The Wisconsin Chapter of the Society of American Foresters (WI SAF) recently joined the Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership, adding a respected, accredited group of natural resource professionals to the statewide effort to increase the amount of young forest to benefit wildlife, people and forest health and diversity in the Badger State.
“WI SAF is excited to partner with the diverse groups involved in this effort,” said Tom Hittle, past State Chair and current State Policy Chair for the chapter. “This presents an excellent opportunity to enhance the connection between professional resource managers, landowners, and the entire Wisconsin forestry community.”
The Society of American Foresters is the national scientific and educational organization representing the forestry profession in the United States. Founded in 1900 by famed conservationist Gifford Pinchot, it has grown to become the largest professional society for foresters in the world.
The SAF’s mission is to advance the science, education, technology and practice of forestry; to enhance the competency of its members; to establish professional excellence; and to use the knowledge, skills and conservation ethic of the profession to ensure the continued health and use of forest ecosystems and the present and future availability of forest resources to benefit society.
The Wisconsin chapter has about 400 members who “represent all segments of the forestry profession in Wisconsin,” Hittle said. “Our membership includes natural resource professionals in public and private settings, researchers, CEOs, administrators, educators, forest technicians and students.”
According to the group’s website, Wisconsin SAF members in their various professional jobs play a major role in managing the 16 million acres of public and private forested land in Wisconsin.
Those forests, the website notes, “provide a variety of benefits for Wisconsin residents and the nation in the form of wildlife, water, recreation and forest products. The forestry profession has adapted to changing priorities for Wisconsin’s forests. During the early days of economic and community development, the emphasis was on timber production. Today, foresters manage for a rich diversity of forest resources to achieve landowner objectives and meet society’s needs and the needs of future generations.”
Added Jeremy Holtz, Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership facilitator, “The mission of the Society of American Forests – to be responsible stewards of the earth’s forests while meeting society’s vital needs – is directly in line with that of the WYFP.”
Holtz also noted that “Many of the cooperating foresters and forestry professionals we already work with through the Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership are affiliated with or receive training from SAF. This is the first professional society to formally partner with our group. The Society makes a great addition to the diverse composition of our partners, who include forest industry representatives, government agencies and non-government organizations.”
Holtz added, “We look forward to working with WI SAF members as our Partnership expands various programs such as outreach, landowner assistance and monitoring of wildlife response to forestry practices on public and private forests across Wisconsin.”