Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee
Monday, 11 July 2016 12:34

2016 Marks the 75th Anniversary of the American Tree Farm System

 tree farm banner

Dan Peterson Paul Delong

Jeff Mursau Janet BeweleyOn May 26, 2016, Dan Peterson presented the Governor's proclamation celebrating ATFS 75th anniversary at the Wisconsin Council of Forestry meeting.  Many key supporters of forestry were represented for the event: Wisconsin DNR, Great Lakes Timber Producers Assoc., Wisconsin Consulting Foresters Assoc., Wisconsin urban forestry, Wisconsin Woodland Owners Assoc., University of Wisconsin Extension, USDA Forest Service, Wisconsin State Senate, Wisconsin State Assembly, Boy Scouts of America, Society of American Foresters, Nature Conservancy, and forest products industry representatives.

(Top picture: Dan Peterson, Chair of the Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee with Paul DeLong, Wisconsin State Forester.  Second Picture: Dan Peterson with Wisconsin State Assembly Rep. Jeff Mursau and Wisconsin State Senator Janet Bewley.  All members of the Wisconsin Council on Forestry, Strong supporters of good forestry in Wisconsin)

In 1940 the westward expansion and divesting of corporate land opened the doors to individual landowners settling on large tracks of land.  Education and support for landowners on forest management and other issues such as dealing with wildfire was not yet readily  available, yet the demand on the forest products industry for wood supply continued to grow.

To meet these demands, the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) was established, which became a forestry movement founded on the concept of recognizing landowner who practiced good forest stewardship and would encourage others to do the same.  This conception quickly began to take root.

On June 12, 1941, the nation's first tree farm was dedicated near Montesano, Washington.  Owned by the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company, the 120,000-acres Clemons Tree Farm launched a nationwide movement.  Over the next few decades the American Tree Farm System would expand across all 50 states.

On August 16, 1955, Wisconsin included all classes of private ownership with a ceremony on the property of Fred Grunwald, Jr. in Waupaca County to become the first Wisconsin Tree Farmer of the Year. Prior to the expansion to private woodland owners, Wisconsin's program was restricted to industry ownership.

Today the American Tree Farm System remains a strong and essential program to conserve our State's forests and their benefits, with more that 48,00 individual and family members who own and manage more that 2.8 million acres of woodlands in Wisconsin.

The American Tree Farm System, a program of the American Forest Foundation, is made possible by volunteers from the local small woodlands associations, conservation organizations, forest products companies, university extensions, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.



Last modified on Saturday, 24 September 2016 12:25