July 2023 Spam From Pam

July 2023 Spam From Pam

Spam From Pam

Great Plains Society of American Foresters Newsletter

July 2023


What is Spam from Pam? It is an email update to inform GPSAF Members and Friends about activities, events, meetings, and odds and ends happening in and around Kansas and Nebraska regarding forestry or conservation. If you know of any event coming up, contact Pam at pbergstrom2@unl.edu.


I will also try to include short news releases to talk about what projects are going on amongst our members and our agencies. If you have an article you want to see published email them to me (Pam)!


Also, for those aspiring photographers, send in your pictures and I will put them in the publication. Share your talent with your fellow foresters. 



Oklahoma City Elm Tree

Pam Bergstrom

                Do you remember where you were on April 19, 1995? I was a sixth grader at Plainview Elementary School in Plainview, Nebraska and I was playing soccer at noon recess when I heard there was a bombing in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

            There are moments that live with you forever and I will always remember my parents talking to me and my brother about what was going on in Oklahoma City that April day and the days after. We have family in and around Oklahoma City, but they were nowhere near the federal building that day. Others were not so lucky.

            I want to tell the story about a survivor of the Oklahoma City Bombing. A survivor that still lives and its progeny now represent hope for the future and in humanity across the United States of America. This survivor still carries the wounds of the bombing and has shrapnel embedded deep inside.  I am talking about the Oklahoma City Survivor Tree.  

            The Oklahoma City Survivor Tree is an American Elm that is estimated to be over 100 years old. Before the bombing, this American Elm was the only shade tree for blocks around and during the heat of the summer, employees of the federal building would get in early to ensure they could park under the shade provided by the massive branches. Many past employees still talk about the “race” every morning to get a spot during the hottest days of summer.

            On April 20, 1995, the tree was almost cut down because debris and evidence were embedded deep inside and the only way to get at the evidence was to bring the whole tree down. Arborists and urban foresters were brought in to see if there was a way to retrace the evidence without damaging the tree. After doing some intensive pruning and pulling out materials from the trunk, the tree was left standing, but it was not in good shape. The summer of 1995 was hard on the American Elm and it lost most of its leaves by July.

            On the one-year anniversary of the bombing, the survivor tree hadn’t shown any signs of life and was slated to be removed so the construction of the memorial would be taking shape soon overtop of the American Elm. That morning, a group of people were encircling the tree for a moment of silence and prayer when someone looked up and found buds and leaves growing on the limbs! The tree had survived and was starting to come out of dormancy. The tree was not cut down, but rather the new memorial was designed to be built around this American Elm.

            Every year, seeds are collected from the tree and grown into seedlings by nurseries across the state of Oklahoma. On the anniversary of the bombing, each year, those seedlings are given out to people to plant in communities throughout the country as a sign of hope for peace and unity. These seedlings are planted in big urban areas to small towns and everywhere in-between. Some seedlings are given to individuals and planted on private property as well.

            This American Elm has also battled Dutch Elm Disease and won, has withstood construction of the memorial around its massive roots, and dealt with the unforgiving elements on the Oklahoma prairie. The Oklahoma City Survivor Tree is a symbol of optimism and perseverance during dark, troubled times.

            If you ever make it to Oklahoma City, take a side trip to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. Take a minute to sit under the branches of the oldest survivor of the bombing on April 19, 1995, and find inner peace and hope in the future.

            *** This article is in memory of my Grandfather John “Johnnie” Holmes. An Okie from Hanna, Oklahoma ***


Forest Farming Webinar through Penn State.


2022 Fall – Winter Fire Science Webinar Series

If you miss these webinars, you can catch up on the tapings at https://oakfirescience.com/videos_categories/webinars/



Ugly Dog Appreciation Day 2023


In honor of June 20th being Ugly Dog Appreciation Day, here are some pictures from those who love and adore their Ugly Dogs! By the way, Doak Nickerson also sent in a picture of his Ugly Dog, but the picture wouldn’t upload/download for me. When I’m out in Chadron later this month, I will try to take a picture of Katie!


A group of dogs in a truck  Description automatically generated

Mark Frickel with Nebraska Forest Service in North Platte sent in this picture with his “Ugly Pack.”



