Francis H. Raymond was born in Florence, Oregon on November 5, 1906; attended high school in Miami Florida; graduated from Colorado College in 1930 with a degree in Forestry; married his fellow classmate Muzzelle Mather on July 16, 1930 in Santa Cruz, California; worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a Lookout and Road Checker; and then for the California Forest Experiment Station in the Statewide Vegetation Type Mapping Project.
In June of 1931, he was appointed as an Assistant State Forest Ranger in Monterey County for the California Division of Forestry (at 0 per month), and worked in many positions for CDF including Forest Technician, Ranger, and Deputy State Forester. In 1953, he was appointed Chief Deputy State Forester, and in June of 1955, was permanently appointed as State Forester of California.
During his tenure, he served as President of the national Association of State Foresters; helped establish and served as the Chairman of the Western Forest Fire Research Council; was the first President of Forestry’s 25-Year Club; and was an active member of the California-Nevada-Hawaii Forest Fire Committee of the Western Forestry and Conservation Association.
He retired in August of 1970 after 40 years of service with the CDF. That year he was presented the Silver Smokey Award for outstanding service by the National Fire Prevention Committee.
He then agreed to work as a legislative advocate for the introduction and passage of a bill calling for the licensing of professional foresters. Representing the Society of American Foresters and the Association of Consulting Foresters he was successful in his efforts and was awarded for his efforts by receiving Registered Professional Foresters License Number 1; and served for seven years on the Board of Forestry’s Professional Foresters Examining Committee.
Concerned over political attacks on the CDF, Raymond took it upon himself to push for departmental status. He was successful in getting a bill to the Governor’s desk in 1970, where it was vetoed. He continued to lobby and on January 1, 1977, the Department of Forestry was created. He was instrumental in establishing an Annual Legislative Forestry Forum as SAF Northern California Section Liaison Officer. In 1976, he was recognized by the Section for his contributions, and in 1979 was elected to the status of Fellow of the Society of American Foresters.
In 1980, the U.S. Forest Service in celebration of its 75th Anniversary recognized Francis for his significant contributions to forestry in the United States. In 1979, Francis had bypass surgery, and on January 10, 1984, he succumbed to lung cancer.
To honor the work done by Francis H. Raymond, Staff Chief Brian R. Barrette petitioned the California State Board of Forestry to create a F.H. Raymond Award to be given to an individual or organization for outstanding contributions during the prior five years to the protection and wise use of forest resources in California. The Award recognizes outstanding performances in management, research, education, and seeking public awareness of forest resources. Since 1987 the Board has presented the Francis H. Raymond Award on a nearly annual basis.
Past Recipients of the Francis H. Raymond Award
Contributions to endow the Francis H. Raymond Award are greatly appreciated. The stipend that accompanies this Award depends on the interest earned from donations made to the Francis H. Raymond Fund. For further information or to make a donation, please contact Matt Dias, Licensing Officer of the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection at 916-653-8031 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.