Sightline Express
In This Issue
Moving Towards the Future
We give the tools to help validate the work family woodland owners are doing to keep their forest healthy and productive.

Working together, we help provide outreach to landowners and promote better forest stewardship.
Contact Us
Sarah Crow

Certification Manager

(T) 202 463 2738


Quincey Blanchard

Certification Coordinator

(T) 202 463 2451

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We grow stewardship from the roots

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


Services Directory for Inspecting Foresters   

The ATFS online Service Directory is a tool for landowners and inspectors to use when looking for contact information, tips, and other information important to their region.  Included in the service directory is a listing of inspecting foresters by state and their contact information. Inspectors who have completed at least one inspection using the 2010-2015 Standards are included. Tree Farmers who use a forestry professional listed in the service directory are assured that the forester meets ATFS requirements - an added value to the landowner.  If you see that your contact information is incorrect, please email  If you would like to be listed, contact your state program and request a Tree Farm inspection.   




ATFS "Update Your Management Plan Campaign" is Underway!

ATFS offers certification to family forest owners committed to the 2010-2015 Standards of Sustainability. Every year, ATFS undergoes a third-party certification assessment to examine on-the-ground conformance to the Standards. The assessment team reports back to ATFS an outline of the work that Tree Farmers are doing with their woodlands on the ground, as well as ways ATFS can improve the certification program.


There is an opportunity for improvement identified by the assessment team - the need for Tree Farmers to maintain updated management plans.  In response, ATFS is excited to announce our new "Review Your Management Plan" Campaign. Starting this winter, we will provide articles, web resources, and webinars to encourage Tree Farmers to review their management plan early in 2012.  We're encouraging Tree Farmers to:

  • Review their plans on annually
  • Document their accomplishments
  • Plan for new activities
  • Address any changes to their woods

As an inspecting forester, you may receive phone calls from landowners with questions as they review their management plans.  In particular, Tree Farmers may need assistance ensuring their plans meet the 2010-2015 Standards. Please continue to provide Tree Farmers with assistance so they may continue to implement sound forestry practices on the ground and continue their stewardship into the future. For questions, please contact


ATFS, ACF and SAF announce "Partnership for Better Forests"   

ATFS, in partnership with the Association of Consulting Foresters (ACF) and the Society of American Foresters (SAF), announce the "Partnership for Better Forests." initiative. This initiative recognizes inspecting foresters who provide the on the ground validation that is essential for the integrity of the program. ATFS, ACF and SAF will provide a $100 credit for qualifying foresters towards their 2012 ACF or SAF membership dues.  In addition, SAF will credit members for the balance of their national dues. Local and chapters dues may still apply.


In order to qualify for a $100 credit on your 2012 ACF or SAF dues, you need to complete our survey and then complete two inspections. These inspections could be either new Tree Farm inspections or optional reinspections; however, required inspections and decertifications do not apply.  Any applicable inspections completed after the program's start date of September 1, 2011 are eligible.

We can only guarantee the $100 credit for the first 100 ACF and first 100 SAF foresters who complete their eligible inspections after September 1, 2011. So, get your boots on the ground and the 004 Inspection Forms into the pipeline quick!

Moving Towards the Future

Clean Water Act Could Impact Family Forest Owners!

In May 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that runoff from forest roads is as a "point source" of pollution. Family forest owners with runoff from forest roads could be required to do more than the current approach of using management practices to protect water quality. In contrast to this best management practices approach, "point sources" of pollution are regulated by a Clean Water Act permit. Under the Clean Act, a polluter must get a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency or the state environmental agency, to discharge the pollutant into the water.


As your voice in Washington, the American Tree Farm System is working to respond on behalf family forestland owners. Recently, a bipartisan group of representatives and senators introduced legislation to fix this problem. The legislation will ensure that forestry continues to be treated as a "nonpoint" source of pollution, affirming that the current approach of using best management practices will protect water quality. For more information for your landowners please see the AFF Clean Water Act Factsheet.


ATFS is working hard to build support for this important legislation because we support voluntary-based approaches to protecting water quality. We'll continue fighting for you but we need your help! Sign up for Senate Alerts and House Alerts if you want to take action to support favorable legislation.


Go to to write your members of Congress, asking them to protect family forest owners from additional regulations by cosponsoring H.R. 2541/S.1369. Contact Melissa Harden with questions.



Email to get your Stumped? questions answered!

Q: My client passed away and left her Tree Farm to her son. Can the property stay in the Tree Farm System with the same initial certification date?


A: Yes! If the Tree Farm is passed down to a family member, then the Tree Farm number and initial certification date can stay the same. However, the Tree Farm must follow the 2010-2015 Standards of Sustainability and have an up-to-date forest management plan. Be sure you fill out a 004 Inspection Form and send it to your State Committee indicating a change of ownership.


If the Tree Farm is sold outside of the family, then the property must be decertified. The Inspecting Forester can then do an initial certification on the property as long as it conforms to the Standards.

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.