Alumni Focus

Fred Rosmond's legacy at ONRC

Fred Rosmond poses next to one of his young Oregon White Oak trees in July1997.

These trees were presented to ONRC by Fred Rosmond who propagated them from acorns he collected.  Oregon White Oak is the only native oak of Washington. As these trees grow we will be reminded of Fred Rosmond’s long career as a forester and sawmiller and his skills as a horticulturist. April 1996.” 

These words, etched on a bronze plaque identifying two thriving Oregon White Oak (Quercus garryana) trees just north of  Olympic Natural Resources Center’s administration building,  memorialize alum Fred Rosmond, 1915-2003 ('39),  who donated them, helped plant them, and whose legacy lives on in Forks, Washington.

Rosmond and his two brothers built a cedar sawmill in Forks in 1945 and operated it until the early 1980s, shipping high quality western redcedar products to many parts of the world. He was a civic leader, a longtime Society of American Foresters member, and a trusted friend and advisor to CFR and ONRC.  He loved trees and collected seeds during his travels to germinate and plant in his one-acre yard. He treated neighbors and international visitors alike to quiet lessons on how trees grow and how to grow them.

Rosmond loved to share stories about his “tree adventures,” and how they began.  When the UW College of Forestry neared the end of Spring Quarter in 1935, Professor William Harrar (later co-author of the standard text on dendrology) gave Rosmond a cone from a Giant Sequoia and challenged him to extract seed from the cone and
grow a tree. He extracted the seed and placed it in moist sand. It sprouted, and he moved the seedling with him until finally planting it in 1952 at eight feet tall at his home in Forks. The tree grew phenomenally on his residential “arboretum” and now stands 110 feet tall and six feet in diameter, sharing the site with 32 other tree species.



In 1996 Rosmond presented ONRC with two Oregon White Oak seedlings started at home from acorns he had collected. Throughout the years, ONRC’s staff have nurtured and protected the saplings from aggressive browsing by deer, the rubbing of horns by bull elk, and an occasional bump from the lawnmower. Now they stand more than 25 feet tall and are beginning to take on the appearance of the mighty oak.  

The trees stand as a legacy of Rosmond's contributions to the profession of forestry and the well being of the Forks community, as does the Rosmond Forestry Education Endowed Fund. Established in his memory in 2007, the fund supports ONRC’s community forestry education programs. The fund is growing steadily and surely, as are the oak trees. Says John Calhoun, ONRC’s Director, “We are planning how best to use the still modest proceeds from the endowment during the coming year. I know Fred would have taken a vital interest in the burgeoning role that forests are playing in our ‘green economy’ and how forests are becoming recognized as the most important source of green, renewable carbon neutral energy in Washington state. Advancing the knowledge that is needed to realize these potential contributions from forests seems a fitting tribute.”

Much to the delight of the local Steller's Jays, a bounty of acorns adorned ONRC's maturing Oregon White Oak trees this year.

Alumni news

Loren Ford (’76, ’77, ‘86) directs strategic planning and business operations for the U.S. Forest Service’s Woody Biomass and Bioenergy Program in Washington, DC.

Reza Pezeshki (’77, ‘82) is a Professor in the University of Memphis Department of Biology in Memphis, Tennessee, where his research includes soil-plant interactions and wetland plant ecology.









Ishtiaq Ahmad (‘88) is the Conservator of Forests for Wildlife in Bangladesh’s Forest Department, where one project is preserving Bengal Tiger habitat in the mangrove forest of the Sundarban.

Dean Coble (‘88) is an Associate Professor of Forest Biometrics at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, where his research interests include forest growth models and forest sampling.

Margaret Neuman (’89) is Executive Director of the Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group in Yakima, Washington.

Tony Basabe (‘92) is an air quality specialist with the Swinomish Tribe in LaConner, Washington.. 

Linda Kruger (‘96) is a Research Social Scientist with the Forest Service’s Pacific NW Research Station in Juneau, Alaska.

Jennifer Watkins (‘01) is a Conservation Associate/I-90 Wildlife Bridges Campaign Coordinator with Conservation Northwest in Seattle, Washington.

Ryan Bidwell (‘03) is Executive Director of Colorado WILD, a nonprofit that works to protect, preserve, and restore the native plants and animals of the Southern Rocky Mountains, in Durango, Colorado.

Jessica Larson (‘06) is a Stewardship Associate with the Whidbey-Camano Land Trust in Langley, Washington. 

Peter Nelson (‘06) directs the Defenders of Wildlife’s Federal Lands Program in Washington, DC.

Penelope Chilton ('08) is a Project Coordinator for the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST).  Her interest in seabirds began during her yearlong stint as a janitor at McMurdo Station, Antarctica.


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