March 2018 | #ForestProud
Pennsylvania Forestry Association
News You Can Use
Dive deep into this month's News You Can Use! As we gear up for an exciting spring and summer, we are happy to have you in our readership!

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2018 Conservation Dinner a Success!
Congratulations to Jason Hughes of Mechanicsburg, PA for winning the $10,000 draw-down! Unfortunately, Jason was unable to attend the dinner. Pictured at right are the top ten winners! Congratulations to those who went home as a prize winner. We hope to see you next year!

A special thanks is shared to all those who attended, donated, volunteered, and supported the event in any fashion! We couldn't have done it without you!
Call for PFA Committee Members!
We are looking for a few good men and women!
Committees are the “life blood” of an association. Ideas for valuable PFA projects and activities are incubated, refined, and moved forward to completion in PFA Committees. If you have a special interest, skill, or ability we could use your help and assistance on a PFA Committee. We are seeking PFA members with an interest or skill in meeting planning, communications, award programs, nonprofit fund-raising, finance, investment, legislation, regulation, youth education, grant management, member recruitment, wildlife and forest management, and conservation to volunteer service on PFA Committees.

The Annual Meeting Committee is charged with planning, organizing, and conducting PFA’s Annual

The Awards Committee solicits and evaluates nominations. It selects and presents the Sandy Cochran Outstanding Educator Award and the Joseph T. Rothrock Outstanding Conservationist Award at the annual meeting.

The Conservation Dinner Committee works to organize, manage, and conduct the Annual Fund-Raising Conservation Dinner each March.

The Education & Communications Committee with the assistance of Versant Strategies, generates a variety of messaging products (the quarterly Pennsylvania Forests magazine, the monthly News You Can Use e-newsletter, regular e-blasts, Facebook posts and press releases) to deliver information about the PFA’s mission and activities promoting sound, science-based forest management and stewardship of the resource to PFA members and the public.

The Government Affairs Committee tracks, reports, and makes recommendations on Federal and State legislation and regulatory changes that impact Pennsylvania’s forests and forest owners.

The Finance/Investment Committee proposes an annual budget to the Board of Directors for the upcoming year at the December board meeting in the current year. The Committee also reviews the treasurer's reports and monitors PFA spending and income. The Committee selects, manages, and reviews the Association’s investments with professional assistance from the investment firm holding PFA assets.

The Membership Committee recommends and implements projects and activities designed to increase PFA membership.

The Memorial Forestry Education Fund (Grants) Committee manages the grant award process (RFP, applications, awards, and receiving reports) for forestry educational grants provided by PFA.

The Nominating Committee establishes a slate of officers and board members, and develops a ballot, prior to the election.

The Outreach Committee works to engage individuals and organizations outside of PFA in strategic alliances that further the goals, objectives, and policies of both organizations. The Committee also recommends and implements projects and activities that show the promise of improving on the ground sustainable forest management or improving the public understanding of the management of Pennsylvania’s forests.

The Tree Farm Committee manages the Tree Farm Program in Pennsylvania including; developing and recommending and annual committee budget, providing broad technical support, supporting field inspections, updating the national database, and coordinating outreach and education.

We invite and encourage you to volunteer for service on a PFA Committee. If you agree to serve you will find yourself in the company of some of the most positive, forward thinking, active, capable, and concerned forestry folks in the Commonwealth. The world is run by those who show up! Please contact PFA President Richard Lewis ( ) today to volunteer for service on a PFA Committee.
PA Forestry Community Donates $23,000 to PA Children’s Hospitals
The Pennsylvania Log A Load for Kids Program sponsored by the Pennsylvania Forestry Association (PFA) and the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association (PFPA) recently contributed a total of almost $23,000 to five PA Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) designated Children’s Hospitals. PFA and PFPA Members raised the funds by conducting a March 2017 Pheasant Hunt, a summer 2017 Log Truck Parade, and an October 2017 Sporting Clay Shoot. The five PA Children’s hospitals each receiving a share of the total donated amount are in Erie, Hershey, Pittsburg, Danville, and Philadelphia, PA. 

