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K-State Today

March 3, 2014

Kansas Forest Service forester recognized

Submitted by Robert Atchison

Dave Bruton, district forester with the Kansas Forest Service, Valley Falls, has received the 2013 Kansas Wildlife Federation Forest Conservationist of the Year Award. The Kansas Wildlife Federation recognition is one of the most prestigious conservation-related awards given in Kansas and is patterned after similar awards in most other states through respective state affiliates of the National Wildlife Federation.

For the last 25 years Bruton has worked as a district forester and utilization marketing specialist for the Kansas Forest Service providing conservation, wildlife and forestry expertise to the people of northeast Kansas. Bruton’s major goals have been the protection, establishment, management and utilization of Kansas forestlands, woodlands and the wildlife habitat they provide. He has provided woodland and wildlife management education through the Kansas Environthon; given presentations to the Kansas Christmas Tree Growers Association; and coordinated delivery of the Governor’s Christmas Tree and Wreath.

Bruton’s recent contributions and achievements include:

● Working with landowners to plan for the management and protection of forest and wildlife resources on their properties, Bruton most recently prepared 51 long-term forest stewardship management plans and 77 forestry practice project plans, improving the health and quality of hundreds of acres of woodlands and the wildlife habitat;

● Guiding these same landowners through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program application process for forestland health, which provided thousands of dollars to these landowners to implement forestry and wildlife improvement projects on 614 acres;

● Helped establish the Kansas Forest Products Association, which consisted of landowners, loggers, sawmill operators and forestry industry members;

● Served as a board member for the Kansas Tree Farm Program, Kansas Chapter of the Walnut Council and the Kansas Forestry Association;

● Through the American Tree Farm System, Bruton has written plans for and certified 21 Kansas woodland owners;

● Assisted with and co-authored the U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station’s Timber Products Output Survey to determine lumber production in Kansas;

● Assisted with coordinating, hosting and presenting 54 workshops to 7,225 participants at a variety of venues including Water Festivals, Kansas Arborists Association Training, Fall Forestry Field Days, Scout presentations, Kansas Forest Products Association Industry tours, Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy field tours and conferences, Environthons, Society of American Foresters sponsored Walk in the Woods, Walnut Council Field Days and Agroforestry Field Days;

● In cooperation with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Delaware Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and K-State Research and Extension, Bruton worked with the Kickapoo Tribe to initiate a Windbreak and Timber Stand Improvement project; and

● Bruton works with 26 volunteer fire departments to provide, inspect and inventory the necessary fire fighting equipment donated through the Kansas Forest Service.

In summary, Bruton has worked hard to teach others the important role trees play in our lives and the lives of wildlife species. Best of all, however, is that his legacy will stand beyond his lifetime in the trees and shrubs he has helped to plant and manage, and the many people he has touched with his knowledge and friendly personality.

The award recognizes Bruton’s dedication and interest in sustaining the quality and productivity of woodlands and the wildlife that benefit from them.