3 champion NY trees that I nominated and none of them appear on this list. I send in nomination forms and never hear back from them. The NY State big tree program does not exist.
Last edited by morgan on Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:05 am, edited 2 times in total.

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dbhguru
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Re: NY State DEC's Big Tree Program non-existant

Post by dbhguru » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:55 pm

Morgan

I'm inclined to agree. After they asked for help back in the early summer and I gave them measurements for several trees, they went completely silent. I have no idea about what is going on.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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John Harvey
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Re: NY State DEC's Big Tree Program non-existant

Post by John Harvey » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:17 am

I've had some of the same trouble here in New Jersey. We have a pretty good site but its updated very rarely. I've nominated several new champion trees, 5 or 6 that I'm sure are larger than the listed champs. No one have ever contacted me. So I feel your pain.
John D Harvey (JohnnyDJersey)

East Coast and West Coast Big Tree Hunter

"If you look closely at a tree you'll notice it's knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully." - Matt Fox

Joe

Re: NY State DEC's Big Tree Program non-existant

Post by Joe » Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:31 am

I guess this all goes to show that there aren't that many lovers of big/old trees and it goes to show how essentially useless many state forestry and enviro leaders are because, you'd think this would be an important topic. Knowing what forests can do at their best is very important, though I'm still waiting for a great writer to explain this to "the masses" and those "leaders".
Joe

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dbhguru
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Re: NY State DEC's Big Tree Program non-existant

Post by dbhguru » Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:44 am

Morgan and John,

In a recent review of the state programs in support of the work of the AF MGWG, Don looked at a lot of the state champion tree sites. I think he came to the conclusion that many state programs are not in particularly good shape, but the two of you raise our concerns to a new level. If we have a significant number of states that are too poorly staffed or untrained to even respond to the submissions of known big tree hunters, who basically are doing the work of the certifiers, I think we may have to kick this one around in the AF MGWG proceedings. AF depends on the state programs for handling nominations and following up with certifications.

One expects that state coordinators would routinely reach out to the most involved big tree hunters in their states and establish productive working relationships with them. I do know this has occurred in a few states, but it may not be as wide spread as hoped for. What is particularly troubling is that some state programs may be doing a cursory job of updates, even dare I say, cooking the books, to appear to be doing enough. I don't know what funding sources are available to states to maintain their lists. A little investigative reporting is needed, not to impeach individual state coordinators, but to get a handle on the actual problems and their magnitude.

I'm not revealing any secrets to say that my trust of state level certifiers is very low. That is the reason for Don and I pursuing the Level 4 Cadre to provide top down expertise. We believe that leadership from the top will filter down to the state programs, perhaps slowly at first, but will eventually create Level 4 Cadre extensions. So our focus is at the national level, but we may have to turn part of our attention to the collection and flow of measurement information from the states (as opposed to the state programs) to insure that legitimate candidates to the National Register are handled properly.

Don,

Thoughts? Others?

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

morgan
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Re: NY State DEC's Big Tree Program non-existant

Post by morgan » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:59 pm

National level won't talk to you until you get the state level out of the way.

My elm is probably state champion but I'll never get on the list. My hornbeam has obviously been US champion for 40 years but has been bureaucratically challenged for the last 10 years.

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dbhguru
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Re: NY State DEC's Big Tree Program non-existant

Post by dbhguru » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:52 pm

Morgan,

Yes, we're dealing with such issues in the AF MGWG. All the rules are on the table.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: NY State DEC's Big Tree Program non-existant

Post by Erik Danielsen » Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:16 pm

This afternoon I spoke for a while with a Connie Dutcher, who is listed with the aforementioned Doug Basset as the nominator for the cucumbertree cochampion in Lilydale on the current NYS champion list. She is a friend of Basset, the fellow who has his name on almost every single nomination, who is the state program coordinator. Apparently he was out to remeasure it just recently. While the height given for that tree by Basset is only 12 feet higher than the sine-method measurement Tom and I got last summer, other trees he's nominated include an apparently 151-foot-tall red hickory. The likelihood of tangent-based measurement seems high, and it doesn't appear that anything has gotten better on the list. Nonetheless, perhaps through Connie I can start forming a connection with Basset and see if any progress might come out of it. She's invited me to supply some numbers for informative signs that they're installing along the trail to provide some education about the trees there.

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dbhguru
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Re: NY State DEC's Big Tree Program non-existant

Post by dbhguru » Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:48 pm

Eric,

If you can make inroads into the NY champion tree program, you will have greatly advanced our cause. Anything we can do to help you, please let us know.

Tomorrow, I'll send more Cadre training materials.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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