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Pennsylvania Tree Farm Committee Notes

Posted: January 13, 2017

Winter 2017 Update from the PA Tree Farm Committee

This year is the 75th anniversary of the American Tree Farm System. Pennsylvania joined the program on October 29, 1947 with nine properties. As we celebrate this milestone, we’d like to take the time to honor and thank our PA Tree Farmers and volunteers, forest partners, and others who have invested time, energy, and hard work in the program. On December 8, the committee held a celebration of this achievement. In addition, Governor Tom Wolf issued a proclamation congratulating the American Tree Farm System, the Pennsylvania Tree Farm Committee, and Pennsylvania’s DCNR Bureau of Forestry for their dedication to environmentalism. Congratulations to all!

Tree Farm and PFA Merger Update

After a comprehensive strategic planning process, the Pennsylvania Tree Farm Committee (TFC) voted to pursue third-party certification of PA Tree Farms through the American Tree Farm System. This action will yield current and future benefits for PA certified Tree Farms. To be a “Certified Tree Farm” means PA Tree Farmers will join an elite group of Tree Farmers recognized globally for sustainable forest management. The ability to offer certified products supports Pennsylvania’s vibrant forest products industry as new “certified” wood markets and products are developed and expanded.

It was recognized early on that Tree Farm certification will require professional record keeping and administration. To this end, the TFC voted to consolidate with the Pennsylvania Forestry Association (PFA). Both organizations share the objective of sustainable management of Pennsylvania’s timber, water, recreation and wildlife resources. The two organizations are moving ahead with a plan to consolidate their operations. Basically PFA has become the “administrative home” for the TFC. With this merger, PFA happily welcomes the approximately 750 Pennsylvania Tree Farmers to PFA membership.

Some other changes occurring are:

  • The TFC is now a PFA Standing Committee and as such will report quarterly to the PFA Board of Directors.
  • The TFC will continue to meet quarterly to conduct Tree Farm business, manage the Tree Farm Inspector Base, and schedule Tree Farm inspections.
  • Tree Farm members will begin receiving Pennsylvania Forests magazine in 2017 and the PFA monthly electronic newsletter “Forestry News You Can Use” beginning in December 2016.
  • Tree Farmers will receive a PFA membership for 2017. Thereafter Tree Farmers will be invoiced for annual dues of approximately. $50-$100 in October 2017.

PFA and the TFC look forward to blending their programs. If you have questions, please mail, phone, or the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, 116 Pine Street, 5th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17101, 1-800-835-8065 or 717-234-2500.