Log A Load for Kids is a National Program supported by loggers and others who donate the value of one load of logs, or any amount, to CMN designated Children’s Hospitals. Nationwide state Log a Load for Kids Programs donated $2.15 million to Children’s Hospitals in 2017. 

Interested in sponsoring a 2018 PA Log A Load for Kids event?.....please contact PFA or PFPA 
Pennsylvania Game Commission Northeast Region Director Daniel Figured announces more than 4,200 acres of state game lands and public access properties in the region are scheduled to be treated using controlled burns in 2018. Controlled burning is a habitat enhancement tool that can be used effectively to promote healthy forests, oak regeneration, and grass lands.  

Fire helps to promote oak forest regeneration by reducing competition from less desirable tree species (such as black birch and red maple) through a controlled and slow-moving fire. After fire moves through an area, more fire-tolerant oak trees and seedlings remain and become the dominant species as the forest grows. Oak acorns benefit a variety of wildlife because of their high nutritional value and are sought after as a fall food source by a variety of birds and mammals as they prepare for winter.

“Controlled burn operations are scheduled to be conducted on 14 different game lands, located in nine counties of the Northeast Region this year. The Game Commission has been using controlled burns to improve wildlife habitat since 2008, with outstanding results,” said Figured.

Throughout controlled burn operations, safety is the primary consideration from planning through implementation. The entire operation is overseen by a “Burn Boss,” who develops a detailed plan required to be approved by the Game Commission and other agencies. Timing of the burn is weather dependent and takes into account the amount of moisture both in the ground and the growing vegetation. Access to the burn site is restricted to only highly trained fire personnel and all necessary local fire and emergency personnel are notified in advance.

In the weeks prior to a burn, fire breaks are established or maintained around the entire area. Just prior to initiating burn operations, a small and easily extinguished “test fire” burn is conducted to check fire behavior and smoke-dispersal patterns. If the Burn Boss approves the fire to proceed, an experienced crew made up of personnel from the Game Commission and other natural-resources agencies uses a regimented process to burn the site.  

Work crews are assigned to various jobs including interior ignition, wind and temperature monitoring, and perimeter containment using specialized Utility Task Vehicles, water packs, and a variety of hand tools. As the fire begins to burn out, areas with flames near the perimeter are extinguished and those on the interior allowed to burn out gradually. The entire area is then closely monitored over the next few days.
State game lands in the Northeast Region, and the acreage scheduled to receive controlled burn treatment, include SGL 141 (Carbon, 481); SGL 226 (Columbia, 50); SGL 165 (Northumberland, 449); SGL 84 (Northumberland, 240); SGL 91 (Luzerne, 498); SGL 13 (Sullivan, 402); SGL 180 (Pike, 833); SGL 183 (Pike, 338); SGL 300 (Lackawanna, 310); SGL 292 (Luzerne, 171); SGL 36 (Bradford, 246); SGL 123 (Bradford, 202), SGL 70 (Susquehanna, 45); and SGL 187 (Luzerne, 22).
Additionally, the Game Commission will assist landowners in conducting controlled burns on public access properties within the northeast region.

“Controlled burn operations are initiated in March and will continue through late fall,” Figured explained. “Areas treated with controlled burns will not be a pretty sight initially, however, these operations will ultimately result in areas with excellent habitat that is beneficial to wildlife.” 

A controlled burning notification map that details information on burns that are planned and burns that are imminent can be found on the Game Commission web site at under wildlife/habitat management/controlled burning.
Nontraditional student learns valuable lessons on road to reaching dreams
Amy Duke
March 1, 2018
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — On the road to reaching his dreams, Josh Hersl has encountered a few roadblocks and detours.

Yet, as the 35-year-old U.S. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient looks toward graduation from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences in May, he realizes that navigating through those hardships — which included a half-hearted first attempt at college, injury during military service, and the loss of his father — have made him steadier at the wheel.

"When I was little, I dreamed of being a soldier and a lawyer," said the forest ecosystem management major from Hanover. "I thought I blew my chance years ago, but because of the lessons I have learned, I won't be blowing this chance. I accomplished the first dream, and though it has taken me awhile, I am getting closer to reaching the second."

