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A Brief Look at the SAF Forestry Club – Gordon Grizzle

The SAF Forestry Club is one of many clubs within the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources but by far has the richest history of involvement within the school and the state. Many people think of foresters as nothing but flannel shirt wearing, axe wielding, lumberjacks. Even though some of this is true, the industry is making huge advancements in forest management and establishing initiatives to create sustainable forests; Warnell is on the leading edge of that movement.

Since the founding of the Forestry School in 1906 within the College of Agriculture; the school has strived to produce individuals who exceed all criterion within the natural resource fields. In 1934 the school was accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) and is considered the oldest existing southern forestry school. The school’s success is largely accredited to its alumni heritage. It’s because of people like George F. Peabody, Harley Langdale, and Daniel B. Warnell that this school has become the success it is today.

The SAF Forestry Club is dedicated to helping students learn more about their future careers while having fun and socializing with people of similar interests. The SAF Forestry Club was established in 1914 and joined the Intercollegiate Association of Foresters in 1921. The students of the Forestry Club are highly involved in Warnell and they solely desire the improvement of those programs. In 1937, the school was underfunded, understaffed, and in danger of losing its accreditation. Harley Langdale and several other students decided to do something about it. They went to Atlanta to discuss with the Governor the need to improve the forestry school. The students raised such a ruckus that it was labeled as the “Student Revolt”. A building was finally granted to the forestry school and enough funds were acquired to pay the expenses needed to promote the school. The Forestry Club established the Forestry Club Annual (it’s yearbook) in 1916 which was later renamed “Cypress Knee.” The Cypress Knee ceased printing in 1972 but was brought back to production in the 2012. These are just two of many examples of students seeing a need and answering it with great motivation.

The SAF Forestry Club is currently involved with Habitat for Humanity builds in partnership with the Georgia Forestry Association, assisting companies like ArborGen with experimental plantings, and hosting numerous events for employment opportunities for students such as the Forestry Roundtable.  In addition to community involvement, the Forestry Club also competes annually in the ASFC Forestry Conclave – a competition among 14 southern universities where students compete in technical events that test their knowledge in modern forestry subjects and in physical events such as axe throwing, pole climbing, and cross-cut saw competition. No matter what we do the main goal is to develop students into successful professionals that will promote sound judgment and best management practices in regards to our natural resources.


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