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2011 Hall of Fame

This year the LSU School of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries Alumni Association will be honoring three alumni for their outstanding contributions to the practice of forestry and the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources. This year’s inductees include Joe D. Burns, Paul Frey, and Dr. Rodney Foil. They will be honored as part of the LSU School of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries Alumni Association Annual Meeting which will occur during Homecoming on the LSU campus on November 12.

Joe D. Burns

Joe D. Burns, 2011 Alumni Association Hall of Fame InducteeJoseph Dae Burns was born November 29, 1923 in Shongaloo, Louisiana. He was the next to youngest of 10 brothers and sisters and is the only surviving member of the family today.

Being born at the start of the Great Depression Joe D. Burns grew up knowing the meaning of being frugal and living off the land. He attended early schooling in Shongaloo and upon graduating high school was called to active duty in the U S Army. During World War II he served in the European Theater of Operations and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor. Upon completion of active duty he served in the Army Reserves and Louisiana National Guard until leaving the military with the rank of Major.

Joe attended Louisiana State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry in 1947 and a Master of Science Degree in Forest Management in 1948. He was a member of Xi Sigma Pi, the Honorary Forestry Fraternity, and Alpha Zeta.

Mr. Burns began his professional forestry career working for the LSU Cooperative Extension Service. He later joined Tremont Lumber Company and worked there from 1950-1962 managing more than 180,000 acres of forestland and the logging force operating on the property. He served as Chief Forester of the Company until he resigned to start his own business, Burns Forest Products, in 1962.

Paul Frey

Paul Frey, 2011 Alumni Association Hall of Fame InducteePaul Frey received a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and Wildlife Management from Louisiana State University in May 1974. Paul began his state service when he was employed by the Louisiana Forestry Commission in June 1974 as a Unit Forester serving Winn Parish. Four years later, Paul was promoted to Assistant Chief of Forest Management for the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources - Office of Forestry working out of the Baton Rouge headquarters. In 1986, Paul became the Chief of Forest Management under the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry – Office of Forestry. At the height of Paul’s state career, he was appointed to the position of Assistant Commissioner and State Forester for the department and State of Louisiana in February 1989 and served in that capacity until his retirement December 28, 2007.

Throughout Paul’s advancing professional career, he has been involved in just about every aspect of the state forestry office, Louisiana’s natural resources and related forest communities. As State Forester, Paul easily emulated Louisiana’s forest resources, landowners and associated industries wherever he appeared. He was Louisiana’s representative to the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) and Southern Group of State Foresters for which Paul served on numerous committees and held various positions including President of the NASF 1997-98. Paul continues to be involved in national issues as an officer of the NASF Foundation.

Paul was appointed Executive Director of the Louisiana Landowners Association on January 1, 2008 where he continues to apply his talent and knowledge representing the interests of landowners as they face ever increasing challenges.

Dr. Robert Rodney Foil

Dr. Rodney Foil, 2011 Alumni Hall of Fame InducteeDr. Paul Burns taught Rodney Foil when he was an undergraduate at the LSU School of Forestry 1955-56 and when he was a graduate student 1958-1960. When Burns was Director of the LSU School of Forestry in 1959 Rodney filled in as a teacher and a researcher when one of the faculty members resigned suddenly. Rodney was an excellent public speaker, a dedicated scholar, a leader, a capable teacher, and a skilled researcher.

Foil was born and raised in Bogalusa, La. He went to LSU, where he was awarded Xi Sigma Pi’s Outstanding Sophomore Award and was President of the Forestry Club. After receiving his B.S.F. in 1956 he served in the U.S. Army for two years. When he was released he returned to LSU, earning his Master of Forestry degree in 1960. While he was working on this degree, one of the School’s faculty members suddenly resigned, and Foil filled in, teaching and conducting research.

In June of 1960 Foil was employed by the LSU Agricultural Branch Station in Homer, La. He conducted a productive forest research program, focused mostly on growth and management of loblolly and slash pine plantations in North Louisiana. He took leave to study at Duke University for his doctorate in forestry, awarded in 1965. In 1967 Foil became Louisiana’s Extension Forester, and in September 1969 he became the Forestry Department Head at Mississippi State University. In 1973 he became Associate Dean of the School of Forest Resources and Associate Director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station., and a year later he was promoted to Dean of the School of Forest Resources. After five years as Dean, he became Director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

revised: 05-Jan-2021 10:54