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American Tree Farm System Celebrates 75 Years, Commits to Future

American Forest Foundation celebrates milestone for its signature program with a pledge to increase its impact on clean water, wildlife habitat and wood supply

SEATTLE, WA – The American Forest Foundation (AFF) today kicked off its celebration of the 75th anniversary of the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), the largest and oldest sustainable forestry program for family forest owners. In celebration, AFF’s governance, Tree Farmers, volunteers and partners have pledged to measurably increase their impact on the clean water, wildlife habitat and wood supply that comes from family-owned forests. Read full press release.

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American Tree Farm System Honors Paul Harwood as 2015 National Outstanding Inspector of the Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Tree Farm System® (ATFS) is pleased to recognize Paul Harwood of Tunbridge, Vermont as the 2015 National Outstanding Inspector of the Year. Harwood was selected from among four regional winners for his exceptional on-the-ground work with family forest owners in Vermont and continued commitment the American Tree Farm System. Read full press release.

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VT Consulting Forester Paul Harwood named Northeast Regional Tree Farm forester for 2015

The Vermont Tree Farm program is pleased to announce that Consulting Forester Paul Harwood has been named as the Northeast Regional Tree Farm forester for 2015. Harwood was nominated (surreptitiously) by the Tree Farm committee for his exemplary service to Tree Farmers and the Tree Farm program.

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Tree Farmers Honored at 2013 VWA Annual Meeting

Above: Tree Farmer Arthur Goodwin, center, was honored with a 25-year
Tree Farm sign at the April 2013 VWA Annual Meeting.
Above: Kathy Beland honored as a 2012 Vermont Tree Farm Forester
with Tom Martin, American Forest Foundation President & CEO
Above: Paul Harwood, center, honored for his service as a 2012
Vermont Tree Farm Forester of the Year.
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Update October 25, 2013 from AFF on Markets for Wood Products

Markets for Wood Products

Wood products, including products from American Tree Farm System® (ATFS)-certified lands (a program of AFF), will now be given a fair shot by the General Services Administration (GSA). The GSA is one of the largest builders in the federal government.

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Strafford’s Tree Man Reflects on ‘Life’s Work’ in Taylor Valley Forest: Hemenway Recognized As ‘Tree Farmer Of The Year’

By Kate Spencer, The Herald of Randolph, 8/29/13

(Photo: Herald / Tim Calabro)

Ever since he bought his first 1000 acres in Taylor Valley in 1950 (at just $4 an acre), John Hemenway of Strafford has been the steady backbone of the Taylor Valley Tree farm, an expansive swatch of undeveloped forest that spans Strafford, Chelsea, Tunbridge, and Vershire.

Under Hemenway’s leadership, loggers and foresters transformed the valley from former farmland, which was growing up into brush, to one of the most heavily wooded areas in Orange County.

Today, at age 89, Hemenway owns 2400 acres that support a successful timber operation, exporting hardwood around the world. The land also serves as a wildlife habitat, an outdoor classroom, and a recreation spot for everyone from horseback riders to hunters to students at the nearby Mountain School in Vershire.

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Tree Farmers Honored at 2012 VWA Annual Meeting

Three 25-year Tree Farmers (left to right, John Meyer, Alden Blodgett, & Bob Pulaski ) were presented with silver signs at the 2012 Annual Meeting.
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Finding Their Way: Mike and Vivien Fritz chart a course for sustainability and fun on their Vermont Tree Farm.

by Madeline Bodin.

Reprinted with permission from the winter 2012 issue of Tree Farmer magazine. Copyright 2012 American Forest Foundation, www.forestfoundation.org. Photos by Rob Amberg.

Mike Fritz slides out of his 4×4 utility task vehicle (UTV), grabs a long pry-bar from the cargo area, and wedges it under a rock in the middle of a cross-country ski trail, part of 20 miles of trails that weave through the 530 acres of land he owns with his wife, Vivien, in Marshfield, Vermont. About 445 of the acres are forested.

“When you see a rock like this with a white mark, that means I hit it with my mower,”

Mike.

Autumn on the Fritzes’ Beaver Brook Tree Farm means preparing for cross-country ski season and sees Mike mowing each of those 20 miles of trails twice, then returning on a UTV loaded with hoes, shovels, and chain saws to clear culverts and remove rocks and trees to create a smooth surface for winter gliding.

This is the life the Fritzes imagined as software engineers living in Boston, before they bought their property in Vermont 14 years ago, and before the land itself revealed new possibilities to them.