Congratulations to the 2022 WSSAF Award Winners
A fixture of every annual meeting is recognizing the accomplishments of WSSAF members and chapters. At the 2022 WSSAF Annual Meeting, two deserving individuals and SAF chapter were recognized.
Forester of the Year – Andy Perleberg
Andy is an associate professor/regional extension specialist with Washington State University, a position he has held since 2008. He is also a certified instructor and trainer for the Washington Tree Farm Program. The nomination was primarily in recognition of his chairmanship of the 2021 WSSAF Annual Meeting. As the general chair, he was responsible for the entire program and all logistics that went into this educational effort.
Chapter of the Year – Mid-Columbia SAF Chapter
2021 Washington State Chair – Josh Meek
Again, congratulations on your accomplishments!
CULTIVATING LEADERS OF TOMORROW
A guest post by Vicky Scharlau, Interim Executive Director, Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation
Violence broke out, people were arrested, some were beaten, shots were fired, vehicles were damaged, a bridge was burned. This could be the news from last week, but I want to take you back to Washington’s “Fish Wars” of the ’60s and ’70s. Sport and commercial fishing industries were competing with Native American tribes. The lawsuit that followed redefined the roles of tribes in natural resource management in the Pacific Northwest, leading eventually to the Timber/Fish/Wildlife Agreement (TFW), which was signed in the early 1980s as a new way to manage natural resources with tribes, loggers, environmentalists and agencies working together on practices.
Credit for TFW is given to two strong leaders: Billy Frank Jr., a Nisqually tribal leader, and Stu Bledsoe, an Ellensburg rancher turned politician. What these two men accomplished with TFW showed all natural resource industries, including agriculture, the need for and value of aggressively pursuing their needs and explaining them to the public—especially as it related to public policy.
As he worked on TFW, Stu Bledsoe also drove the first efforts to build a natural resources leadership program in Washington state, patterned after other state programs.
Leadership. Some will say, “I know it when I see it.” What if you didn’t have to wait to stumble upon someone with leadership skills? What if you could build leaders? Take raw talent and allow that talent to grow, to bloom, to excel? Would you be interested?
Now in its 45th year, the AgForestry Leadership Program has graduated over 1,000 leaders in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Leaders that help advance their industries through understanding, education and empowerment. Leaders who understand and navigate issues in the public policy arena.
The program spans 18 months with 11 multiday seminars, plus a week in Washington, D.C., and two weeks in a foreign country. The seminars build leadership skills but also group dynamics and public speaking; working with the media; social issues; state and federal government; forestry issues and agriculture issues; transportation; the Columbia River system; and crime and corrections.
But the AgForestry program of 1977 will not be effectual in 2027.
To continue intentional impact and deliver adult leadership development through training, programming and experiential learning, well, one needs to look to the future: a future with Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z — then comes Generation Alpha! It is already clear that the target audience of tomorrow is different and has very different values, learning styles and expectations. AgForestry needs to evaluate and retool to ensure its leadership program remains relevant, attracts high-quality candidates, makes an impact with graduates and continues to resonate with grantors, alumni, contributors and stakeholders.
I am a graduate of Class 10 and was barely 30 years old at the time. AgForestry changed my life and my professional trajectory and taught me much, most importantly to help others find their voice and facilitate the “process” toward public policy. A process that is often like watching paint dry, but necessary, needed and often long overdue. I found I could make a difference by not being the loudest voice in the room.
If you look closely, you can spot an AgForestry graduate. And if you know a recent graduate, you are no doubt amazed and impressed with the transformation that occurred before your eyes. Graduates emerge as different people. As they should, after a highly competitive selection process, seminars covering 18 months, and at least 58 days of required time and attendance. Astonishingly, the cost to a participant is just $6,000. The actual cost is over $40,000 — offset by contributions from grants, alumni and other stakeholders who value leadership. The total investment in each class is $750,000.
The Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation, which oversees the AgForestry Leadership Program, looks for production candidates — key or up-and-coming decision-makers from farming, forestry, fishing or natural resource entities or who spend their time in hands-on activities. Agriculture, forestry and natural resources include producers (farmer, forester and fisher), processor/shippers, and marketing/salespeople. It also includes education, law, finance, insurance and government agencies who serve the natural resources sector. Those in fields such as the environment, media, research, labor and public relations who demonstrate strong connections to natural resource industries are also considered.
Applications for Class 44 will be accepted until April 30. The first seminar is set to start in October at Washington State University. To learn more, there are Q&A sessions on Wednesday, April 6 from 10–11 a.m. and the last one is Monday, April 18 from 1-2 p.m.
To learn more or to start the application process, go to: agforestry.org/prospects.
To invest in future leaders, go to: agforestry.org/donate.
We cultivate leaders.
Scholarship opportunity for high school seniors studying forestry
The Washington State Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) Implementation Committee (WASIC) is accepting scholarship applications from students pursuing an education in forestry or natural resources.
The scholarship is available to high school seniors who will be attending full-time (at least 12 units) during the 2022-23 school year, a forestry or natural resource program at one of the following schools:
• University of Washington, Seattle
• Washington State University, Pullman
• Green River Community College
• Spokane Community College
• Grays Harbor College
or any SAF-accredited forestry or natural resource program.
Complete and return the following application form to WASIC postmarked no later than April 1, 2022. The successful applicant will be notified in early June. Electronic application forms are available on the Washington SIC website: www.wasfi.org. Applications must be submitted in paper form to the address on the application.
The mission of the Washington State SFI Implementation Committee is to promote and foster an understanding of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and to promote sustainable forestry practices on all forestlands in the state.
The current core priorities for the WASIC are to:
• Establish criteria and identify delivery mechanisms for contractor (e.g. logger) and forester training;
• Establish protocols for addressing inconsistent practices;
• Focus landowner outreach efforts on education and technical assistance;
• Focus public outreach efforts on increasing SFI program recognition and support among local opinion
leaders and forestry professionals;
• Protect the integrity of the SFI program;
• Support the efforts of state and federal agencies to report harvest and regeneration statistics.
WSSAF Foundation Scholarship Now Open
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 2022–23 school year 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 the SAF. Applications are due by March 1, 2022.
To learn more about the scholarship and to download the application, visit https://forestry.org/wssaf-foundation-scholarship/.
Recognizing the Veterans in Our Community
On this day, we want to thank all of the Veterans that served our country, along with their families. Without your sacrifice, we would not have the freedoms we do today. We are honored and lucky to have you as part of Washington’s forestry community.
Washington State Society of American Foresters
Samantha Chang recognized as District 1 Field Forester
Each year the Society of American Foresters honors one member from each of the 11 SAF voting districts with the Presidential Field Forester Award for 2021. This award recognizes foresters who have dedicated their professional careers to the application of forestry using sound scientific methods and adaptive management strategies.
This year, WSSAF member Samantha Chang was recognized for her achievements! Samantha is the chair of the North Puget Sound SAF chapter and previously served as secretary for WSSAF.
2022 WSSAF Annual Meeting Planning Underway
Next year the South Puget Sound SAF chapter is hosting the Washington State SAF 2022 Annual Meeting. Due to the uncertainty regarding COVID-19, the meeting will be virtual.
The annual meeting will span April 11-15, for two hours each day. Each day will feature a different topic, and the topics are:
- Forest economics/industry
- Urban forestry/recreation
- Climate change/carbon/ecosystem services
If you have speaker suggestions or would like to join the planning committee, email Cochair Elijah Allensworth, WSSAF Annual Meeting email@example.com.