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Please Join the National Capitol SAF for our Lunch Presentation

Current Forest Conservation Priorities in The Nature Conservancy and Moving Towards Shared Stewardship with the Forest Service

 Dr. Christopher Topik, The Nature Conservancy

Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 12 – 1:00 PM

Roosevelt (2SE02), Yates Bldg., 201 14th Street SW, Washington DC

Chris will present a quick overview of current activities of the Nature Conservancy in the US on forest conservation with a focus on some actions aimed to help protect our lands and waters, to live with fire, and to enhance natural solutions to climate mitigation using forests. There will be commentary on cooperative work our staff does with the US Forest Service around the country, and how it relates to the new USDA emphasis on Shared Stewardship. We will all discuss how stakeholders can help this initiative, and how this initiative can hopefully help forest resilience and community engagement.

Chris is director of The Nature Conservancy’s North America forest conservation program and policy.  This includes the “Restoring America’s Forests” project that helps restore forest health and improve ecological management of America’s public forests to sustainably provide water, wildlife, recreation and forest products nationwide.

Previously, Chris was professional staff for the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee for 15 years in the majority, for both parties, where he wrote appropriations law and provided oversight of several federal land management, fire, science, and cultural agencies, including the USDA Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and several others.  He also worked for the USDA Forest Service for 16 years, including being the National Plant Ecologist, the National Botany Program Director, and he worked as an area ecologist for 10 years on national forests in Oregon and Washington. His undergraduate degree in marine biology is from the University of California, San Diego, and he earned his PhD in forest ecology from the University of Oregon.

 RSVP and Questions:     Contact NCSAF Acting Chair: Henry Morris,, 202-329-7781


District 7 Representative’s Remarks (Spring 2018)

In February, Allegheny SAF held its winter meeting in Gettysburg, PA. The overall organization of this meeting was perfect! I enjoyed the presentations and meeting ANSAF members.

The successful in providing ANSAF members an opportunity of meeting and learning from each other and discussing successes, opportunities and challenges to forest management. It also provided an opportunity to initiate and strengthen collaboration among members. Furthermore, it provided ANSAF members an opportunity of meeting the president and acting CEO. The members learned about SAF achievements, the president’s vision and Board’s activities. The interaction, through a panel format, between the national SAF leadership and the ANSAF members allowed many of the members’ questions and concerns to be addressed.

The large student attendance was great. The professors should be commended for facilitating their students to attend. The connections the students made will hopefully help them in their careers. In future, strategies need to be developed to encourage students to interact more with seasoned and established members.

Finally, thank you Allegheny SAF for organizing such a successful meeting. I want to take this opportunity to encourage NCSAF members to attend future ANSAF events.

On April 30, 2018, NCSAF luncheon will feature the interim Chief of the Forest Service Vicki Christiansen. She will share her thoughts on US Forest Service’s challenges and opportunities, and SAF-Forest Service partnership. This event will provide a great opportunity for NCSAF members meet and interact with the Interim Chief.  I want to encourage Allegheny SAF members to attend this upcoming event and other future NCSAF events.

SAF Board updates
New Board
The new Board started on January 1. It includes the president, vice-president, immediate past-president, and 11 elected members (one from each voting district). Here are your Board members:

  • David S. Lewis, President
  • John W. McNulty, Vice President
  • Frederick W. Cubbage, Immediate Past President
  • Thomas M. Hanson, District 1 (Alaska, Inland Empire, Washington State)
  • Michael J. Cloughesy, District 2 (Oregon)
  • Dr. Richard B. Standiford, District 3 (Hawaii, Northern CA, Southern CA)
  • Beverly A. Yelczyn, District 4 (Alberta, CO/WY, Dakotas, Intermountain, MO, Southwestern)
  • Donald E. Howlett, District 5 (Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin)
  • Sidney E. Balch, District 6 (New England, New York)
  • Dr. David Gwaze, District 7(Allegheny, National Capital)
  • Christa F. Rogers, District 8 (Appalachian)
  • Lee A. Crocker, District 9 (IN, IL, OH, Great Plains, KY/TN, MO, Ouachita)
  • Dr. Richard W. Brinker, District 10 (Southeastern)
  • Michael L. Murphrey, District 11(Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas)

President Lewis’ goals include:

  • Re-building SAF leadership base.
  • Increasing emphasis on cost/benefit analysis for SAF’s new and existing initiatives.
  • Improving communications and transparency to members of SAF’s decisions and actions.
  • Renewing emphasis on expanding non-dues revenue sources.
  • Building a bigger “stick pile” by increasing tangible member benefits.

Future of SAF
In December 2017, past SAF presidents prepared a paper outlining challenges facing SAF and suggesting some solutions. These challenges include (1) the need to represent the broad field of forestry; (2) the need for SAF to follow through on major strategic decisions; (3) the need to clarify CEO/Board relationships and responsibilities; (4) the need to have a clear SAF vision; and (5) the need for research. The board has started engaging past SAF leaders in discussing solutions to these challenges in order to increase the viability of SAF. The Board values the past SAF leaders’ input to make SAF stronger.

