Free Fuel Reduction Workshop for Central/Eastern WA

More than $3 million is available for Eastern Washington forest landowners to promote forest health, reduce impacts of wildfire

The Southeast Region of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is offering two free workshops for contractors interested in working on fuel reduction projects with private landowners. Such projects may be eligible for DNR cost-share funding.

The program provides benefits to new contractors, including opportunities for existing contractors to learn about changes to the program, meet with a representative from the state Department of Revenue (DOR) regarding taxes, and to gain insight into the program.

“This is a great opportunity for contractors to learn how to mitigate fire danger and offer a service that helps clients protect their property,” said Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands. “Now is a great time of year to learn these tools and make these connections, so homeowners are better prepared going into wildfire season.”

DNR’s 20 Year Forest Health Strategic Plan prioritizes the forest health and forest resiliency of Eastern Washington forests and reducing the impact of wildfires to our communities. More than $3 million in grants is available annually to forest landowners in Eastern Washington to share the cost of wildfire mitigation work needed on their property.

The two workshops offered in Southeast Region will cover:

  • How to get on the DNR list of fuel reduction contractors
  • Information to help forest landowners sign up for funding
  • Tax information from a DOR representative
  • Burning: Permitted and prescribed burns
  • Step-by-step details on how the program works, from setup to payment
  • How to successfully complete forest health and wildfire mitigation work
  • Contact information for DNR service foresters

While this workshop is focused on contractors, anyone from the public is welcome to attend.

There is no cost to attend. Pre-registration is preferred. Please contact Emily Torrance-Smith at if you are planning to attend in person, or if you would like access to a virtual option. That link will be sent out on Monday, Jan. 22. 

Who:                     Forest Contractors

What:                    Free Fuel Reduction Contractor Workshop


Wednesday January 24, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 240 35th St NW East Wenatchee, WA 98802

Wednesday, February 7, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 625 Swift Blvd. Richland, WA 99352

Annette Painovich
Forest Practices Coordinator
Northeast Region
Desk: 509-685-2796
Cell: 509-680-3584

Plan to attend the WSSAF 2024 Forest Products Legislative Reception on January 11, 2024

Applications for the 2024-25 WSSAF Foundation’s Scholarships now open

The Washington State Society of American Foresters (WSSAF) is accepting scholarship applications from students pursuing a degree in forestry. The scholarship is available to individuals who will be attending full time during the 2024–25 school year in a forestry program at one of the following schools:

  • University of Washington, Seattle
  • Washington State University, Pullman
  • Green River College
  • Spokane Community College
  • Grays Harbor College
  • Washington State residents attending an SAF-accredited program (outside of Washington State) in professional forestry or forest technology.

The application must be sponsored by a member of SAF. 

The successful applicant(s) will be awarded a minimum of $1,000, receive complimentary registration to the 2024 WSSAF Annual Meeting (being held April 3-5, 2024 at Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, WA) and a complimentary one-year student membership to SAF. To receive payment, the successful applicant will be required to submit an enrollment verification form to the WSSAF.

The Society of American Foresters (SAF) is the national scientific and educational organization representing the forestry profession in the United States. Founded in 1900 by Gifford Pinchot, it is the largest professional society for foresters in the world.

The mission of the Society of American Foresters is to advance the science, education, technology, and practice of forestry; to enhance the competency of its members; to establish professional excellence; and, to use the knowledge, skills, and conservation ethic of the profession to ensure the continued health and use of forest ecosystems and the present and future availability of forest resources to benefit society.

Requirements: Complete the application form along with the additional requested documents and e-email the scholarship package to: Chuck Lorenz cwlsaf(at) The documents should be received no later than March 1, 2024. A receipt of application will be sent by March 11, 2024. The successful applicant(s) will be announced at the 2024 WSSAF Annual Meeting.

WSSAF 2023-2024 Awards Nominations open

Member nominations are being sought by the Washington State Society of American Foresters (WSSAF) Awards Committee for 2023-2024 for three categories: Forester of the Year, Chapter of the Year, and SAF District 1 Presidential Field Forester of the Year.

To receive the Award nomination form, please contact 2023/24 WSSAF Awards Committee Chair: Bill Horn, email hornbill66(at) WSSAF Award nominations are due March 5, 2024 and the Presidential Field Forester Award nomination are due to February 15, 2024

To learn more and download the nomination form (PDF)

Presidential Field Forester Award for District 1 (Alaska, Inland Empire and Washington State SAF) will be presented at the next National SAF Convention.

The Washington State SAF Awards will be presented at the 2024 WSSAF Annual Meeting (April 3-5, 2024).

Forester of the Year

To be presented annually to a member of the Washington State Society of American Foresers selected to be recognized by his/her peers for contributing to both the profession and the public through application of his/her professional skills to the advancement of forestry in Washington State and through public service that benefits his/her community or some larger segment of society.  The selection committee is made up of the five (5) previous Foresters of the Year with their chair being the most recent recipient,

Chapter Achievement Award

To be presented to a Washington State Society Chapter which has made extraordinary achievements in membership, service to members, community service, and chapter management and participated in forest policy and legislation in the preceding year.  Chapters are required to submit achievement data for the preceding year to qualify for the award.  This could also be the basis of a submission to National for an Outstanding Local Unit Achievement Award the following year.

