In 1958 the University of Georgia initiated and hosted the first Forestry Conclave at Rock Eagle 4-H Camp near Eatonton. The purpose of Conclave, which means confidential or private meeting, was to promote cooperation and friendly competition among forestry schools across the Southeast. Just as importantly, it was meant to establish and maintain a high standard of ethics among students and professional foresters.
Eight Southern forestry schools competed in that first Conclave with 150 students competing in events such as archery, axe-throwing, pole climbing, log rolling, compass and pacing, timber estimation, and cross-cut saw competition. Today the Forestry Conclave has grown to include 15 schools and more than 250 contestants.
By 1962, rivalries between the schools began to surface. "Georgia enrolls professionals the semester before Conclave," was an oft repeated rumor for a while because UGA won four of the first five contests. Since then Conclave has become much more competitive, and no one school dominates year after year.
Order of Host Schools, by Year
- 2009 Alabama A&M University
- 2010 University of Arkansas-Monticello
- 2011 University of Georgia
- 2012 Oklahoma State University
- 2013 North Carolina State University
- 2014 Auburn University
- 2015 Virgina Tech University
- 2016 Texas A&M University
- 2017 Clemson
- 2018 Mississippi State University
- 2019 Stephen F. Austin State University
- 2020 Louisiana Tech University
- 2021 University of Tennessee
Southeastern wildlife conclave is a friendly competition open to all colleges and universities located in TWS's southeastern region that have an official student chapter of TWS. The event includes field competitions, such as game calling, radio telemetry, archery and plant identification contests; quiz bowl, which test the knowledge of students who study wildlife management, biology and ecology; social events; and an awards ceremony to recognize students and chapters that achieve the greatest success at individual events, and group competitions.
The UGA Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society has earned a legacy as the most successful chapter in the 34 years conclave has been held, with several overall victories, including the past three years competing. The UGA student chapter was also selected as "Chapter of the Year" for 2005. This award recognized the chapter's excellent record of activities and accomplishments in 2004.