John and Maureen Burnham, co-chairs of the
Pennsylvania Tree Farm Committee.
The Pennsylvania Forestry Association (PFA) and the Pennsylvania Tree Farm Committee (PTFC) are excited to announce a renewed merger between their two organizations, focusing on exemplary forest stewardship in Penn’s Woods. As they move ahead with an exciting implementation plan to consolidate the PFA and PTFC operations, PFA has become the new "administrative home" for the PTFC.
Each organization brings a long history of model forestry in the state to the table and each is part of the great conservation movement of working forests.
The Pennsylvania Forestry Association is the oldest, statewide forestry organization in the nation. Since 1887, it has advocated for careful stewardship of all wooded lands in the state, and it has been a driving force behind acquisition and wise management of our 2.2 million acres of state forests, the creation of our college level forestry schools, and the original Pennsylvania State Forestry Commission which has become today’s DCNR Bureau of Forestry.
The national American Tree Farm System (ATFS) celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2016; the first Pennsylvania Tree Farm was established in 1949. The continued success of the Pennsylvania Tree Farm Program is in large part because of the work private individuals have done to help family-owned forests continue to provide a home for wildlife, clean water that flows to our faucets, wood for homes, furniture and other goods, and much more.
While both Pennsylvania organizations are volunteer based and have invested time, energy and hard work in our forests, the work is not done. Our forests face many challenges: the threat of wildfire, spreading disease and invasives, changing climate and more. The Pennsylvania Forestry Association and Pennsylvania Tree Farm Committee are excited about this new opportunity to move the state’s Tree Farm program ahead, especially in concert with the new national American Tree Farm System initiative to accelerate the certification of Pennsylvania Tree Farms.
ATFS certification is internationally-recognized and meets strict third-party verification and auditing standards. ATFS-certified tree farms meet eight standards of sustainability and are managed for multiple purposes: water, wildlife, wood and recreation. With its new commitment to third-party certification, Pennsylvania joins the strong network of woodland owners who share the same core values of hard work, community responsibility and commitment to protecting America’s forest legacy. Family woodland owners with ATFS certified forestland provide multiple public benefits from clean air and water, wildlife habitat, to green jobs and forest products.