Presidential Field Forester Awards

It is appropriate that SAF recognize those members of our profession who actively practice professional forestry in the field.  Practitioners are the true foundation of our profession. Practitioners often operate in nearly complete anonymity, yet their actions are the single most important contribution to the viability and understanding of our profession.  This is where forestry truly happens and it is important that we recognize those who perform the art and science of forestry each and every day.

There are a large number of field foresters in District 1 (Alaska, Inland Empire and Washington State SAF) who should be recognized for their talent and accomplishments.  These deserving individuals can be found in all regions of the U.S. Using SAF presidential prerogative, 11 members — one from each of the eleven SAF districts — will be selected by the District Board Representative to receive an outstanding field forester achievement award each year.

While WSSAF will recognize a nominee for District and National Presidential Field Forester, the actual District and National selection, meeting National selection criteria, will now be submitted through the National online submission portal site by March 15.  The site should be reached at which will then forward the information to the District board member who will then forward their selection to the SAF President.   

WSSAF Recognizes its Golden Members 2020-2023

Golden Members Awardees
Tom Westergreen (L) (North Puget Sound Chapter) – 2021 Golden Member Gordon Gibbs (North Olympic Chapter) – 2021 Golden Member Dennis LeMaster (North Puget Sound Chapter) – 2023 Golden Member Dick Hopkins (South Puget Sound Chapter) – 2022 Golden Member Luke Semler – WSSAF State Society Chair

On August 3, 2023, the Washington State Society of American Foresters (WSSAF) held its Golden Member Appreciation Luncheon in Fife, WA to recognize SAF members who achieved Golden Member status (50 years of SAF membership) in 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023. Twenty-six members were honored at the luncheon, and several were on hand to accept their plaques.

Also in attendance were previously recognized Golden Members who came to support the new golden Members and to network. In addition to recognizing the Golden Members, Chris Schnepf, SAF board member for District 1, provided a national update, and Andrea Watts, the SAF Northwest Office manager, gave an update on activities at the Northwest SAF Office.

Sponsors of the luncheon were Nuveen Nature Capital, Weyerhaeuser, American Forest Management, Robert Bass, and TTG Forestry Services; the venue sponsor was Wade Boyd.

This Golden Member Appreciation Luncheon has been held annually since 1996, apart from a brief hiatus
from 2020-2022 due to the ongoing pandemic.

Originally organized by South Puget Sound Chapter, the luncheon serves to acknowledge and honor senior members for their half-century membership in SAF. In 2017, SAF’s House of Society Delegates awarded the South Puget Sound chapter with a national recognition award for diversity & inclusion in recognition for organizing this annual luncheon. The luncheon is now organized by WSSAF.

Seeking Volunteers for the 2023 Washington State Fair

Come to Puyallup between Friday, September 1, and Sunday, September 24, to see, smell, and taste The Fair and help staff the Washington State Society of American Foresters booth in the Expo Hall, located near the Gold Gate entrance.

Shifts are 3 or 3 1/2 hours, and there are 2 or 3 shifts a day. The shifts start at 10 a.m. or 12:00 p.m. and end at 7 p.m. depending on the day. The Fair is closed all Tuesdays – Sept. 5, 12, and 19 as well as the first Wednesday – Sept. 6, 2023.

In return for your help, we offer a free entry ticket, access to free parking, and shuttle service from at least one of the parking lots. Tickets will be available mid-summer. 

This document lists the currently available shifts, and contact Gene McCaul at mccauls1234(at) to sign up.

WSSAF Member Elected Fellow in 2023

SAF recently announced SAF members who were elected Fellow in 2023, and WSSAF’s John Ehrenreich, Jr. was one of these Fellows!

The Fellow Award is a prestigious award that recognizes an SAF member for long-standing service to forestry at the local, state, and national levels. The SAF Fellow is recognized as an ambassador for the advancement of forestry. Nominations are accepted from any SAF member in good standing. Awardees are recognized during their local state society meetings and during the SAF National Convention. 


Congratulations to the following professional foresters who became SAF certified as Candidate Certified Foresters or Certified Foresters in 2022. The Certified Forester credential is for SAF members and non-members promoting excellence in the stewardship of our nation’s forest resources through enhanced professionalism in forestry.

Cody Davis, CF
Gregory Howisey, CF
Alexander Pancoast, CF

2023 Tour of Washington Forestry Calendar Available for Preordering

Cover of 2023 A Tour of Washington Forestry calendar. The cover features a barred owl perched on a cut tree.

This year, the Washington State SAF (WSSAF) and the Washington Tree Farm Program (WTFP) again partnered to produce the 2023 Tour of Washington Forestry calendar! For this calendar, the members of WSSAF and WTFP outdid themselves in capturing what sustainable forestry looks like in Washington State.

We are asking for a $25 donation per calendar, and we recommend preordering your calendar to guarantee availability.

Calendars may be ordered online here. If you want to pay by check, please fill out this order form, and mail it and the check to Washington Tree Farm Program PO Box 1814 Olympia, WA 98507.

Thank you to the WSSAF volunteered their time to produce this calendar, including Marisa Bass, Don Hanley, Jenny Knoth, Josh Meek, Luke Semler, and Andrea Watts. WTFP volunteers included Margaret Ellis, Jon Matson, David New, Tammie Perreault, and Elizabeth Ide,

Catch the Premier of The Big Burn: American Experience on September 7, 2022

The Big Burn: American Experience will air on KCTS on September 7, 2022, at 10:00 p.m. This documentary is based upon Timothy Egan’s book, The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America.

To learn more about the documentary, visit


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