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NCSAF’s Annual Holiday Party

On Wednesday, December 4th, 2019, the National Capital Society of American Foresters (NCSAF) held its annual Holiday Party following the annual lighting of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree on the West Front Lawn, which is a time-honored tradition of more than 50 years. Following the ceremony on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, NCSAF’s Holiday Party  reception was held at the House Agriculture Committee Room in the Longworth House Office Building. The party was attended by over 50 guests. The Acting Chair, Henry Morris gave the opening remarks, and welcomed guests.

Elaine Chalmers, NCSAF Treasurer, followed Chairman Morris’ remarks with a few words of gratitude to NCSAF members for their continued support of NCSAF, which made tonight’s reception and celebration possible. She pointed out that NCSAF is celebrating its 103rd years since it was established in 1916. Indeed, NCSAF has the great honor of having Gifford Pinchot as one of its first members and co-founders. During the early part of the 20th century, Pinchot held the some of the first Chapter meetings at his renowned Rhode Island Avenue home. She thanked Doug McCleery for sharing some of these historical facts regarding NCSAF’s founding.

Former NCSAF Chair Jeanne Kavinski introduced members who reached NCSAF membership milestones.

Thanking Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA) continued support of NCSAF

The NCSAF leadership thanked Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson for his continued support and sponsorship of NCSAF’s holiday party’s setting at the Longworth House Office Building. Additionally, all acknowledged his longstanding passion and commitment to forestry, and natural resource management.

Introduction of the Keynote Speaker, Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR)


Doug Crandall introduced the Keynote Speaker, the Honorable Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR). Prior to becoming a Congressman, Bruce Westerman attended the University of Arkansas where he played football for the Razorbacks and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering. He then went to earn a Master of Science in forestry from Yale University’s School of Forestry. In addition to his educational attainment, Bruce Westerman also worked as a professional forester in private industry. Rep. Bruce Westerman spoke to a captivated audience who listened to his vision of the future of innovative capacity within the field of forestry and all such innovation has to offer in the area of creating new and improved building materials, carbon sequestration, and other innovative ways to utilize biomass to fuel our nation’s energy and resource needs. After his speech, Rep. Westerman stayed and visited with members of NCSAF and he stood for photos with attendees and members of NCSAF’s leadership team.

Closing remarks of the evening and the excitement of NCSAF’s 2020 events

To close the evening, Chairman Morris  said he was looking forward to serving as NCSAF Chair for 2020. Henry shared exciting plans for 2020 NCSAF event such as more opportunities to have networking social events, meetups, and the return of NCSAF’s popular and traditional wine tasting and auction fundraiser. The date of the event will be around the time of the Cherry Blossom festival. Henry closed the evening with some final words of thanks to all who worked to coordinate this year’s Holiday party and worked in support of NCSAF efforts all year.

NCSAF looks forward to great 2020 year and wishes all attendees a Happy New Year!


Annual NCSAF Intern Luncheon (Summer 2019)

The National Capitol Society of American Foresters (SAF) held its yearly intern luncheon on Tuesday, July 16. Speakers Terry Baker, CEO of SAF, and Mark Rey, former USDA Undersecretary for Natural Resources and the Environment, spoke to nearly 40 interns and professionals at the American Forest Foundation offices in Washington, DC.  The speakers gave the interns advice for their time in D.C. as well as in their future careers. The lunch also provided an opportunity to learn more about what this summer’s interns are engaged in, and in turn, for them to learn more about our work as professionals. Other organizations represented at the luncheon included the Sustainable Forest Initiative, the U.S. Senate, and the USDA Forest Service.  The event was organized by Tom Schuler, NCSAF Program Chair; Rocco Saracina, Manager of Conservation Partnerships at the Sustainable Forestry Initiative; and Lauren Whitmire, policy intern at the SAF national office. The National Capital Society of American Foresters is one of 32 state and multi-state societies that make up the Society of American Foresters, an organization of professional foresters dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of forestry.

Terry Baker, CEO of SAF, opens the luncheon with reflections on his career. Mark Rey, former USDA Undersecretary for Natural Resources and the Environment, shares his insights about successful interning and getting the most out of any job.

Terry Baker, CEO of SAF, opens the luncheon with reflections on his career.

Mark Rey, former USDA Undersecretary for Natural Resources and the Environment, shares his insights about successful interning and getting the most out of any job.

District 7 Representative’s Remarks (June 9, 2019)

Committee on Professional Recognition (CPR)
This year I am serving as the Chair of the CPR. The past few months we have been busy reviewing nominations for the following awards:

  • John A. Beale Memorial
  • W.D. Hagenstein Communicator
  • Diversity
  • Employer
  • Gifford Pinchot Medal
  • Carl Alwin Schenck
  • Student Leadership
  • Young Forester Leadership

There were twenty-nine nominees for eight awards. CPR has submitted award nominees to the Board for approval.

CPR also reviewed the District Fellows Committee’s Reports. During my review I discovered that District 7 did not have any fellow nominations. I know we have many deserving individuals. I urge all District 7 SAF members to take time to nominate our fellow SAF members for the great work they have done and continue to do.

Board meeting
A meeting of the Society of American Foresters Board of Directors was held at SAF Headquarters, Bethesda, MD on May 4-5, 2019.  A few highlights are provided below.

Committee on Forest Policy (CFP)
CFP presented the following position statements for the Board’s approval:

  • Utilization of Woody Biomass for Energy
  • Timber Harvesting on Public Lands

The Board approved them. The CFP recommended the SAF Board authorize the development of a Position Statement on Forest and Water Resources. Given the importance of forests to the production of clean drinking water for human consumption the Board endorsed development of the position statement.

Young professionals group
Dave Lewis is making efforts to re-engage the Young Professionals Focus Group. Young professionals (YP) would be any SAF member between college graduation and age 35 and in the initial part of their career. This group could be utilized to SAF’s benefit by:

  • Helping to recruit and retain other YPs
  • Providing feedback from this demographic on SAF issues and initiatives
  • Providing representatives from this demographic on task forces, committees, etc.
  • Creating a core of potential future leaders

There are 26 members of the young professionals group. The Board is considering having a YP on the Board.

This initiative is growing and making an impression. Numbers from Forest Ed:
            - 6000 Unique visitors since launch
            - As of April, it’s up to 10,145
            - 224 have registered JoF quizzes -
                        - 49 MSU Courses – 1/3 are non-members
                        - Several Universities are interested in Forest Ed

I urge all District SAF members to use the Forest Ed Platform. It is available for Continuing Forestry Education (CFE). CFE is automatically credited to a members account when acquiring them through the Forest Ed Page.

SAF has been searching for a new Editor-in-chief (EIC) of Forest Science through print and digital ad campaigns as well as discussions with specific groups and individuals of interest. The EIC Search Committee is evaluating applications and interviews will begin soon.

Leadership Development Foresters’ Fund Grant Program
The Leadership Development Foresters’ Fund Grant Program is now fully developed and operational. The new program builds on the traditional two levels of Foresters’ Fund grants – regular and special – and incorporates the new criteria and requirements of the Leadership Development level. The SAF Foresters’ Fund website page has been fully updated. I encourage District 7 SAF members to access and utilize this program.

David Gwaze

District 7 Representative to the SAF Board of Directors

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

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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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