State officials joined members of the Society of American Foresters on Nov. 2 to plant a live oak tree near the State Capitol.

The tree was planted at Fourth Street and Spanish Town Road to commemorate the opening of the national Society of American Foresters convention in Baton Rouge.

The national meeting, the first of its kind in Louisiana’s capital city, was Nov. 3-7.

The professional society, headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, includes foresters, wildlife managers, and educators in the forestry field, along with students enrolled in forestry curriculums.

“We are excited to be bringing more than 1,400 forestry professionals to Louisiana,” said Matt Menashes, the chief executive officer for the SAF. “The Bayou State is special because this is where all the natural resource professions, from forestry to wildlife and fisheries management, from oceanography to geology, and from geography to economics, remain so important, so essential to the people of the community.”

The live oak represents “one of the hardiest trees that survived Hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” said C.A. “Buck” Vandersteen, program director for the convention, who is also the executive director of the Louisiana Forestry Association.

On hand for the planting were Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, State Forester Wade Dubea and SAF President Robert Alverts.