The Forest Service’s Forest Stewardship Program partners with state forestry agencies to assist private landowners in actively managing their forests. Every two years the Forest Stewardship Program recognizes a state forestry agency field forester who has made a significant contribution to the Forest Service mission of sustaining the nation’s forests and grasslands.
Kevin Keith has been recognized as the 2018 Forest Stewardship Field Forester. As a senior area forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry, he manages a multi-county work area and supervises four employees. As a field forester, he provides exceptional service to private forest landowners. His 2016 accomplishments highlight his passion for sustaining healthy private forests: he wrote 24 forest stewardship management plans to help private landowners better manage 9,048 acres of forestland. He also wrote 92 other management plans covering 2,752 acres, implemented 725 forest restoration activities on 21,686 acres and planted 8,552 trees on 236 sites. Keith annually uses more than $100,000 in federal and state cost-share funds to promote healthier forests, including increased pre-commercial pine thinning and site preparation prior to planting.
Actively managed private forests provide local jobs, timber revenue, wildlife habitat, watershed protection, recreation opportunities and many other public benefits. Keith’s assistance to private forest landowners is invaluable to the public good.