Celebrating 100 years of protecting forests

By Rick Cantrell and Whitney Forman-Cook | This blog is a cross-post that appeared in the Spring 2020 edition of the National Woodlands Magazine.

Just in case you missed it: the National Association of State Foresters launched a Centennial Challenge campaign at its 2019 Annual Meeting in Asheville, North Carolina, to mark its 100th year as the association for state forestry agencies. Through the end of 2020, the campaign will highlight the association’s role as the unified and national voice for state and private forestry, as well as the last 100 years of state forestry agency contributions.

One of the best ways to learn more about the campaign is to visit www.NASF100.org. There, you can check out your state’s Centennial Challenge listing on our interactive event map (pictured at right).

About half of the states’ Centennial Challenges have already launched! Some Centennial Challenges are people-centric, while others tackle invasive species and the effects of climate change. Here are some examples:

In Iowa: To celebrate the NASF Centennial Challenge, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will be planting 100,000 trees on state lands. Over 90,000 trees will be planted on Iowa’s state forests and wildlife management areas, and in a dual celebration for Iowa’s parks turning 100, the department will plant 100 trees in each state park. (Photo credit: Travel Iowa)


In Colorado: The Colorado State Forest Service is celebrating NASF’s 100th anniversary by reaching a total of 100 Tree City USA Communities in the state. Urban and community forests are dynamic ecosystems that help clean air and water, and conserve energy. They also add form, structure and beauty to communities, reduce noise, provide places to recreate and add economic value to our communities. (Photo credit: Thomas Morse via UnSplash)


In Florida: To celebrate the NASF Centennial Challenge, the Florida Division of Forestry will recognize one outstanding landowner in each southern county and two outstanding landowners per county in the northern half of the state. These landowners will be selected by their county forester based on their outstanding forestry/conservation work. Each outstanding landowner will receive a certificate of appreciation and formal recognition by their local mitigation specialist. (Photo credit: Florida Forest Service)


In New Mexico: The New Mexico State Forestry Division celebrated NASF’s centennial anniversary by organizing the delivery of 100 seedlings to 12 of its offices and programs across New Mexico (that’s 1,200 seedlings in total!) for Arbor Day tree planting events in 2020. (Photo credit: New Mexico State Forestry Division)


In Vermont: To celebrate the NASF Centennial Challenge, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation will plant 100 trees in three communities through the Arbor Day’s Foundation Community Canopy program. Once the three Vermont communities are selected, households in each community will pick up to two free trees to plant on their property at a VDFPR pickup day in June. (Photo credit: Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation)


Join us in celebrating our 100-year anniversary of working together to help conserve America’s state and private forests:
  1. Get social on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. There are two official hashtags for the NASF Centennial Challenge: #NASF100 and #CentennialChallenge. Anyone can track the progress states and territories are making on their Centennial Challenges by following these hashtags or @stateforesters on social media.
  2. Shop for new Smokey Bear products and a special-edition NASF Centennial poster (coming soon!) at the State Foresters Store (www.stateforesters.org/store). NASF will be offering five (yes, five!) new products (including air fresheners, stickers, drinking glasses, and more) in our store by April. Don’t see what you’re looking for just yet? Hold tight! Even more new products will be added this summer.
  3. Find your state’s Centennial Challenge on www.NASF100.org and get involved! Chances are there’s still time to join in on your forestry agency’s centennial project.

Have questions or comments? Contact NASF Centennial Coordinator Rick Cantrell.