WASHINGTON—The National Association of State Foresters elected Leah W. MacSwords, State Forester of Kentucky, as its new president at the association’s 86th annual meeting last week in Hyannis, MA. MacSwords is the first woman to serve as the president of NASF and is also the first Kentucky State Forester to lead the organization.
Ms. MacSwords is the director of the Kentucky Division of Forestry in the state’s Department for Natural Resources, the state agency responsible for forestry, mining, conservation, and natural areas programs. Ms. MacSwords is the first woman director in the division’s 96-year history. She joined the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet (now the Energy and Environment Cabinet) in 1985 where her primary responsibilities were in the area of environmental protection. In 1997, her responsibilities shifted to natural resources when she was appointed the deputy commissioner. In June 2001, she became the director and state forester.
“NASF believes America’s forests are a strategic national resource. In the coming year, we will continue to pursue actions that promote sustainable forestry, including targeted federal funding to support effective state and private forestry programs,” said MacSwords. “Other ongoing goals include a fire suppression funding fix to deal with the impacts of wildland fires on federal agency budgets and forest management programs, and elevating the role of trees and forests in energy and climate change initiatives.”
NASF also elected Steven Koehn, State Forester of Maryland, as the association’s new vice president and Jeff Jahnke, State Forester of Colorado, as its new treasurer. Each will serve a twelve-month term.
Ms. MacSwords has previously served as NASF’s vice president and treasurer, has served as the chair of the Southern Group of State Foresters and is a member of the Society of American Foresters.