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HomeState & Private Forestry News
August 2017
Huneke Awarded Scouting's Gold Medal for Conservation
Mike at podium wearing medal and decorated Scout uniform.
"I share this award with great conservationists like Aldo Leopold. ... I am truly humbled and honored. Wow!"

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. --- Mike Huneke received what he described as "the greatest honor of my life in Scouting" at this year's National Boy Scout Jamboree. He is only the 49th recipient of the William T. Hornaday Gold Medal, a lifetime achievement award given to adult scouters who have provided more than 20 years of service in conservation at the national or regional level.

Huneke volunteers as the Northeast Region Task Force Leader for Conservation and Environment for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). He has written several white papers and training syllabuses to support the ecology and conservation programs in Scouting. In 2016, Mike served as project manager to write, edit, and produce the second edition of BSA's Conservation Handbook. At the jamboree Mike chaired the conservation exhibit area. An Eagle Scout, Mike is also a Scoutmaster of a troop in Carney, MD.

Acting Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment Dan Jiron presented the award at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.

Did you know?
The Forest Service is dedicated to engaging youth in caring for the land.

Compendiums of Landscape Scale Conservation Efforts Now Available
Cover images of the three publications.
To ensure healthy ecosystems across the urban-to-rural continuum and across ownerships, the U.S. Forest Service works with partners towards shared landscape conservation goals.
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. --- Three publications on landscape scale conservation efforts are now available online. "Federally Led Landscape Scale Conservation Initiatives in the Northeast and Midwest" provides an inventory of initiatives led by the U.S. Forest Service and other Federal agencies. "Multi-State Priority Areas in the Northeast and Midwest" and "Multi-State Priority Issues in the Northeast and Midwest" each summarize the priorities that State Forestry agencies identified in their 2010 State Forest Action Plans.

Landscape scale conservation occurs when landowners pursue common goals across large blocks of land. The three documents are valuable for updating State Forest Action Plans, for identifying projects to submit for competitive grants and other funding, and to help identify existing partnerships as well as opportunities for cooperation. View the compendiums on the Landscape Scale Conservation in the Northeast and Midwest page of the Northeastern Area's Web site.

Did you know?
Shared stewardship is key to accomplishing work.

Project Learning Tree Moves to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative

WASHINGTON --- Project Learning Tree (PLT) has a new home with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

The transfer of PLT from the American Forest Foundation to SFI became effective on Saturday, July 15. Learn more in a press release on SFI's Web site.

In anticipation of questions about the transition, PLT has posted Q&A's on its Web site. Also, PLT's transition team remains in place to address any additional questions or concerns. Contact information is also on their Web site. 
PLT is an award-winning environmental education program that uses trees and forests as windows on the world, to increase youth understanding of the environment and actions they can take to conserve it. SFI Inc., an independent nonprofit organization, works with conservation groups, local communities, resource professionals, landowners, and countless other organizations and individuals, to promote sustainable forest management.
Scholarship Opportunity to Attend Environmental Education Conference

WASHINGTON --- The North American Association of Environmental Education (NAAEE), through support from the U.S. Forest Service, is seeking to support six young professionals from diverse backgrounds to attend NAAEE's 46th Annual Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 18-21, 2017. Learn more and register by August 15 at the NAAEE Web site. NAAEE and the U.S. Forest Service share a goal of increasing diversity within the field of environmental education.
Upcoming Shortleaf Pine Conference
Pine trees in the field.
Pinus echinata (Photo: Chris Evans, University of Illinois,

The Fourth Biennial Shortleaf Pine Conference will be held October 3 - 5, 2017, in Galloway, NJ. View the draft agenda and register at the conference Web page. The U.S. Forest Service is one of an extensive group of agencies and organizations working to restore the shortleaf pine ecosystem. Learn more about the Shortleaf Pine Initiative at their Web site.

Forest "Bathing" Lowers Blood Pressure and Boosts Immunity

WASHINGTON --- It doesn't require soap or a swimsuit. Forest bathing, which began in Japan in the 1990's, simply involves slowing down and becoming immersed in the natural environment. The   Association of Nature and Forest Therapy certifies forest therapy guides; the goal is to have health care providers incorporate the therapy as a stress-reducer. Not only is the forest setting conducive to relaxation, trees release compounds into the air that some researchers think are beneficial for people.   Read or listen to the story at NPR's Web site.
Did you know?
As America's urban areas continue to grow, access to the natural environment and nature-based activities is becoming increasingly important to a community's overall health and well-being.  

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