NASF honors Michigan senator, Wyoming state forester for contributions to America’s forests

As part of the association’s annual partners’ reception, the National Association of State Foresters presented the 2022 John “Chris” Maisch Award and the 2022 President’s Award to two very deserving individuals: Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow and Wyoming State Forester Bill Crapser. 

WASHINGTON—The National Association of State Foresters yesterday presented Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan with the 2022 John “Chris” Maisch Award in recognition of her efforts to secure unprecedented forestry investments as part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).  

The association also honored Wyoming State Forester Bill Crapser with the 2022 President’s Award for his outstanding national leadership on forestry issues and steadfast dedication to improving the health, resiliency, and productivity of all America’s forests. 

“The nation’s state and territorial foresters are honored to present Senator Stabenow with the 2022 Maisch Award,” said Kacey KC, Nevada state forester and NASF president. “Senator Stabenow is truly a champion for climate-smart forestry, and we look forward to continuing our work with her for years to come.” 

“We are also thrilled to recognize one of our own, Bill Crapser, with the 2022 President’s Award,” KC continued. “As a past NASF president and the current state forester liaison to the NASF policy team, Bill has helped develop and champion NASF policies that have advanced active forest management and reduced catastrophic wildfire risk across all lands and all boundaries, nationwide.” 

Mr. Crapser has contributed to NASF for nearly 20 years, beginning in 2003 when he assumed the role of Wyoming state forester. As NASF president in 2017, Crapser advanced state forester interests and NASF’s agenda in Congress. Additionally, Crapser testified on numerous occasions over the years on behalf of NASF in support of improved collaboration and active forest management to decrease the threats and impacts associated with wildland fire. 

Sen. Stabenow, too, is a long-time advocate for America’s forests. As chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, she championed the Timber Innovation Act through the 2018 Farm Bill. In 2021, Stabenow introduced the bipartisan Rural Forest Markets Act to remove barriers of entry for small family forestland owners into carbon markets . Most recently, Sen. Stabenow played an instrumental role in securing $5 billion in IRA funding for land management that will bolster forest health and wildfire resiliency across high priority landscapes. 

The John “Chris” Maisch Award is presented annually to a member or members of Congress who have made a significant contribution to state and private forestry. It is named in honor of Chris Maisch, who served as Alaska state forester from 1999 to 2021 and in numerous leadership roles within NASF, including the role of president.  

During his tenure, Mr. Maisch was well-known on Capitol Hill as a tireless advocate for federal lands management reform, cohesive and cross-boundary wildland fire management, and priority state and private forestry programs.

Media Contact: Emilie Austin at eaustin@stateforesters.org or 771-200-8420


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