NASF recognizes excellence in State and Private Forestry

ASHEVILLE, N.C.—The National Association of State Foresters honored several individuals at its annual meeting for their extraordinary contributions to state and private forestry.

The NASF Awards Committee annually reviews worthy nominations for the association’s lifetime and current achievement awards. This year’s award winners are:

  • Jim Hubbard Lifetime Achievement Award – Jane Severt, Wisconsin
  • Steven Scott Current Achievement Award for Urban Forestry – Frances Waite, South Carolina
  • Ken Arney Current Achievement Award for Forest Resource Management – Larry Biles, Kansas
  • Jeff Jahnke Current Achievement Award for Leadership – Jim Karels, Florida
  • John Shannon Current Achievement Award for Partnerships – Rebecca Diebel, Wisconsin

“Each of this year’s honorees contributed to the forestry community in exceptional ways, above and beyond the call of duty,” said Joe Fox, Arkansas state forester and NASF Awards Committee chair. “Florida State Forester Jim Karels, the recipient of the 2019 Jeff Jahnke Current Achievement Award for Leadership​, has testified before Congress on behalf of the nation’s state foresters, hosted countless NASF meetings over seven years as chair of the Wildland Fire Committee, and never once turned down an association request.”

“As a past president of NASF and one of its most ardent supporters, Jim has contributed more to the strength of this association and its national policy work than most, but he has never taken the credit for himself,” Fox continued. “As chair of the Yarnell Hill Fire Serious Accident Investigation Team, Jim privately comforted the families of fallen firefighters while he worked tirelessly to develop principles that would help protect thousands of wildland fire professionals into the future. He has mentored many of us, and has served us all well. We thank Jim, from the bottom of our hearts, for his leadership and dedication to our national association.”

“To all of this year’s awardees: we appreciate your tremendous work in support of healthy and productive forests and congratulate you all for jobs well done.”

Media Contact: Whitney Forman-Cook at or 202-624-5417

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