Sightline Express
In This Issue
Regional Outstanding Inspecting Foresters of the Year
How to use the Management Plan Addendum
Call for Stories from Tree Farmers
Protecting Tree Farmers from Burdensome Road Regulations
Help us reach our October ATFS goal!
Contact Us
Sarah Crow

Certification Manager

(T) 202 463 2738


Quincey Blanchard

Certification Coordinator

(T) 202 463 2451

September 2011 

We hope you enjoy the September edition of Sightline Express, the e-newsletter exclusively for American Tree Farm System Inspectors.

Regional Outstanding Inspecting Foresters of the Year

Every year, ATFS sponsors the Outstanding Inspecting Forester of the Year program to recognize four top performers, one per region, from among the thousands of Tree Farm Inspecting Foresters. ATFS Inspecting foresters provide the on-the-ground validation work that is essential to the integrity of the Tree Farm program. 


The 2011 Regional Inspecting Foresters of the Year are:


Northeast: Sam Topper, Delaware Forest Service

North Central: John Jolliff, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry

West: Michael Heath, Oregon, Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District

South: Brian Cobble, Florida Division of Forestry


One of these four inspectors is then named recipient of the Wesley R. Meier National Outstanding Inspecting Forester of the Year Award at the Tree Farmer Convention. Brian Cobble is the 2011 recipient. As a part of his job with the Florida Department of Forestry, Cobble has exerted extra energy to bring the Tree Farm message of forest conservation, management, and sustainability to the landowners of Suwannee County, Florida. During 2010, Cobble conducted 45 inspections on 13,809 acres, including bringing nine new properties into the Tree Farm program.


Brian gave moving remarks to more than 300 landowners, foresters, families, and partners at the convention, showcasing why, as  a volunteer, he continues to promote the value of ATFS and give landowners the on the ground support and tools they need to keep their forests healthy and productive for generations to come. 




How to use the Management Plan Addendum

The 2010 Management Plan Addendum (Addendum) is a great tool for inspecting foresters to help Tree Farmer's keep their forest management plans updated and to retain their ATFS Certification. Along with the Addendum, inspecting foresters should encourage Tree Farmers to keep notes, documents and hand written changes in their management plan, as necessary. The addendum ensures that a plan is active and adaptive, embodies the landowner's current objectives, remains appropriate for the land certified, and reflects the current state of knowledge about forestry and natural resource management, without developing a new written management plan.


However, if the Tree Farmer's management plan needs more than the Addendum to conform to the Standards, we suggest that the landowner contact their professional forester to update or rewrite the plan so that the Tree Farmer can remain certified. As the inspecting forester, you can use the Joint Management Plan Template to write, rewrite or compare forest management plans. The Joint Management Plan Template allows landowners to use one management plan to participate in the American Tree Farm System, the U.S. Forest Service Forest Stewardship Program, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service incentives programs. The template is not a program requirement for any of the three programs; rather it is a tool for foresters and landowners. If you have any questions, please contact Caroline Kuebler.



Call for Stories from Tree Farmers  

The ongoing work of the American Forest Foundation and the Forests in the Farm Bill Coalition resulted in the 2008 Farm Bill providing forest family owners unprecedented access to U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs, giving them tools to keep their forests healthy, productive, and enjoyable. Forest owners are now able to use these programs to improve the health of their woods, fight invasive species, protect against fire, and reforest areas. Please see Forests in the Farm Bill Progress Report: 2011 Updated Edition. This is a great resource to share with Tree Farmers!


We're looking for Tree Farmers who can share their experiences with Farm Bill programs on Tree Farm's website, "Tell Your Story." These stories are extremely helpful in giving Tree Farmers a voice in Washington and fostering access to Farm Bill programs.  These experiences will be shared with policy makers who are developing the 2012 Farm Bill.


Protecting Tree Farmers from Burdensome Road Regulations 

AFF is working with Society of American Foresters (SAF) and others to protect Tree Farmers from road regulations for water quality.  ATFS Certified Tree Farmers currently follow Best Management Practices (BMPs) in every state.


The following questions were developed by AFF and SAF and others to help Congress understand why an additional permit requirement for Tree Farmers is unnecessary. Please consider all properties you manage or own, but use specific properties for your answers. SAF will use a sample of stories in a printed brochure to illustrate the contributions of forest management to water quality. Please forward your answers to John Barnwell via email,, or by mail to: John Barnwell, SAF, 5400 Grosvenor Lane Bethesda, MD 20814.


Land Management Questions:

  1. 1.    Do roads utilized for forest management activities on properties you own or manage provide access to adjacent properties? Are these roads used by traffic not associated with forest management activities? If so, how frequently are they used by traffic not related to forest management activities, daily, weekly, monthly, or every once in a while?
  2. 2.    Would a new forest roads permit requirement under the Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System make you consider selling the properties or converting the forest lands to another use?
  3. 3.    Where do you own forestland or work as a forester? What documents are filed to show compliance with Best Management Practices guidelines for the state; American Tree Farm System, Sustainable Forest Initiative, or Forest Stewardship Council certification programs; and all federal, state, and local laws that apply to properties you own or manage?   

Help us reach our October ATFS goal!
Join us on Facebook!  

With more than 500 million active users, the social networking site Facebook helps deliver valued connections to online communities around the world.  ATFS joined Facebook in 2009 to instantly share more tools, photos, resources, and personal stories.  We currently have 720 fans interacting on our page-check us out.  We have room to grow, and would like to reach 1,001 Facebook "Likes" by October 1, 2011.  Please join the conversation and help us reach our goal by clicking "Like" on our page and sharing the link with other people in your community.  We appreciate the support! If you have questions, please contact Amanda Cooke.



Email to get your Stumped? questions answered!


Q: What can a Tree Farmer do to prove to a mill that they are  certified with ATFS?


A:  A Tree Farmer proves that they are  certified by providing their Tree Farm number to the forester, logger, local mill and other service providers when cutting wood. In addition to sharing your Tree Farm number, having a Tree Farm sign on the property can also help build recognition of the Tree Farm program among foresters and loggers. To verify the Tree Farmer's certification, please contact Quincey Blanchard at the ATFS office. For companies where ATFS is a principle source of certified fiber, ATFS has developed an Online Verification Database.  This online resource is available by subscription to provide electronic verification of ATFS Certification. Anyone needing assistance verifying Tree Farmers certification status can contact Quincey Blanchard.


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.