Steven W. Koehn

B.S., Forest Science, 1983

As an undergraduate student, Steven W. Koehn was active in the Forestry Society and on the Sylvan staff.  After completing his B.S. in Forest Science in 1983, he was hired by The James M. Vardaman and Co., a forestry consulting firm with a branch office in Columbia, SC. 

About one and a half years later, Steve started his long and distinguished career with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Forest Service, where he is now Director/State Forester.  He initially served as Project Forester (Oct. 1984 - Jan. 1990), administering all of the Cooperative Management Programs in Baltimore County, MD, including Forest Resource Management, Forest Product Utilization, Forest Fire Protection, and Urban and Community Forestry.

As Supervisor of Resources Management for the State of Maryland (Jan. 1990 - Sept. 1991), Steve served as staff specialist to the State Forester and was responsible for the agency’s support for private forest management, including the landowner forest stewardship plans, a diversity of incentive programs, and the operation of demonstration forests.

From Sept. 1991 through February 2001, Steve served as Associate Director, responsible for the direction and coordination of several major programs including Private and Public Land Forest Stewardship, Urban and Community Forestry, Wildland Fire Prevention and Suppression, and Chesapeake Bay programming.  He launched innovative new programs to restore riparian forests, target land conservation to high-priority watersheds, and work with local governments to achieve urban tree canopy expansion goals. Steve pioneered a set of initiatives that made strong links between healthy forests and the water quality of local rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.   

Steve was appointed Director/State Forester in February 2001 and is responsible for statewide delivery of all technical and financial forestry assistance on both public and private lands.  Steve oversaw the effort to transfer the State Forest system from the Maryland Park Service back to the Maryland Forest Service and to dual certify the entire State Forest system, some 211,000 acres, to Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Forest Stewardship Council standards.

In addition to his work with Maryland DNR, Steve was an instructor at John Hopkins University for nine years (1993-2002).  He taught forest ecology, forest management, forest stand delineation, and forest conservation planning at the School of Professional Studies in Business Education in the noncredit liberal arts program.

Steve is a licensed professional forester, tree care expert, and forest warden in the state of Maryland.  In addition, he has earned certificates from the SAF Leadership Academy (1994), the Government Executive Institute at the University of Maryland (1996), Foresters Becoming Executives at Yale University (2007), and Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government (2007).

Steve has been very active in the forestry profession.  He served as president of the National Association of State Forester (NASF) in 2009-10, and currently serves NASF as Chair of the Forest Resource Management Committee.  Steve also sits on the NASF Foundation, serving as its secretary and treasurer.  He has served as the president of the Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters (2005-06).  He has been a member of the Society of American Foresters since 1983 and served as chair of the Maryland/Delaware Division in 2000-01.  He is currently an ex officio member of Maryland Forests Association Board of Governors and the Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards, Executive Committee.

Steve played a vital leadership role in the passage of the Maryland Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009.  This historic act recognizes that healthy forests are essential to a cleaner Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.  It encourages Maryland landowners and local governments to protect their forested areas and practice sound, sustainable forestry and stewardship.  The Maryland Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009 was recognized as the nation’s Outstanding Forestry Law of the year for 2009 by the National Woodland Owner’s Association.

For his continuing efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay and other waters in his state, Steve received the Arbor Day Foundation’s 2010 Champion of Trees Awards.

In December 2010, Steve was elected to the independent Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) Board of Directors where he actively supports efforts to raise the awareness of the role that certification plays in encouraging sustainable forest management.

In February 2011, Steve became the vice chair of the American Forest Foundation’s Woodland Committee and sits on AFF’s Board of Trustees.  As incoming chair of the Woodland Committee and member of the Board of Trustees, Steve works closely with AFF staff in furtherance of the foundation’s mission to help private forest owners keep their land in forests and manage them sustainably.  He does this by providing leadership and direction, including the initiation of strategies and programs that advance the continued practice of sustainable forestry and conservation initiatives for family forests.

Steve continued his service to the forestry profession by participating on SAF’s Accreditation Review Team that visited North Carolina State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Steve’s community service has included coaching recreation and travel girls youth soccer and softball.  He has been an active member of Hereford United Methodist Church where he has served as head usher and on several committees including Worship, Trustees, and Men’s Bible Study.

Steve resides in Parkton, MD, and was raised in suburban Tenafly, NJ.  He is the son of Raymond and Esther Koehn who still reside in that Bergen County community.  Steve has been married to Barbara Duggan Koehn, his high school sweetheart, for 31 years and together they are the proud parents of Jaclyn who’s 24 and Sarah who’s 21.  Jackie holds a master’s in Earth and Environmental Resource Management from the University of South Carolina and Sarah is currently pursuing a master’s in Athletic Training Sports Medicine at Ohio University.