Friday, August 18, 2017

Pennsylvania SIC Summer 2017 Newsletter Available Online:

Summer 2017 Newsletter
  • Project Learning Tree and Sustainable Forestry Initiative Join Forces to Expand Youth Environmental Education Programs
  • ALIFT Program Helps Loggers
  • In Remembrance: Paul A. Lyskava 1965-2017
  • American Loggers Council Board Approves Proposal to Strengthen ALC Master Logger Certification Program
  • Join Us in Supporting "Walk in Penn's Woods"
  • 2017 Annual Forest Products Executive Development Workshop
2017 Fall Training Schedule

Monday, August 7, 2017

Pennsylvania Team Competes in National 4-H Forestry Invitational

Pennsylvania was one of 15 teams that competed in the 38th annual National 4-H Forestry Invitational from Sunday July 30 through Thursday August 3. Teams from Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana placed first, second, and third respectively. Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia also competed in this year’s Invitational.

The invitational was held at West Virginia University Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Camp and Conference Center near Weston, West Virginia. The event is sponsored by Farm Credit System, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc., USDA Forest Service State and Private Southern Region, West Virginia University Extension Service, American Forest Foundation, Southern Regional Extension Forestry, Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals, National Woodland Owners Association, and Black Diamond Resource Conservation and Development Council.

While at the Invitational 4-H members competed for overall team and individual awards in several categories. Events included tree identification, tree measurement, compass and pacing, insect and disease identification, topographic map use, forest evaluation, the forestry bowl and a written forestry exam.

Pennsylvania was represented by Garin Hoy from Tyrone, Cody Lynch from Somerset, and Grace Stewart from Camp Hill. The team was coached by Christel Ertel Stewart of Camp Hill.

Samantha Clanton from Arkansas won the high point individual award. The second place high individual was Harrison Sharp from Florida and the third place high individual was Emily Welte from Tennessee.

The Joe Yeager “Spirit of the Invitational” award was given to Mara Shelton from Mississippi. This award recognizes an outstanding 4-H contestant at the Invitational. It is presented to the individual who takes initiative, is enthusiastic, and is eager to lead academic and social situations.

4-H is a youth education program operated by the Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the state land grant universities. More than six million youth, 540,000 volunteers, and 3,500 professionals participate in 4-H nationwide, and nearly 100,000 are part of the 4-H Forestry Program.

The event would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors;

Farm Credit System (FCS) supports rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. FCS has been helping areas grow and thrive for a century by providing farmers with capital and by financing infrastructure and communication services.

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI®), Inc. is a fully independent, charitable organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management. The SFI® label is a sign you are buying wood and paper products from a certified source, backed by a rigorous, third-party certification audit. SFI Inc. provided sponsorship of the event, while the Pennsylvania SFI Implementation Committee sponsored the 4-H Forestry team from Pennsylvania.

USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry, Southern Region programs bring forest management assistance and expertise to a diversity of landowners through cost-effective, non-regulatory partnerships. The staffs also play a key role in implementing the National Fire Plan.

West Virginia University (WVU) Extension Service educators and volunteers build and sustain partnerships with people and organizations in West Virginia, to improve their lives and communities. WVU's programs and services strengthen individuals of all ages.

The American Forest Foundation® (AFF) works with families, educators, and elected officials to promote stewardship and protect our nation’s forest heritage. AFF works with its partners to provide hands-on support for America’s 10 million family forest owners.

Southern Region Extension Forestry serves as a liaison between the USDA Forest Service and the thirteen Extension Forest Resources units in the South. The position has evolved into a regional programming, representation, promotion, and communication role within the forestry and natural resource communities.

The Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP) is a professional society for natural resource Extension professionals. The mission of ANREP is to bring Extension professionals together to discuss mutual natural resource issues, needs, and opportunities and to advance natural resource Extension through continuing education.

The National Woodland Owners Association (NWOA) is a nationwide organization made up of non-industrial private woodland owners. Membership includes landowners in all 50 states and Canada. The mission of the NWOA is to use unbiased, research-based, objective and factual information to inform, educate and advocate ensuring a sustainable managed forest resource in the United States.

For more information on the National 4-H Forestry Invitational, go to:

Contact: William C. Worrell
Virginia Cooperative Extension
PO Box 697
Lebanon, VA 24266
(276) 889-8056

Thursday, June 29, 2017

SFI Unveils the 2017 Progress Report: Forests. A Way of Life

I am pleased to present you with the 2017 SFI Progress Report: Forests. A Way of Life.

At the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, we believe we all share a fundamental relationship with forests. Forests clean the air we breathe and the water we drink and provide life-sustaining values. As part of a global community committed to sustaining our forests, SFI is committed to ensuring that well-managed forests achieve their full potential to lift people up and improve our shared quality of life.

This progress report calendar shows how the important work of sustainable forest management is a year-round endeavor. It also illustrates how our well-managed forests provide conservation, community and economic benefits that improve the lives of millions of people. 

As in previous years, this story couldn't have been written without the hard work and dedication of the people in our SFI Implementation Committees. This grassroots network is making a difference across North America. Every day they help us live up to the idea of Forests. A way of life.

Thank you to everyone in the SFI community including our broader network of conservation, community, Indigenous peoples, government, business and other partners. Together, we are making a difference.

Kathy Abusow
President and CEO
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. 

To order copies of the report calendar for your colleagues, stakeholders and customers online at:

Monday, June 5, 2017

SFI Announcement on Project Learning Tree Program

It is with great pleasure that I am sharing news about a big development in the SFI program. Pending final arrangement of legal and administrative details, the Project Learning Tree program will be transferred from the American Forest Foundation (AFF) to SFI Inc. this summer.

