Georgia State Forester Robert Farris and the Georgia Forestry Commission are the 2014 recipients of the American Forest Foundation's Sustained Excellence Award. The award is presented to a state forestry agency partner who has been a strong advocate and supporter of sustainably managed family forests and AFF programs, including The American Tree Farm System and Project Learning Tree.
Farris, director of the Georgia Forestry Commission, has been a vital ally for Georgia’s forests for almost 30 years and works to oversee the Commission's leadership, service and education on Georgia's forest resources.
“Family forests in Georgia provide innumerable benefits to Georgia’s environment and economy,” said Tom Martin, AFF’s president and CEO. “The work of Robert Farris and the Commission ensures that these forests will continue to keep Georgia’s economic and environmental well-being secure.”
Currently, Georgia’s forestry industry contributes nearly $29 billion to the state’s economy, provides homes for 67 federally endangered or threatened species and provides vital ecosystem services including clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities.
“Georgia’s leadership on forestry issues, in large part aided by the immense efforts of Robert Farris and leaders throughout the Commission, is so important in the larger forestry movement,” said Martin. “By working with state forestry agencies to help them maintain healthy and productive forests, we know all Americans can continue to reap the many positive benefits that our forests provide.”