Posted: January 14, 2020

As the Pennsylvania Forestry Association (PFA), the oldest state forest conservation organization in the US, continues, I am honored and humbled to take on the role of President of the organization.

Over the past two years, Richard Lewis has served us well and moved us forward. He has been instrumental in partnering us with several organizations and strengthening ties we have with others. Thank you, Richard, for the tireless hard work you have put in on behalf of the PFA. You are a hard act to follow.

As for myself, I am a retired Certified Executive Chef. I am currently President of the Howard Volunteer Fire Company where I am very active as an EMT, Certified Swiftwater Rescue Tech, Vehicle Rescue Tech, Exterior Firefighter, and Fire Policeman. I also direct all fundraising catering for the Fire Company. I live on a 210-acre property which is combined from three related owners under one forestry plan. We are a Certified PA Tree Farm, a Forest Stewardship Forest, and registered under Forestry for the Bay. I served as President of the Woodland Owners of Centre County for 12 years and am a member of the 2001 class of PA Forest Stewards. I take advantage of every opportunity to spread the word on forest management, landowner training, and deer management.

With many sources of information available to people with questions on forests, it is often confusing on where to turn for specific answers. Moving forward, we plan to see continued advancement of PFA as the one-stop information shop for all things forestry-related in Pennsylvania. PFA is either able to give direct answers or direct inquiries to the proper resource. With our strong relationships with DCNR, the Center for Private Forests at Penn State, the PA Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee, PSU Extension Foresters, the PA Hardwood Development Council, the PA Forest Products Association, the PA Game Commission, and the PA Fish and Boat Commission, we are well on our way toward that position.

PA Tree Farm has had a smooth transition to a certifying entity. While we lost many tree farms who did not want to pay for certification, more than expected moved forward with the change. The end result is a stronger and more relevant organization under the PFA umbrella. I strongly encourage those who have not entered their forestland into the Tree Farm system to do so. This is the only way to certify small private forests as sustainably managed. As international buyers demand more certified wood, this certification will become more valuable.

We are currently in a good financial position. However, that does not take the pressure off of fundraising. Our Annual Conservation Dinner at the Genetti Hotel in Williamsport on March 7, 2020 is the main fundraiser for the PFA. Consider the purchase of a $100 ticket. Only 350 tickets are sold and one of those ticket holders will walk away with the $10,000 top prize. Additionally there are live and silent auctions. Contact the PFA office at 800-835-8065 or to get your ticket. The Annual Symposium to be held on October 3, 2020 will be the third using the new one-day format. This has proven to be a popular event with great, informative speakers. The quarterly award-winning Pennsylvania Forests magazine and monthly eBlast News You Can Use continue to present important information for all who have a hand in our great forests. If you are not already a member of PFA, consider becoming one for a low annual cost of $30. Sign up at a PFA event and your first year will be half price. Join us in working to keep Pennsylvania forests growing stronger.

Looking forward, there are plans in the works to join the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. There are active Task Groups tackling Deer Management and Carbon Credits for Private Landowners. The Big Tree Program is being updated, and we hope to see an improved website and better location of information so people may easily find and view the big trees of Pennsylvania. The Forest Heritage Committee is working to set up a new venue to display acquired artifacts in a planned new DCNR building.

I look forward to the next two years as PFA President. There is always a lot of work to do. We have a great group of people serving on the Board and on the very active committees of the Association. With continued momentum, we shall get much work done. Please support our efforts with your donations, through both monetary and auction items for the Conservation Dinner, by purchasing Conservation Dinner tickets, and by volunteering to give a committee a hand in their work. We are here for you; consider being here for us.

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802