Hersl's journey to fulfilling his goals got off to a rocky start in 2000 as an 18-year-old freshman at Penn State's University Park campus. Looking back, he admits that what he excelled at most was his social life.

"I had a lot of fun during my first experience here," he said. "Maybe too much fun. I took advantage of the social activities that Happy Valley had to offer rather than focusing on my education. As a result, my grades suffered, and I decided to leave Penn State after three years without a degree."

Though Hersl was welcomed home with open arms, he could not shake the feeling that he had let his parents down, especially his father, who Hersl said worked two jobs and took odd jobs here and there to make sure his son and daughter could go to college.

Shortly after returning home, Hersl revisited one of his childhood dreams — to become a soldier — and enlisted in May 2004. As he recalled, "Sept. 11 was still pretty fresh in everyone's minds. I believed that I could serve my country while also getting back my sense of responsibility. I knew I needed to grow up, and I wanted to prove to myself that I could take on a challenge."

That challenge proved to be considerable when, five months into his first tour of duty in Iraq, an enemy truck loaded with bombs exploded near his station. Hersl survived, but not without severe shrapnel and burn injuries that required several surgeries, skin grafts and months of physical therapy.

Read the full story here.

Josh served on the Pennsylvania Forestry Association Board as the Student Representative from PSU Student SAF Chapter. PFA wishes him the best of luck in his future endeavors!
PA Biomass Energy Association Expands to Mid-Atlantic
Meadville, PA/Washington, DC] - Today, the Pennsylvania Biomass Energy Association (PBEA) announced that it has expanded its focus beyond the keystone state to the region and will now be known as the Mid-Atlantic Bioenergy Council (MABEC). The material focus of the organization remains the same: representing the use of biomass to produce clean heat, power, biogas and soil amendments, but now the organization is geographically expanded from Pennsylvania to the Mid-Atlantic region. The council remains dedicated to supporting the use of biomass in the residential, small business, commercial, institutional, agricultural, and industrial sectors.
MABEC Board Chair, John Costlow, President of the Sustainable Energy Fund remarked: "More than anything, this move is a reflection of our members' business interests which have never been confined to one state. This expanded focus will allow MABEC to better support the biomass energy industry, in all its forms, and create new opportunities for its businesses and our organization." 
MABEC can be found online at and Twitter @MABEC_.
About the Mid-Atlantic Bioenergy Council 
The Mid-Atlantic Bioenergy Council (MABEC) is the non-profit trade association representing the use of biomass to produce clean heat, power, fuels and soil amendments throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. We educate and advocate for the use of biomass for all kinds of energy in the residential, small business, commercial, institutional, agricultural, and industrial sectors. Find us on the web at, Twitter @MABEC_ and on Flickr. 

You can view a PDF of this press release here
New tools for reporting on forest resources
Help countries to compile better data and increase transparency – Google partnership

Published March 5, 2018
ROME/TOLUCA — FAO has launched today a new online platform for reporting on the status and trends of the world’s forest resources. The platform enables countries to increase the efficiency of their reporting process and improve the consistency, reliability and transparency of forest data.

Efficient monitoring of and reporting on forest cover and land-use change is essential for monitoring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is crucial as countries adopt measures to adapt to and mitigate climate change.

The platform will be used for the next 2020 Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) report. The tool developed by FAO with financial support from the European Union and the Government of Finland was presented at a special high-level ceremony in Toluca, Mexico.

Read the full article here.
Take advantage now of guided tours of the Kopp Collections of butterflies and moths at the Ned Smith Center

Faye Arleen and Lawrence Joseph Kopp Butterflies and Moths Collections - weather permitting, Saturdays 1:00 – 4:00 PM, Jan through Mid-April 2018, with the exception
of March 3rd and March 17th. 

This is the last time we will have a full gallery exhibit of this collection of over 19,000 specimens valued at $ 516,000!

Those interested in a guided tour should contact on Fridays by 9:00 PM or call him (Voice messages ONLY, NO TEXTING) @ 717-307-5447 before 10:00 AM Saturdays prior to taking advantage of these guided tours.

Also, Tuesdays through Saturdays the Center galleries and gift shop will be open for self – directed tours.

