Bruce Wakeland of Culver received the 2019 John F. Datena Distinguished Forester Award at the recent Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association annual conference. Bruce has been a consulting forester for over 40 years and planted over 10 million trees in his career. He has been especially active in the restoration of American Chestnut, founding the Indiana chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation and on the national board of directors since 1993.
This award recognizes Wakeland’s career as a leader in forest conservation and his support for Indiana woodland owners. He donated 129 acres to create the public Starke County Forest and volunteers to manage it.
After graduating from Purdue University in forest management, Bruce started his career in the region as a private forestry consultant under the mentorship of Stanley Hensler, another honoree. In 1976, he started his own consulting practice and has mentored seven other foresters.
This award was presented by the Indiana Hardwoods Lumbermen’s Association, Indiana Association of Consulting Foresters, Indiana Society of American Foresters, and Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association.