By Mike Beacom
There was plenty of forestry to go around at the 2017 NACD Annual Meeting in Denver.
Partners representing the U.S. Forest Service, National Association of State Foresters, National Wild Turkey Federation, Western Forestry Leadership Coalition, Wildland Fire Leadership Council, and Society of American Foresters participated in this year’s annual meeting.
“It was good to see so many of our forestry partners in Denver,” said NACD Forestry Resource Policy Group (RPG) Chairman Steve Hedstrom. “So much of what we do depends on the cooperation of our partners.”
The Forestry RPG advanced a number of initiatives during its meeting in Denver, including finalizing the RPG’s 2017 priorities and accepting a draft of the group’s new three-year strategic plan for districts’ forestry networking and development.
The Forestry RPG also provided input to leaders from the Natural Resources Conservation Service on how forestland owners can utilize the agency’s Resource Stewardship Evaluation tool. RSET is user-friendly tool designed to help American producers chart the progress they’ve made in meeting their specific conservation goals.
Forestry breakout sessions in Denver included:
- Wyoming State Forester Bill Crapser and Colorado State Forester Mike Lester discussed the process for developing and implementing State Forest Action Plans. Crapser and Lester encouraged conservation districts to provide input when state forestry agencies review plans every five years.
- Kurt Mackes from Colorado Forest Service discussed how pine beetles have ravaged much of the state’s forestland, and how state leaders and industry are exploring how best to utilize standing dead timber.
- Debbie Mitchel from Colorado’s Fremont Conservation District and Kurt Swearingen, a consultant with Taos Soil and Water Conservation District in New Mexico, discussed how conservation districts are helping to build community wildfire protection plans (CWPP).
To view more forestry highlights from the meeting, search #NACDforestry2017 on Twitter.