Back to the Future: Forest Health and Sustainability

April 25-27, 2024, in Sitka, Alaska, at Harrigan Centennial Hall and a virtual option is available.

Mature Sitka spruce stand in Alaska
Photo credit Sheila Spores

The annual meeting agenda will feature general sessions, a field trip, and networking opportunities. General session presentations will include topics important to the health and sustainability of forests and ecosystems in southeast Alaska such as timber harvest and forest products; insects and disease conditions; continued warming and changing precipitation patterns and how changes are expected to amplify interactions among disturbance agents and alter forest ecosystem structure and function; collaborative efforts to use local wood products for affordable housing in Sitka; carbon credits; forest restoration, and more.

The field trip will visit a managed young-growth stand and recreational cabin constructed from thinned trees in the morning and in the afternoon feature a boat tour of the Sitka Sound area.


Online registration for in-person closes April 22.
Online registration for virtual closes April 24.

In-Person
SAF-member: $165, Field trip $65
Non-SAF member: $215, Field trip $85
Student: $100, Field trip $25

(Registration includes the Friday night awards banquet. Choice of ribeye, local fish or vegetarian entree.)

Virtual
SAF-member: $50
Non-SAF member: $70
Student: $40

Field trip only
SAF member: $65
Non-SAF member: $85
Student: $25

Banquet only: $55

  • Sheila Spores, Forest Management Staff Officer, Tongass National Forest
  • Damien Zona, Regional Silviculturist, USDA Forest Service, Alaska Region
  • Elizabeth Graham, Entomologist, Forest Health Protection Southeast Field Office, Juneau Forestry Sciences Laboratory
  • Robin Mulvey, Forest Pathologist, Forest Health Protection Southeast Field Office, Juneau Forestry Sciences Laboratory
  • Kellen Nelson, PhD, Research Forester, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Juneau Forestry Sciences Laboratory
  • Jessie Young Robertson, University of Fairbanks, Institute of Agriculture, Natural Resource and Extension
  • Chris Fettig, Research Entomologist, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station
  • Brian Kleinhenz, Terra Verde Inc
  • Chris Maisch
  • Matt Labrenze, Forest Products Specialist, University of Alaska Fairbanks – Cooperative Extension Service

Alaska’s forests have a lot to offer, from wildlife habitat to recreation uses to forest products. New opportunities in Alaska are developing all the time. This session will explore opportunities for accessible and sustainable approaches to wood utilization in Alaska. Topics will include learning about biochar, the new Alaska local-use lumber program, industry perspectives, and grant opportunities for wood utilization projects.

  • Matt Labrenz, Forest Products Specialist, University of Alaska Fairbanks – Cooperative Extension Service
  • Darren McAvoy, Extension Associate Professor, Utah State University
  • Priscilla Morris, Wood Utilization Program Manager, USDA – Forest Service
  • Moderator: Jeremy Douse, Alaska Division of Forestry & Fire Protection

  • Bob Christensen, Sustainable Southeast Partnership
  • Ian Johnson, Hoonah Indian Association, Environmental Coordinator, Sustainable Southeast Partnership, Community Catalyst  
  • Katherine Prussian, Watershed Program Manager, USDA Forest Service Tongass National Forest 
  • Julia Nave, Program Director, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Juneau Field office
  • Samia Savell, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Juneau Field office,
  • Scott Leorna, PhD, Alaska Regional Conservation Coordinator, Mule Deer Foundation
  • Eric Garner, District Ranger Sitka Ranger District, Tongass National Forest
  • TJ Witherspoon, Silviculturist, Sitka Ranger District, Tongass National Forest,
  • Andrew Thoms – Executive Director, Sitka Conservation Society

  • The awards banquet will be held at the Westmark Hotel. The featured speaker is TBD.

The field trip will visit a managed young-growth stand and recreational cabin constructed from thinned trees in the morning. The afternoon session features a boat tour of the Sitka Sound area. We will be back in town from the morning portion of the trip for lunch on your own in town from 12-1 p.m.  A minimum of 15 attendees is needed for the boat tour.

CEUs will be available for attending the annual meeting.

We have a small block of rooms reserved at the Sitka Aspen for $159+tax. Guests can call the hotel at (907) 747-3477 to book reservations using the group code SOAFAK.

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