Stewarding the Whole – Working Together for the Greatest Good

Forest Supervisor Darla Lenz addresses attendees at the Minnesota Society of American Foresters annual winter meeting. Forest Service photo.

MINNESOTA - Minnesota Society of American Foresters hosted their annual winter meeting at the Timber Lake Lodge in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The meeting offers foresters from federal, state and private forestry organizations the opportunity to network and learn about current affairs in forestry and best practices.

The 2018 theme was Stewarding the Whole – Working Together for the Greatest Good. The theme was reflected in breakout sessions that focused on silviculture, partnerships and developing an understanding of tribal natural resource management and heritage.

Chris Gronewald, acting assistant supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Baudette, Minnesota, and secretary/treasurer for the MN SAF, was part of the planning team for the meeting. “We want to bring together professionals from different forestry disciplines and different agencies and students to foster relationships between these different groups for not only a networking opportunity, but also an educational opportunity,” said Gronewald.

Chad Kirschbaum, the district ranger at the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Eagle River - Florence District, Wisconsin is the outgoing vice chairman for the MN SAF. Until recently, Chad held the position Deer River District Ranger on the Chippewa National Forest and also the organizer of the annual winter meeting. Chad said he looked to others for input on the direction of the meeting. Some of the things the committee members came up with encapsulated their goals as a team. Making the session accessible to students, making sure that some of the topics were field based and making sure members of SAF were encouraged to participate. Kirschbaum said he wanted to foster an environment where different agencies could interact and participate, and come up with a theme that brought it all together.