Delta Council recognizes retired Forest Service Forester

Retired Delta National Forest Forester Ralph Pearce shows his award certificate with U.S. Forest Service colleagues. From left to right: Ted Leininger, Plant Pathologist and Project Leader with Southern Research Station Center for Bottomland Hardwoods Research, Stephanie Allison, Ecosystem Staff Officer with the National Forests in Mississippi, Pearce, and Gretta Boley, Forest Supervisor with the National Forests in Mississippi. Forest Service photo by Mario Rossilli.

Ralph Pearce, a recently retired forester with the U.S. Forest Service, received the Outstanding Contributions to Hardwood Forestry Award on Friday, June 9 from the Delta Council, a Mississippi agricultural and economic development organization representing the state’s Delta region.

Pearce worked for more than 30 years as a forester, most of which was spent on the Delta National Forest managing bottomland hardwoods. The Delta Council Award recognizes Pearce’s career contributions to the management of bottomland hardwood ecosystems.

“Ralph was a great source of knowledge for us,” said Ted Leininger, plant pathologist and project leader with the Forest Service’s Southern Research Station Center for Bottomland Hardwoods

Research. “He worked closely with our scientists to identify suitable stands and plants for use in their research that led to important findings.”

As a result of his many years of managing the U.S. Forest Service’s only bottomland hardwood forest, Pearce was often consulted by other nearby public and private foresters and land managers. “This is truly fitting recognition for a Forest Service employee who has made a great contribution to his profession,” said National Forests in Mississippi Forest Supervisor Gretta Boley.