The Ned Smith Center is located 1.5 miles east of the Square of Millersburg along Route 200. Turn right at the square onto Route 209 off of Route 147. This is 27 miles north of Harrisburg via Route 322/ 22 W / Route 225 to intersection of Route 225/147. Continue north on 147/225 through Halifax to Millersburg.

I hope you can join us to kick off our 25th Anniversary Year events.

Thank you,
Be well,
John D. Laskowski, Mothman
PFA Board Member and 
Collections Curator
Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art
PA Tree Farm Update
March is the time to spring into your woods and think about the heyday of springtime.

Our three vernal season times:
  • March 1 through May 31- Meteorological System
  • March 20 through June 21 - Equinoxes/Solstices System
  • Yesterday! Today! Tomorrow! - Tree Farmer System... Spring-tide starts when you can get into your woods and on your trails.

Tools You Can Use in Your Woods
We have attached links to useful tools you can use in your woods from the Tree Farm System. The first is a 126 slide presentation and online resource of 28 pages to help with those trails. Also included is a link of suggested family activities to get kids of all ages into Penn's Woods.

Check them out and "Spring into Action"... No matter where your budding spring system falls!

2018 AmeriCorps State and National Service Grants 2019 National Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program
The Secretary of Agriculture has a congressionally designated advisory council that assists the U.S. Forest Service in establishing the grant categories and recommendations of final proposals for the Forest Service to consider. This is the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (Council). The Council serves to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on the status of the nation’s urban and community forests and related natural resources. The Council seeks to establish sustainable urban and community forests, by encouraging communities of all sizes to manage and protect their natural resources, which, if well managed, improves the public’s health, well-being, economic vitality, and creates resilient ecosystems for present and future generations. Urban and Community Forestry Program Requirements The Council recommends urban and community forestry projects that have national or multi-state application and impact through the U.S. Forest Service’s competitive Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost-Share Grant Program. A proposal’s content must meet the Urban and Community Forestry program authorities as designated by Congress in the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act, (Section 9 PDF, pp. 19-24) State & Private Cooperative Forestry Handbook of Programs and the annual criteria set forth by the Council. A listing of the previously funded projects can be viewed at Urban Forestry South list of past NUCFAC grants.

Eligible Entities – Public and state controlled institutions of higher education; Private institutions of higher education; city or township governments; County governments.

Program Funding: $900,000. Award Ceiling: $200,000

Application Deadline – April 30, 2018
Request for Nominations
Sandy Cochran Award for Excellence in Natural Resource Education
The Pennsylvania Forestry Association is seeking nominations for the 2018 Sandy Cochran Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Education. This award honors individuals or programs designing, developing, and implementing educational programs focused on the conservation and management of Pennsylvania’s natural resources. Nominations are by letter of support and include background information on the nominee, such as would be included in a vita. As well, the nominator should provide information on program focus (e.g., water, forests, recreation, wildlife), principle audiences affected (e.g., adults, students, youth programs, resource professionals), geographic area targeted (e.g., statewide, region, county, school district), and, if possible, behavior or impact changes linked to the program. Each nomination must also include three letters of support for the nominee. Deadline for application is August 1, 2018. 

For more information or to submit a nomination, contact the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, Attention: Cochran Award Chairman, 116 Pine Street, 5th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17101 or email:
Joseph T. Rothrock Award
Each year at its annual meeting, the Pennsylvania Forestry Association (PFA) recognizes an individual, organization or group’s significant contributions to the public recognition of the importance of Pennsylvania’s forest resources in the same tradition and spirit of Dr. Joseph T. Rothrock. Dr. Rothrock served as the first president of PFA and earned the title, “Father of Forestry in Pennsylvania,” through his untiring efforts to promote the forest conservation movement in Pennsylvania.


  1. Value of contributions to the continued conservation of Pennsylvania’s forest resource. (60%)
  2. Public recognition and stature of the individual in the field of resource conservation. (30%)  
  3. Other Unique or special considerations which demonstrate a long term commitment to conservation. (10%)

Nominations for the award should address these three criteria in appropriate detail.

