Forestry professionals will gather in Madison to address nation’s forest management challenges

MADISON – Professional foresters from across the U.S. and Canada will gather in Madison on Nov. 3-6 for the 2016 national Society of American Foresters convention.

The 1,500 or more attendees, who will gather at Monona Terrace, work for universities, all levels of government, the forest industry and as self-employed consultants. During the convention, they will explore the rich history of forestry, land stewardship and current issues related to the science, art and practice of creating, managing, using and conserving forests and associated resources.

Wisconsin DNR forester Julie Peltier, who is serving as general chair of the 2016 Society of American Foresters convention, said the convention will provide the opportunity to showcase Wisconsin’s 17.1 million acres of forests and the social, cultural, ecological and economic benefits they provide.

“This unprecedented convergence of forest and natural resources professionals in Wisconsin will explore current issues facing the profession from increased incidence of invasive species to markets for wood products,” said Matt Menashes, CEO of Society of American Foresters. “We will explore adjusting our management of forests as well as adapting as a vibrant, relevant profession.”

In his welcoming address, Paul DeLong, former chief state forester with Wisconsin DNR and now senior vice president for conservation with the American Forest Foundation, will highlight Wisconsin’s leadership in sustainable forestry, the thriving forests that cover nearly half of Wisconsin today and the robust partnerships that care for the state’s forests.

Other speakers include:

  • Mike Dockry, a member of theCitizen Potawatomi Nation who was born and raised in Green Bay. He is aresearch natural resource specialist with the USDA Forest Service’sNorthern Research Station in the strategic foresight research work unit.
  • Susan Rimby, who is the author ofMira Lloyd Dock and the Progressive Era Conservation Movement (ThePennsylvania State University Press, 2012). Dock is a conservationist andthe first woman to sit on a public forest commission as well as the firstwoman in Pennsylvania to hold a political office.

The convention will offer 88 sessions with more than 270 individual presentations covering a diverse array of topics as well as more than 100 exhibit booths where forestry partners can showcase their services and products. Convention-goers will have the opportunity to explore the heritage of Aldo Leopold, a forestry icon who lived and wrote about Wisconsin during most of his professional life, on a tour of the Leopold shack near Baraboo. Another of the convention field tours will be at the Forest Products Lab.

To learn more about forestry in Wisconsin, search the DNR website,, for “forestry.” Information about the upcoming convention can be found on the Society of American Foresters website [exit DNR].