A dog standing next to a person's leg  Description automatically generated

Bryce Gerlach with Nebraska Forest Service out of Chadron with his Ugly Dog. Bryce and his wife Debbie do all the training for their dogs.




A dog sitting in a field  Description automatically generated

Rich Straight sent in this picture of his Ugly Dog. Happy Retirement Rich!



Events Calendar


Child pointing at firework display

July 2023:


July 7 – National Father Daughter Take a Walk Together Day


July 11 – 13 – Southwest Agroforestry Action Network Annual Meeting. Littleton, CO. https://aztrees.org/event-5115830


July 12 – Humble Hands Agroforestry Field Day. Decorah, IA. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/humble-hands-agroforestry-field-day-tickets-611282972827


July 14 – Mac and Cheese Day


July 15 – Phoenix Farm Cash Flowing Agroforestry. Iowa City, IA. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/phoenix-farm-agroforestry-field-day-tickets-611276102277 


July 19 – American Football Appreciation Day


July 20 – National Pickup Truck Day


July 23 – 26 – National Nut Growers, Walnut Council, and Chestnut Growers of America Joint Meetings. Columbia, Missouri. http://www.chestnutgrowers.org/ or  https://nutgrowing.org/annual-conference-2023/


July 25 – 27 – 2023 Interior Highlands Shortleaf Pine Initiative Summit. West Plains, Missouri. For more information, contact Jeff Powelson at JPowelson@abcbirds.org


July 25 – 28 – Pine Forest Management and Windbreak Training. Chadron, Nebraska.




Classroom sticker progress chart


August 2023:


August 1 – 3 – Northern Hardwood Conference. Canada. https://www.cif-ifc.org/events/2023nhc/


August 4 – International Beer Day


August 10 – Spoil Your Dog Day


August 13 – National Left Handers Appreciation Day


August 16 – National Tell a Joke Day


August 16 – Midwest Organic Center Field Day. Marion, IA. https://rodaleinstitute.org/midwest-organic-center-field-day/?utm_source=Rodale+Institute&utm_campaign=3a5e3b4dfb-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2023_05_15_01_54&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_-3a5e3b4dfb-%5BLIST_EMAIL_ID%5D


August 22 – National Never Been Better Day


August 26 – National Dog Appreciation Day


August 29 – 31 – 2023 Northeast – Midwest Regional Prescribed Fire Workshop. Madison, Wisconsin. https://www.northeasternwildfire.net/resilient-landscapes/2023-ne-mw-regional-prescribed-fire-workshop/


August 31 – Penn State Forest Farming Series: American Ginseng. https://extension.psu.edu/forest-farming-series-american-ginseng





September 2023:


September 2 – International Bacon Day and International Beard Day


September 10 – Grandparents Day


September 11 – Patriot Day


September 16 – National Batman Day


September 18 – National Cheeseburger Day


September 23 – First Day of Autumn/Fall


September 26 – Lumberjack Day/Johnny Appleseed Day





October 2023:


October 4 – Improve/Re-organize Your Office Day


October 9 – Columbus Day


October 15 – National Grouchy Person Appreciation Day


October 21 – Back to the Future Day


October 22 – Play Fetch with Your Dog/Make a Dog’s Day


October 25 – 28 – SAF National Convention. Sacramento, California. https://eforester.org/Safconvention2023/Default.aspx 


October 26 – Penn State Forest Farming Series: Goldenseal. https://extension.psu.edu/forest-farming-series-goldenseal


October 27 – National American Beer Day


October 30 – November 10 – Southern Blue Ridge TREX. https://www.sbrtrex.com/


October 31 – Halloween


Save the Dates!


November 6 – 10 – National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy Workshop. Santa Fe, NM. https://southernfireexchange.org/calendar/6th-national-cohesive-wildland-fire-management-strategy-workshop/


December 4 – 8 – The 10th International Fire and Ecology Management Congress. Monterey, California. https://fireecology.org/calendar-entries/firecongress23 


December 6 – 8 – The Perennial Farm Gathering 2023 – Virtual. https://www.savannainstitute.org/event/save-the-date-2023-perennial-farm-gathering/


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