Message from the President 2012


For many foresters, one of the best parts of the job is getting to know the landowners that own the forestland you are helping manage.  I am continuously amazed at the hospitality and excitement of woodland owners when I sit down to talk to them or walk their property.   I have worked with a lot of landowners over the years and unfortunately seen several pass away.  At the Woodland Steward Institute, we get notifications every issue that a parent has passed away and the kids either want to continue receiving the newsletter or they want to cancel the newsletter.

As I write this letter I am looking at a small white pine seedling planted outside my office window that I received at the funeral of Joe DeWees. Joe passed away on January 15, 2012. He was 100 years old and was a lifelong conservationist and forester.  Joe graduate from Purdue University with a degree in forestry in 1935. He went on to serve in the Air Force and fought in World War II in Italy where he managed to get his hands on a military jeep and visit some of the native forests in Europe on one of his missions. He and his wife Amelia purchased 200 acres of forestland in Brown County in 1949. According to Joe, the land was in bad shape when he acquired the property. He and his family spent many years, doing Timber Stand Improvement, planting pine trees to control erosion and planting native hardwoods for future timber production.  Joe cared for and managed the property for over 60 years. Some of the towering white pines on the property are a testament to his long-term conservation and protection of the property.  Joe utilized several conservation and Farm Bill programs over the years and enrolled his property in the Classified Forest Program and The Nature Conservancy’s Forest Bank Program.  Joe was an avid reader of the Woodland Steward Newsletter.  After discussing one of the issues, Joe gave me six panels of photos from a scrapbook he made in 1936 cataloging forest restoration at Clark State Forest, Morgan-Monroe State Forest and Harrison-Crawford State forest from his time as a camp manager for the Civilian Conservation Corps. Several of Joe’s photos have been featured in past issues of the Woodland Steward’s Day’s Gone By section.

I know Joe enjoyed the Woodland Steward Newsletter and the information it provided.  Although his passing was a sad day for me, I will never forget the strong conservation ethic Joe practiced throughout his life and his passion for forest management.  I was touched to see the most recent copy of the Woodland Steward Newsletter proudly displayed at his funeral along with a wildflower and mushroom ID book.  As I make my contribution to the Woodland Steward Newsletter this year, it will be in memory of Joe and Amelia DeWees and all they did to conserve their land and promote good forest management in Indiana.

We have included our annual donation envelope in this issue of the Woodland Steward Newsletter. If you appreciate the information you receive from the newsletter and want to help ensure that woodland owners in Indiana continue to have access to this wonderful resource, please make a contribution to support the Woodland Steward Newsletter.  You can mail a donation or go on-line and make a donation at  Thank you for your continued support of the Woodland Steward Newsletter.

Dan Shaver

WSI President


Purdue Forestry Summer Camp, Henryville, Indiana 1932-Photo provided by Joe DeWees Seated: Kamm, McQutin, Rhoeds, Raymond, Plumb. Second Row: Patrick, Kittle, Creech, Ekert, DeWees, Ulman, Thorgood, Porter, Professor Geltz. Back Row: Professor Spencer, Mrs. Case (cook), Holwager, Volin, Anshutz, Crompacker, Blanck, Edwards, Kintz, Simpson, Lane, Mr&Mrs Door