Nominations are welcome from any interested individual or group. The deadline for nominations is August 1, 2018. Membership in the PFA is not a requirement for the nominee or those submitting a nomination. For more information or to submit a nomination, contact the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, Attention: Rothrock Award Chairman, 116 Pine Street, 5th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17101 or email:
Heading Here
Please see the message below from Mike Thomas of the Dauphin County Woodland Owners Association regarding the upcoming Woodland Owner Conference:

Are you interested in learning more about Pennsylvania forests, or maintaining and improving forest diversity on your wooded property? If so, consider registering for an educational one day seminar conducted by the Dauphin County Woodland Owners Association (DCWOA). The DCWOA will host its 8th Annual Woodland Owner’s Conference on Saturday, March 17, 2018, at the Dauphin County Agricultural & Natural Resources Center located at 1451 Peters Mountain Road, Dauphin, Pa.
Today forests cover 59% or 16.7 million acres of Penn’s Woods. Of this total, 29% (4.6 million acres) are publicly owned and 71% (11.9 million acres) are owned by 738,000 households. We all count on these lands for timber, habitat, clean water and air as well as recreation. Managing those woodlands can be a challenge.

This program is free and open to the public. Anyone interested in forest related topics is encouraged to attend. An optional catered lunch will be available for $10 payable at registration. Doors will open at 8:30 AM for registration and refreshments; the program will begin promptly at 9:00 AM. This year’s program will feature a panel of experts making presentations on a wide variety of woodland related topics. The History of the Appalachian Trail and the Civilian Conservation Corps, Spotted Lanternfly and Golden Wing Warbler Management, Do It Yourself - Backyard Forestry, and Tips on Sustainable Timber Management and Hiring a Consulting Forester are among the topics which will be showcased. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to question this diverse panel of experts.
Pre-registration is requested. For more information or to register, contact Katica Cuturic at the Penn State Extension Office – Dauphin County at (717) 921-8803 or by emailing or contact Mike Thomas, President, at, (717) 469-9366 for more information.
Pennsylvania woodlands are an amazing resource that provides untold economic, ecological, and social value to the state’s citizens. One in eight Pennsylvania households own woodland with an average size estimated at between 17 and 21 acres. The Dauphin County Woodland Owners Association is an organization of owners and other members of the public interested in forest related topics. If you share these interests, please consider joining us on Saturday, March 17 th.
Tree Seedling Plantings on State Forest Land
The Pennsylvania Forestry Association (PFA) is pleased to announce the first Henry Wessel Seedling Planting Grant to the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC). Henry Wessel was a long time PFA member, forester and lawyer who participated in many of PFA’s activities. One of his favorites was the tree planting ramble on the Sproul State Forest to replant trees after the Two Rock Run forest fires in Clinton County.

Norm Lacasse hosted all the PFA Rambles and was the spearhead of this effort and first got "Hank" interested. Before he passed on, Hank established a fund to expand planting efforts on state forest land across the Commonwealth. PFA has established the grant process and will be accepting RFP’s each year to continue this work.

PEC, in cooperation with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and other conservation organizations, will be planting tree seedlings on two state forests this year in addition to the original Sproul State Forest Ramble. The additional sites are to restore mined areas to return them to forest land.

Your help is requested for any or all of these efforts. A local meeting area has been established and volunteers will receive instruction and equipment for properly planting tree seedlings. Lunch will also be included. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear for a day (or two) of fun to help establish a new forest.

Opportunities to assist with the planting is listed below:
April 20, 2018 Weiser State Forest 
              8:00 AM – 2:00 PM Meet at Roaring Creek upper lot parking area
              Register: ,, or 412 481-9400
April 20 and 21, 2018 Moshannon State Forest
              8:00 AM – 1:00 PM Meet at Mill Run Road
              Register:, or 412 481-9400
April 28, 2018 PFA Tree Planting Ramble Sproul State Forest
              8:30 AM – 3 PM Meet at Clinton County Visitor Bureau Renovo, PA
              Register: Call 1 800 835-8065 or email
Public invited to “Tree Farm” Field Day
(RUTAN) Arlyn and Marial Perkey, 2017 Pennsylvania Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year, invite you to their Greene County, Pennsylvania Tree Farm. They are anxious to share 27 years of releasing crop trees, controlling invasive species, influencing wildlife habitat, and improving the aesthetic appeal of their 77 acres of forest and grassland. Arlyn, a retired Forest Service Silviculturist, spent much of his career practicing, studying, and writing about crop tree management.

