Nation’s state foresters head to Montana for annual gathering

The National Association of State Foresters is kicking off its 2018 Annual Meeting in Whitefish, Montana, next week. Follow the meeting’s happenings with #HealthyTreesHealthyLives.

WASHINGTON—State Forest Action Plans, federal and state partnerships, and the many societal benefits of healthy forests and trees will be in the spotlight next week at the National Association of State Foresters’ 2018 Annual Meeting in Whitefish, Montana.

“We have put together a terrific program for this year’s annual meeting, complete with engaging speakers and dynamic panel discussions,” said George Geissler, NASF president and Washington state forester. “With this line-up, we’ll not only be celebrating the many economic and health benefits provided by trees and forests, but actively building capacity among the dedicated professionals who protect them from perennial threats like pests and wildfire.”

This year’s state foresters’ meeting will be held in coordination with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s Forestry Division.

“The nation’s state foresters will be joined by Montana Governor Steve Bullock at the President’s Reception Monday evening and will hear from John Tubbs, the director of the state’s DNRC, as well Jim Hubbard, the newly confirmed U.S. Agriculture Department undersecretary overseeing the Forest Service, on Wednesday morning,” said Sonya Germann, the Montana state forester. “We are honored to host many of the nation’s leaders in forestry and look forward to engaging in discussions on how to better advance our shared interest in advancing forest health and reducing wildfire risk in our respective states.”

On Monday and Tuesday, state foresters will be getting down to business, reviewing and approving budgets, orienting new members, and setting policy priorities that will guide and enhance the work of state forestry agencies nationwide.

On Wednesday, more than 200 attendees will enjoy four general sessions on topics ranging from Good Neighbor Authority to a communications campaign on the power of healthy trees. At lunch, nearly a dozen men and women will be recognized for their contributions to state and private forestry, and for dinner, all meeting goers will head to the Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Thursday’s agenda will take state foresters and their guests outdoors for a technical tour starting with Whitefish Trail, a multiple-use trail system and first-time management scenario for Trust Land foresters. From there, visitors will head to the West Glacier Visitor Center, then to Lake McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park to learn how wildfire has affected the landscape. Finally, the tour will take the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Logan Pass, home to spectacular views of u-shaped valleys formed by glaciers and the Continental Divide.

The top sponsors of the 2018 NASF Annual Meeting include: the USDA Forest Service, Dauntless Air, BlazeTamer380, G.R. Manufacturing Inc., Idaho Forest Group, Phos-Chek, and Fesco.

Media Contact: Whitney Forman-Cook at wforman-cook@stateforesters.org or 202-624-5417