Committees and working groups
- Field committee.
- Communication committee (or COM-COM)
2. Working groups (or Sub-Committees) :
- Sandstone careers and cutters group.
- Remarkable Trees group.
- Milestones group.
The Field Committee is the operational organization of the Association des Amis de la Forêt (AFF). It has the responsibility of every positive action on the field. This is done in cooperation with the agents of the National Forest Office (ONF). It has 50 members, all benevolent, comprising 40 footpath mainteners.
The Field Committee takes in charge the maintenance of all marked footpaths in the Fontainebleau forest (except the walking trails GR and PR maintained by the Fédération Française de la Randonnée Pédestre, PR of the Parc Naturel Régional du Gâtinais and horse trails maintained by the ONF). The AFF marked footpaths net (more than 300 km) includes the Denecourt Blue Footpaths, the diverse circuits discovery and walking footpaths created by the ONF (14 paths in 2011), the famous 25 humps circuit in the Massif des Trois Pignons and the Bicycle Tour around the Fontainebleau Massif (TMV). All those paths are described in the Footpaths Guide (Guide des Sentiers de Promenade).
The Field Committee has also in charge the permanent inventory of the Remarkable Trees of the Fontainebleau Forest ; the études historical studies on the milestones belonging to the three domanial forests around Fontainebleau ; and the search, inventory and conservation of the houses, working sites and every remains of the sandstone cutters during the last centuries. These missions are given to three sub-committees: Remarkable Trees, Milestones, and Sandstone Careers and Cutters. Their activities are described in specific pages of the site. All this work is done in tight cooperation with the ONF.
Moreover, the Field Committee, having a thourough knowledge of the forest, is a recognized partner of the ONF in various committees managing all aspects of the forest : public welcome, erosion, communication, etc... It is also a very active partner of the Institut Géographique National (IGN) to elaborate and update the maps, especially the famous 1/25000, n° 2417 OT, of the Fontainebleau Forest.
Last, the Field Committee is responsible for two AFF publications : The Footpaths Guide (Guide des Sentiers de Promenade dans le Massif Forestier de Fontainebleau) and the Guide of the Remarkable Trees, both regularly updated.
A slideshow explains everything about footpath marrking and maintenance. A guide is in preparation about the same topic
The communication committee (CC) has in charge the coordination of the Association’s communications under control of the Board of administrators which validates his proposals.
The AFF communication relies on some positive actions:
- coordinate the information given to members and to the public (Green Leaf, Forest Voice, web site, poster exhibitions…).
- coordinate the participation of AFF to some manifestations organized in the cities around the forest, with the help of our corresponding members.
- transmit to the local media every information about AFF and their positions and activiies.
- represent the AFF at the communication committee of the National Forest Office (ONF).
The CC delivers a formation to members willing to engage in communication actions in their cities or in the forest.
Working Group : Sandstone Careers and Cutters
The creation of this group has been approved by the Board of Directors of the AFF during his meeting the 5th of December, 2009 to which the Regional Director of the ONF was represented. ONF and AFF sharing the same point of view about the patrimonial interest presented by the sandstone cutters’ houses and careers in the forest, they decided to share their ressources to ensure their safeguard.
Role : Study the old carreers of sandstone in the Fontainebleau Forest. This search can be extended outside the Fontainebleau area and include an historical study over the preceding centuries.
Means : Do field inspections and maps. Every house in the domanial forests of Fontainebleau and Trois pignons are registrated, conserved, maintained and for some restaurated. Every restauration is done in coordination with the ONF.
Proceed to searches about the techniques of sandstone exploitation (means, tools, etc), the productions and the life of the sandstone cutters. Publish those works.
Remarkable Trees Working Group
This sub-committee / Working Group, in his actual form, Has been officially set in place in 1993. It maintains the legacy of famous predecessors : C.F. Denecourt (from 1839), followed by Ch. Colinet, then by his wife who kept with their register « old barks» more than 450 remarkable trees which appeared in their last guide/indicator published in 1921.
From 1993 to 1998, the Working Group set a program of forest prospection as thourough as possible in the fontainebleau Forest. This ended with an elective visit of the selected trees by ONF and AFF together in order to set the final inventory. The AFF could then edit and publish their famous « Guide des Arbres Remarquables du Massif Forestier de Fontainebleau » (80 species et 935 trees). It has been regularly updated and republished since.
Photo : L.R. Theurot
Role : An inventory of the remarkable trees, living beings, is by nature evolutive. Hence the following missions have been given to the Working Group :
- continue the search of remarkable trees, maintain the protected trees and their blue spot, by cutting the vegetation around them and preserving their environment.
- Keep the list of the Remarkable Trees Candidates to replace old trees, either dead, or deperishing, or victims of hurricanes, or cutted accidentally.
- publish regularly the updates about the remarkable Trees on the website of the AFF
- It is an active member of the Committee Piloting the inventory of the arbres remarkable trees in Seine et Marne under behalf of the Council for Architecture, Urbanism and Environment (CAUE77).
- It reports its works regularly at the Field Committee.