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Annual Ring Yearbook Archive

2017 Hall of Fame

The LSU Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries Alumni Association (FWFAA) honored its distingued Alumnus at its annual meeting at LSU. This year’s inductees to the LSU Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries Alumni Association Hall of Fame are Thomas J. Hess, Jr (MS Wildlife 1975) and Allen U. Bedell (BSF 1960).

Thomas J. Hess, Jr.

Thomas J. Hess, Jr.Thomas J. Hess, Jr. was born in Wilmington, Delaware, where he learned to hunt and fish and developed a love and passion for the outdoors.

Tom first encountered southwest Louisiana’s marshes as a student at Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge in Grand Chenier, Louisiana. In I972, he began to work as a biologist assistant for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at Rockefeller. He held a BS degree in Wildlife Management from Louisiana Tech, and later earned his MS in Wildlife Management (1975) from Louisiana State University. Except for several years as general manager and wetland manager of Little Pecan Island hunting lodge, Tom spent his career as a biologist at Rockefeller Refuge, rising to the position of refuge manager, which he held until his death in March 2014.

During his long career at LDWF, Tom contributed to the recovery of the Brown Pelican and Bald Eagle, and was an ardent supporter of the Louisiana Whooping Crane reintroduction program. His enthusiasm for Louisiana’s wetland, waterfowl and other wildlife was infectious; he worked well with landowners and other stakeholders and mentored many students and young staff members with his own inimitable blend of leadership, optimism, experience, and humor. In 2011, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation named Tom Professional Conservationist of the year. Additionally, Mr. Hess was posthumously presented the Dr. George H. Lowery Award in April 2015 by the Louisiana Ornithological Society, for his long-term commitment for restoring populations of endangered bird species to Louisiana’s avifauna. And in 2016, through the vision of Tom Hess, the first whooping crane in over 60 years was hatched and fledged in the wetlands of southwest Louisiana.

It is my honor to induct into the 2017 Hall of Fame of the Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Alumni Association Mr. Thomas J. Hess, Jr. Accepting the award on his behalf is Tom’s wife Charlotte, accompanied by his children and grandchildren.

Allen U. Bedell

Allen BedellAllen U. Bedell of Hot Springs, Arkansas, was born in Welsh, Louisiana and grew up in Eunice where he was educated in the public school system. He attended Louisiana State University and graduated from the LSU School of Forestry with a BSF degree in 1960. While at LSU he was elected to membership in both Xi Sigma Pi and Alpha Zeta.

Upon graduation, he was employed by Fordyce Lumber Company in Fordyce, Arkansas, subsequently sold to Georgia-Pacific Corporation. In 1965, he was granted a leave of absence to attend Yale University, graduating in 1966 with a Master of Forestry degree. He then returned to Arkansas as a manager with Georgia-Pacific.

Allen went on to start two family tree chipping businesses, Circle B. Logging, and Quality Stand Density Control, Inc., which he owned and operated until his retirement in 2006. Allen has served on the Executive Committee of the Arkansas Forestry Association for over 31 years, where he is Past President, a recipient of the President’s Award, and honored as Outstanding Logger in both 1989 and 1994. While President, he was instrumental in adopting the National Log-A-Load-for-Kids program, which has raised over $8,000,000 for the Arkansas Children's Hospital.

In 1991, Allen joined nine loggers establishing the Arkansas Timber Producers Association, which last summer celebrated 25 years of service to the forest industry. As President, he helped to establish the Arkansas Professional Logger Education and Training Program, which to date has trained over 17,000 loggers. The Arkansas Timber Producers Association also developed safety and insurance programs for the industry and lobbied successfully for sales tax relief for forestry equipment purchases. He served as President of the Arkansas Timber Producer’s Association Self-Insured Workers Comp Insurance Fund.

Allen also served on the Sustainable Forestry Board from 1995-2001. He is a lifetime member of the Forest Resources Association, and served as National Chairman in 2003-2004. He was the first recipient of Georgia-Pacific’s regional award for Outstanding Logger. He served as Chairman of the Board of Citizens First Bank of Fordyce, Arkansas, and as Vice Chairman of the American Pulpwood Association. Allen served on the Arkansas Forestry Commission for 9 years, 3 years as Chairman. He has served on the Arkansas Agriculture Board since 2005. Allen is a certified American Tree Farmer.

In 1998, Timber Harvesting magazine recognized the Bedell family -- Allen, wife Lou, son David, and daughter Donn Twyford -- as the winner of its inaugural “Logging Business of the Year” award. On March 3 of this year Allen was inducted into the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame, being only the fourth representative of forestry to be so recognized. It is my honor to induct into the 2017 Hall of Fame of the Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Alumni Association Mr. Allen U. Bedell.

For more information contact, Dr. Luke Laborde, LSU Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries Alumni Association. phone: (225) 578-4146 | fax: (225) 578-4251 | Email: llabor2@lsu.edu

revised: 24-May-2021 10:58