Sightline Express
In This Issue
New Certification Coordinator
New Template Available
2011 Convention
Support for Green Building
Need More CFEs?
National Walk in the Woods Day
Contact Us

Victoria Lockhart

 Certification Manager

(T) 202 463 2738


Quincey Blanchard

Certification Coordinator

(T) 202 463 2451

April 2011

We hope you enjoy the February edition of Sightline Express, a e-newsletter exclusively for American Tree Farm System Inspectors. Past editions are available online at the Tree Farm website -

New ATFS Certification Coordinator!

Join us in welcoming Quincey Blanchard!  Quincey will focus on assisting states with third party certification assessments and supporting the inspection process.  Her email address is and phone number is 202-463-2451.

New National Management Plan Template Available

ATFS is very pleased to announce the availability of the new national management plan template in partnership with the US Forest Service (USFS) and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). The three organizations recognized that having three separate management plan requirements for ATFS certification, NRCS financial assistance funds and Forest Service Stewardship program funds inhibited participation by forest owners in these programs. We worked together to develop a national model management plan template that can be used for any of the three programs. This collaborative decision will help minimize costs and redundant processes. The template includes a guide for both landowners and foresters in using this new tool. 


The new management plan template was developed to help landowners be more engaged in the plan writing process. We have heard from many landowners and foresters across the country that some management plans are not used by landowners because they do not understand what is in the plan or they find it intimidating because they had no hand in drafting the plan. In the template guides we developed for foresters and landowners, we encourage landowners to seek out the assistance of a professional. We hope that the template format will help you reach more landowners by cultivating more informed and engaged landowners.  

Please visit for a copy. We hope that this will be a useful tool for you in the field!

2011 Tree Farmer Convention 

The 2011 National Tree Farmer Convention will be held August 9-11 in New Mexico, at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, situated between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. The resort is at the base of the Sandia Mountains and reflects the rich history of the Tamayame people. Located on several thousand acres of native land, this property features amazing mountain views, the Rio Grande River, and an expansive cottonwood forest. We are planning programming for Tree Farmers of all ages, so bring the young Tree Farmers in your family. With room rates at just $89/night negotiated especially for our convention goers, this is one you can't miss! Look for registration information in the March/April edition of Tree Farmer Magazine. Be sure to check for the most up to date information. We hope you and your family can join us!

Tree Farmers Helped Create Groundswell of Supoort for Wood in Green Buildings

Tree Farmers voice is heard in Washington!  Not only is ATFS advocating on family forest owners behalf, but Tree Farmers now have the tools to let their own voices be heard! 


At a celebration of the 2011 International Year of Forests, surrounded by friends from the forestry community and 50 Tree Farmers in town for our Tree Farm Fly-in, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced yesterday that USDA and the U.S. Forest Service will play a lead role in the promotion of America's wood products as a green building material. 


 "Thanks to our grassroots network, we created a groundswell of support in the Administration and Congress to promote wood as the green building material. Secretary Vilsack's announcement at our event last night in front of more than 300 people received several rounds of applause - and for good reason.  This is just the market signal we need to expand markets for sustainably grown wood from ATFS," said Tom Martin, President and CEO of the American Forest Foundation.  Read Tom's statement on the initiative and the event.

Do You Need More CFEs? ATFS Helps You with CFEs for Inspections and Inspector Trainings 

ATFS recently met with SAF staff and learned that inspectors can earn claim 2 Category 3 CFEs for one inspection each year. ATFS will run inspection lists quarterly and let SAF know who is eligible to receive the credit. No action is needed by inspectors other than to perform a great inspection!


We often get questions from our State Tree Farm committees as to the CFE process for inspector trainings.  The process outlined below will make it easier for you.


Here is the CFE process for ATFS inspector training

Step 1: Attend an inspector training workshop or logon to the online training.

Step 2: ATFS staff will send SAF a list of trained inspectors so that they can check the list against any inspector claiming credits.

Step 3: Let us know if you do not see your credits in your SAF account within 6 months.

* SAF will not post all ATFS inspector training workshops on their CFE website* 

National Walk in the Woods Day

Save this date -- Saturday, May 21st! 2011 is the International Year of the Forests and AFF is helping to spread the word about the many benefits our forests provide and encourage people to get out there and see the land. Saturday, May 21 is National Walk in the Woods Day, and we invite you to help others discover a forest and learn about its importance by participating in, or leading, a "walk in the woods" activity. Do you rarely spend time in your own woods because you are helping other landowners with theirs? May 21 would be a great time to get out and celebrate! Or maybe use this opportunity to talk to the landowners you work with about having their family out to their woodland.


Here are some ideas:

  • Take your own children, grandchildren, or family/friends/neighbors' children for a walk in the woods.  Conduct a fun, informal educational activity using Project Learning Tree's "Connecting Kids to Nature" activity series.
  • Invite a local youth club or after-school club for an outing to your Tree Farm, or a nearby woodland, city or state park, or a national forest.
  • Help a school improve its forest or plant trees on school grounds with students and teachers.
Q: Who defines a high conservation value forest?          
A: The term is similar to special sites under the AFF Standards; these areas can be defined by the landowners or credible outside organizations through an informal assessment.
Q: What are the requirements for determining the presence of high conservation value forests?
 A: All Tree Farmers are required to address HCVFs in their management plan. This can be a statement of the research done to find out if they have any or a description of the area if they do have an HCVF on their property. In some states, foresters are required to check natural heritage databases or statewide assessments while writing a management plan. The results of this research should be documented in the management plan.
Q: What resources are available to research high conservation value forests? 
A: The ATFS Certification Committee has determined that similar resources used to verify the existence of special sites can be used to verify high conservation value forests. These resources include the State Natural Heritage databases (or similar databases), state wildlife action plans, etc. The process to identify these areas is similar to the process used for identifying special sites as well. High conservation value forests are areas that need to be sustained for their unique values not a single attribute.
Thank you for your participation as an inspector with the American Tree Farm System! Your interaction with family woodland owners is helping to improve the sustainability of our forest resources across the U.S.
As always, check out the latest news of what's happening at the American Tree Farm System on our website -


Please feel free to contact us at any time with any questions or concerns.