Alvin Barden and Rachel Jordan were inducted into the Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame on September 19, 2015 during the Wisconsin Woodlands Owners annual meeting at Marshfield. The Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame was founded in 1984 to honor those who have made exceptional contributions to the field of forestry in Wisconsin.
Rachel Jordan (along with her late husband Don) has spent her lifetime managing a tract of 700 acres of hardwood trees in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin near Dodgeville. She became active in the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association (WWOA) and the American Tree Farm Program, and was a leader in both organizations. After becoming Wisconsin Tree Farmer of the Year in 1994, a crowning achievement was having her Tree Farm recognized as the best one in the United States, and Rachel being named the National Tree Farmer of the year in 1996. Rachel was the first ever National tree Farmer of the Year from Wisconsin.
Rachel’s educational talks and tours showcase the latest sustainable forestry practices in Wisconsin. She has spent countless hours teaching landowners and other resource professionals, youth groups, grade school classes, women’s clubs, and any other group who would ask to visit her tree farm. Many woodland owner meetings and field tours have been held at her woodland, including WWOA annual field days in 1987 and 1997. She has also been a frequent speaker at forest landowner meetings, workshops, and conferences throughout the Lake States, and a frequent guest of Wisconsin Public Radio and Television on the same subjects.
Her forestry leadership roles include twelve years on the Wisconsin Council on Forestry, six years on the WWOA board of directors (serving as President and Executive Director during portions of that time), chair of the National Public Affairs Committee of the American Tree Farm system, and countless meetings with lawmakers. She also served as the first president of the WWOA Foundation, and was a director of the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Walnut Council for 6 years.
Al Barden has been a long-time leader in promoting sustainable forestry, teaching thousands of people throughout Wisconsin the value of caring for our renewable natural resources. He provided the tools and encouraged woodland owners to use all available public and private financial, educational and technical resources to assist them in managing their woodlands.
Al received his B.S. Degree in Forest Management from Iowa State University (1955) and a M.S. Degree in Natural Resources Administration from Colorado State University (1970). He served our country in the Air Force Reserves reaching the rank of Lt. Colonel.
A focus throughout his career was on developing, leading and improving organizations for family forest landowners, professional loggers, foresters and academia. He began his career in 1960 as staff forester at Trees For Tomorrow in Eagle River. From 1970 to 1988 he served as an educator and administrator at Nicolet College in Rhinelander and then served as executive director of the Wisconsin Forest Productivity Council form 1988 to 1999. Al was a charter member of the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association in 1979 and a founding member of the North Central Chapter of WWOA in 1989. He served on the WWOA board of directors for nine years and was president of the organization from 2003 to 2005. He assisted in developing the Forest Industry Safety and Training Alliance in 1989, serving on the FISTA board from 1991-2007. Al has also been active member of the Golden Sands Resource Conservation & Development Council since 1991, serving as the Council vice-president since 2002.
He has been recognized by the Society of American Foresters with the “John Macon Award,” “SAF Fellow” and the “Golden Membership Award.” The Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association recognized him with the “Distinguished Service Award” and the Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee honored him with their “Leadership Award” for his roles as former administrator and committee chair as well as his continued involvement with that organization.
Al and Rachel were both nominated for induction into the Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame by the Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee, one of the ten organizations that oversee the forestry recognition.
The Society of American Foresters (SAF) is the caretaker and lead organization. The other members are: Wisconsin Forest History Association, Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – Division of Forestry, Wisconsin County Forest Association, U.S. Forest Service, Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association, University of Wisconsin – Madison, and University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.
The Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame is located in the College of Natural Resources at The University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in the Dan Trainor Building. It is open during regular school hours. The online version is located at Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame.