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Joseph E. Ibberson

B.S. Forestry, 1947

Joseph E. Ibberson earned a B.S. in Forestry at Penn State in 1947 and an M.F. from Yale in 1948. Before college he served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945.

After graduation from Yale, Ibberson was recruited and hired by the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters, Bureau of Forestry, to develop management plans for the two million acres of Pennsylvania state forestland. By 1955, all of the forests were mapped and had management plans.

Ibberson then initiated the Division of Forest Advisory Services—a group of specialists in silviculture, planning, management, entomology, pathology, genetics, wildlife, biometrics, and computer applications—to further expand the management plans and target the preservation of endangered species and wetlands. He was responsible for innovative programs in forest inventory, pest control, tree improvement, nurseries, and service to private forest landowners. He started the first program to control damaging insects and diseases. This program grew to become the Division of Forest Pest Management. He started the first meaningful service forester program and now there is a service forester in almost every county giving valuable assistance and advice related to proper forest resources management to private forest owners.

For several years after retiring in 1977 as Chief of Forest Advisory Services, Ibberson operated a highly successful forestry consulting business. He practiced what he preached. He combined more than 2,000 acres of fragmented forested parcels into several larger tree farms and actively managed them.

Ibberson is also an active member of the Pennsylvania Forestry Association. He established and funded an endowment with that organization to foster the conservation and wise use of all forestland in Pennsylvania.

In 1998, Ibberson donated a 350-acre forest tract to the Commonwealth for restricted outdoor use by the public. It became the first Conservation Area in the Bureau of State Parks. His gifts of land, ideas, and advice have paved the way for future donations that are already underway.

The School of Forest Resources is especially appreciative of the endowed Joseph E. Ibberson Chair in Forest Resources Management, filled for the first time in 2002, which will be instrumental in training future foresters to work with owners of private forest lands and consultants. Mr. Ibberson has also initiated plans to endow a second chair in the School of Forest Resources with a focus on urban and community forestry.

Ibberson’s numerous and well-deserved awards include the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Wildlife Conservation Award (1977), the American Forest Foundation’s (AFF’s) Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Award for Pennsylvania (1988), the AFF’s Outstanding Management of Resources Award for the northeastern states (1999), the Forest Stewardship Conservation Award from the Dauphin County Conservation Commission (1999), and the Pennsylvania Landowner of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Wildlife Society and the Audubon Society (2001). He has been a member of the Society of American Foresters for 49 years, and was elected to the prestigious rank of Fellow in 2001.

Ibberson’s entire career has been devoted to fostering the conservation and wise use of Pennsylvania’s forestlands.

March 2003