Project Learning Tree (PLT) is a highly regarded program to advance environmental education through the lens of sustainable forestry geared to educators who teach PreKindergarten through to Grade 12 students. SFI Inc. has long been a supporter of the PLT program and for many years has enthusiastically provided support to PLT directly and through our SFI Implementation Committees (SICs).

As you know, SFI is a sustainability organization that is dedicated to the future of our forests, which includes educating the next generation to care about environmental issues and the responsible management of resources. SFI’s community engagement is carried out in many ways, including through our SICs, through our Community Partnerships grant program, and through direct support of community and education groups such as PLT, Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scouts of America, and others. A key component of SFI’s community engagement is educating youth, to ensure they can be effective future leaders and have a strong understanding of the value of responsibly managed forests. Bringing the PLT program into the SFI program offers an exciting opportunity to strengthen SFI’s youth education mission and to deliver future success of the PLT program.

The AFF Board voted unanimously on May 30 to approve the transfer of the PLT program from AFF to SFI. The program transfer will be accompanied by funding from AFF to ensure financial support for five years, to offset the annual program deficit. SFI will also initiate a fundraising program to ensure the success of the program beyond those five years.

The SFI Board has approved this transfer, pending final arrangement of legal and administrative details, which are expected to be finalized in July.

SFI plans to maintain the incredibly strong PLT state network and staff. The SICs and many of our partners (state agencies, universities, and others) have been a key part of the PLT state network, and we look forward to working with all of you to identify opportunities to build on those existing connections and partnerships and to pursue new opportunities. The SICs will be an asset in supporting and engaging the PLT network.

SFI’s vision for PLT is to not only maintain its current success but grow it through the existing network of PLT supporters and the leveraging of SFI’s network. This considerable network can elevate PLT’s relevance as a critical element of teaching and creating sustainability across North America’s forests. PLT and SFI are two organizations with many shared partners, but each organization can be stronger through a sharing and leveraging of these partnerships.

During the next few months, SFI will endeavor to learn more about what makes PLT strong and what opportunities might be pursued in the future to ensure PLT’s continued success.

We will keep you posted as this transfer becomes official. In the meantime, please visit If you have questions or want to share your thoughts, please reach out to me or our COO, Nadine Block (, 202-596-3456).

Best regards,


Kathy Abusow
President & CEO
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.
Tel: 613-722-8734

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Members Learn, Explore and Compete at 4-H Wildlife and Forestry Field Day

The 2017 4-H Wildlife and Forestry Field Day, held at Rock Springs, PA on April 22, was another “wild” success! 4-H youth and adults from across the state explored the wildlife and forestry sciences. The event featured an Exploratory Track for younger 4-H youth and a Science Track for teens. The theme for the Exploratory Track presented tools and methods for wildlife and forestry research, while the Science Track focused on applying research knowledge to managing forests and wildlife.

The event also included a competitive knowledge and skills test for teens hoping to attend national 4-H competitive events in wildlife and forestry. The top five winners in wildlife science were: 1st Place - Ella Miller (Tioga County), 2nd Place - Hilary Fernandes (Tioga County), 3rd Place - Tony Bertolino (Indiana County),and tied for 4th Place were Carter Wynn (Juniata County) and Reagan Lynch (Somerset County). These top-scoring individuals now have the opportunity to represent Pennsylvania at the 2017 National Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Contest to be held July 30-August 2 in Eatonton, GA. Participants in both the state and national programs must demonstrate their knowledge in habitat evaluation, wildlife identification, wildlife management practices, and applied wildlife science principles.

The top four winners in forestry science were: 1st Place - Cody Lynch (Somerset County), 2nd Place - Grace Stewart (Dauphin County), 3rd Place - Garin Hoy (Huntingdon County), and 4th Place - Cory Campbell (Indiana County). The National 4-H Forestry Invitational will be held July 30-August 3 at Jackson’s Mill 4-H Conference Center in Weston, WV. Participants in both the state and national programs must demonstrate their skills in tree measurement, tree identification, insect and disease identification, compass use, topographic map reading, and applied forestry principles.

Extension Specialist Sanford Smith, Penn State Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, and David Jackson, Penn State Extension Forestry Educator, organized this year’s event. Also assisting were Margaret Brittingham, Penn State professor of Wildlife Sciences; 4-H volunteer leader and professional forester, Ashlee Gulvas; and 14 undergraduate and graduate students from Penn State. The Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Implementation Committee and Pennsylvania Forest Products Association helped sponsor this event. For more information, contact Sanford Smith at or David Jackson at

Exploratory Track participants at the 2017 Wildlife and Forestry Field Day explored the theme of wildlife and forestry research methods by participating in numerous hands-on, kid-friendly stations. Photo by: Barb Sellers 

Youth in the Science Track of the 2017 Wildlife and Forestry Field Day learned to apply wildlife and forestry knowledge in on-site skills sessions. A sign language interpreter (center) assisted in explaining tree measuring technique. Photo by: Barb Sellers

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pennsylvania SIC Winter 2017 Newsletter Available Online:

Winter 2017 Newsletter
  • Program Update
  • Pennsylvania SFI Qualified Logging Professional Promotional Materials
  • 2017 PA Forest Landowner Conference: Enriching Woodland Values
  • Logger Training...It's not just for loggers
  • Green Ribbon Task Force Makes Recommendations to Governor Wolf
  • 2017 Timber Show

2017 Spring Training Schedule