SRS forester wins international forestry award

ARKANSAS—From the United Kingdom to Arkansas, silvicultural histories are recognized as important. The editorial board of Forestry, an international journal of forest research, recently  awarded Don Bragg, Southern Research Station research forester, the 2017 Percy Stubbs, John Bolton King and Edward Garfitt Prize for Silviculture for advancing silviculture research.

Photo: Portrait of Don Bragg.
Research forester Don Bragg was recognized by the international journal Forestry for his paper on historical silviculture in Arkansas. His current research focus is on the silviculture of naturally regenerated pine and pine-hardwood ecosystems in the southeastern United States. Forest Service photo.

Bragg received this prestigious award in recognition of his Forestry paper entitled “The development of uneven-aged southern pine silviculture before the Crossett Experimental Forest (Arkansas, USA),” published by Oxford University Press for the Institute of Chartered Foresters, the Royal Chartered professional forestry body in the UK.

“I am deeply honored by the recognition of the editors of Forestry for my paper on early silvicultural work in this remote corner of the United States,” Bragg says. “For one who loves the history of forestry—and loves to share what I learn—receiving the silviculture prize is immensely gratifying and encouraging.”

The paper is a glimpse into early decades of sustainable forestry.

This paper is an engaging historical review of the development of uneven-aged silviculture in Arkansas, USA, during the early part of the 20th century,” said Gary Kerr, Forestry editor-in-chief. “We recommend all professional foresters in the UK set aside a couple of hours and immerse themselves in a delightful account, diligently researched, of the work of two pioneering foresters.”

Bragg also received the 2018 Walter L. Brown award for best school history, given by the Arkansas Historical Association for his paper on the beginnings of Arkansas’s first and only collegiate degree program in forestry, “Growing Pains: Hank Chamberlin and the Arkansas A&M Forestry Program, 1946–1957,” published in the 2017 issue of the Drew County Historical Journal.

“Southeastern Arkansas provides unique opportunities to study the development of professional forestry in the southern U.S., whether it is at the hands of two engineers turned forestry pioneers, the development of the Crossett Experimental Forest or the founding of a new forestry education institution,” said Bragg. “Forestry has contributed so much to the state, yet its history has hardly been told—this recognition by the Arkansas Historical Association is validation of their desire to learn more, for which I am truly grateful.”

Bragg has spent his 18-year Forest Service career with the Southern Research Station. He is the project leader of the SRS Southern Pine Ecology and Restoring and Managing Longleaf Pine Ecosystems research work units.