The Field Day will be held Saturday, May 12, 2018 from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm at the Perkey Tree Farm in Rutan Pennsylvania, Greene County. The field day is sponsored by The Pennsylvania Forestry Association Tree Farm Program. 

The Perkeys have engaged 11 presenters to explain numerous forestry and wildlife habitat treatments, share minerals management experiences, discuss forest regeneration practices, and relate road construction and maintenance history. Forestry and natural resource professionals will be stationed along pre-planned walkways discussing various relevant management activities and observations. Visitors will tour the property, spending as much or as little time as they wish at the educational stations they chose to visit. Volunteer ambassadors will help visitors locate and join presentations as they are in progress. Dress appropriately for the weather and your walking ability.

This field day is intended for landowners and others interested in forests and wildlife. It will provide attendees with a better understanding of how forests are managed for many objectives including, timber, wildlife, water, recreation, energy (natural gas), and the conservation of unique areas. The field day will provide information to participants on how they can begin to manage their own properties to meet various objectives. This field day will emphasize walking and talking vs. sitting and listening.

Those interested in attending must pre-register by Monday May 7, 2018. There is a $20.00 per person registration fee which includes lunch, refreshments, and educational materials. To register please contact the Pennsylvania Forestry Association at 1-800-835-8065 or email For questions please contact the Penn State Extension office in Centre County at 814-355-4897 or e-mail
Mifflin, Juniata, Perry County Woodland Owners Association Announces 2018 Schedule
March 24
Your Woodland Legacy: Tools for Estate Planning
Presenter: Dr. Allyson Muth, Forest Stewardship Program Associate , Penn State
Presenter: Attorney Karen Hackman, RHP Law Group
Location: Tuscarora State Forest Office 4455 Big Spring Rd. Blain, PA 17006
Contact Person: Luke Book - 717-536-3191

April 28
9:00-2:00 pm
Kid Connection
(volunteer at MJPWOA booth)
Location: Downtown Lewistown
Presenters: Gerald Hoy, BOF Volunteers - Mifflin WOA
Contact Person: Gerald Hoy - 570-922-3344

June 8
6:00-8:00 pm
Good Warbler Habitat = Good Deer Habitat—Tour
Location: Tuscarora Grange Hall,
Route 75, near Fisher Lane,
1/2 mile north of East Waterford, PA
Presenters: Brent Knepp - Landowner, Melissa Erdman - NRCS
Contact Person: Luke Book - 717-536-3191

June 15
9:00-3:30 pm
Agroforestry Workshop
Location: Reedsville Vol. Fire Company
August 31 @ 6:00-8:00 pm Chesapeake Bay & Riparian Forest Buffers site visit
Location: Union Twp. Building
95 North Penn Street
Belleville, PA 17004
Presenters: Trevor Weaver, Mifflin Conservation Adrienne Gemberling, Chesapeake Conservancy
Contact Person: Dan Dunmire - 717-248-4695
In the news
Last summer, one of the many fires with which federal and local officials had to contend raged in the Umpqua National Forest in southwest Oregon, close to the California border. During one flight over the fire in August, a Bureau of Land Management pilot saw something he later said “wasn’t supposed to be... -  Washington Post

  (Press Release)

The tree canopy in Allegheny County is in decline, a trend that hurts the region’s natural stormwater flooding and landslide management capabilities, according to Matt Erb, director of urban forestry at Tree Pittsburgh. Mr. Erb said the environmental nonprofit’s tree canopy survey report,... -  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  (Press Release)

Losing habitat to shopping centers, residential developments and invasive species that destroy dense forests has made life difficult -- in some places impossible -- for Pennsylvania’s state bird, the ruffed grouse. Now, add to the list West Nile virus. During an internet seminar last week, the Pennsylvania Game Commission... -  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Pennsylvania Forestry Association | 1(800) 835-8065 | |