Leadership Advisory Group
The Board approved the formation of a Leadership Advisory Group to begin efforts to tackle the local leadership issues. The group was formed and includes representation from House Society Delegates, early and mid-career professionals, students and science-affiliated leadership. The specific objectives of this group are:

  • To develop plans, programs and training that enhance local unit success;
  • To assist in the design, development, and implementation of training, coaching and development activities which enhance the skills and abilities of current and future SAF leaders at all levels;
  • To identify development paths for volunteer leaders so that subsequent appointments make use of training and experience gained in previous positions.

The group will develop recommendations for consideration by the Board.

Other SAF Board updates

  • CEO Job: The SAF CEO job was announcement in various outlets, including the Eforester and Forestry Source. Contact Jim Thinnes,, for additional information about the job.
  • Committee on Forest Policy has a new chair: Craig MacLean.
  • House of Society Delegates has a new Chair: John Walkowiak. 
  • SAF HQ Building: The Board is likely to make a decision on whether to remain in the Pinchot Building or lease office space in a nearby location at the May Board meeting.
  • Next Board meeting: May 3-6, 2018, in MD.

Gregory Award
SAF is accepting applications for the 2018 Gregory Award. The Gregory Award seeks to mark the achievements of Bob and Ann Gregory and further their interest in international relations by providing economic assistance to outstanding students or professionals from outside of the US and Canada to attend the SAF Convention and have meaningful engagement with foresters on the North American continent. This year’s convention will take place in Portland, Oregon on October 3-7, 2018. The award includes complimentary registration and $2,000 (US dollars) that may be utilized for travel, lodging, and tickets to SAF convention events or technical field tours. SAF will work with successful applicants to allocate the funds in the most useful manner.

Please spread the word about this exciting opportunity. The deadline to apply is May 7, 2018.

For information and details on how to apply, please visit:

National Convention
The Society of American Foresters National Convention will be held October 3-7, 2018, in Portland, Oregon.  The convention provides an outstanding opportunity for professional development, and an excellent forum to engage with other agencies, organizations, and stakeholders. I encourage you to participate in this convention as a presenter, exhibitor or participant.  
Details of the convention are at:
Any registration related questions can be directed to Questions about sponsorships, exhibitor booths, and related events can be directed to Christopher Whited, Program related questions including questions about tours can be sent to Carol Redelsheimer,

David Gwaze
District 7 Representative to the SAF Board of Directors

Please Join the National Capitol SAF for our Lunch Presentation:

Vicki Christiansen, Interim Chief US Forest Service, presenting
Forest Service: Challenges and Opportunities

Monday, April 30, 2018 - 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Leopold Training Conference Room, Yates Building, 201 14th Street SW, Washington DC

New District 7 Representative to the SAF Board of Directors

January 2018

On January 1, 2018 David Gwaze started his three-year duties as the District 7
Representative to the SAF Board of Directors.

"I am honored and excited to be District 7 representative. I want to thank Rachel Reyna,
the outgoing Representative, for her leadership and efforts to further the profession.
Under Rachel's leadership Allegheny SAF and NCSAF signed a Memorandum of
Understanding, which makes it easier for NCSAF members to represent the District.
Also, under her leadership, diversity and inclusion issues are being addressed at the
national level. I look forward to playing a part in addressing District and National issues.
I welcome any ideas members might have to improve our society", said David.

"There are many national issues that the board is currently addressing, including search for the CEO. I will summarize these in my next communication that will be posted on our National Capital SAF webpage. Please stay tuned."

Gwaze was previously Chair for the NCSAF, Fund raising Chair for NCSAF, and SAF communications committee member. He grew up in Harare, Zimbabwe, and earned a PhD degree in forest genetics from University of Edinburgh, UK. He is currently employed by the Forest Service as the National Silviculturist.

The Kurt Gottschalk Science Fund grant proposals are being accepted. Fund supports projects that conduct and/or support forestry research, conduct and/or support continuing education activities and the transfer of knowledge, and promote collaboration and relationships with other SAF entities and external groups. Proposals are due February 15 and August 15. For details please visit:

Support NCSAF while shopping on Amazon

The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of your purchase to NCSAF, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 

What is the National Capital SAF (NCSAF)?

The National Capital SAF is one of thirty-two State Societies that make up the national organization of the SAF.  Our members generally live and work in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.  However, there are two other State Societies located in our metropolitan area - the Appalachian Society in northern Virginia and the Allegheny Society in Maryland.  We have over 300 members in the National Capital SAF. Members may join any state society they wish by paying the appropriate state society dues.

Our NCSAF members serve in positions with Federal and local governments, forest industry and affiliated organizations, non-governmental conservation and environmental organizations, colleges and universities, and small businesses, including consulting foresters.  In addition, some of our members are now retired.


What is the Society of American Foresters (SAF)?

The Society of American Foresters (SAF) is the national scientific and educational organization representing the forestry profession in the United States.  Founded in 1900 by Gifford Pinchot, it is the largest professional society in the world for foresters and other professions interested in forestry.

The mission of the Society of American Foresters is to advance the science, education, technology, and practice of forestry; to enhance the competency of its members; to establish professional excellence; and, to use the knowledge, skills, and conservation ethic of the profession to ensure the continued health and use of forest ecosystems and the present and future availability of forest resources to benefit society. SAF is a nonprofit organization meeting the requirements of 501 (c) (3). SAF members include natural resource professionals in public and private settings, researchers, CEOs, administrators, educators, and students.

For more information on SAF, please explore the national SAF website


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