Who We Are

Leadership Roster

Chair – Mr. Mike Spalding, IDNR
Vice-Chair – Mr. Travis Dunn, IDNR
Past Chair – Mr. Chris Neggers, The Nature Conservancy
Secretary – Mr. Tommy Gunn, The Nature Conservancy
Treasurer – Mr. Josh Wagner, Wagner Forestry

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History and Mission of SAF


The mission of the Society of American Foresters is to advance the science, education, technology and practice of forestry; to enhance the competency of its members; to establish standards of professional excellence; and to use the knowledge, skills and conservation ethic of the profession to ensure the continued health and use of forest ecosystems and the present and future availability of forest resources to benefit society.


Gifford Pinchot and six other pioneer foresters founded the Society of American Foresters (SAF) in 1900. The Society, with about 18,000 members, is the national organization representing the forestry profession in the United States and includes public and private practitioners, researchers, administrators, educators and forestry students. It is also the accreditation authority for professional forestry education in the United States.

SAF members subscribe to a code of ethics, the foundation for their professional behavior in relations with the land, the public, their employees (including clients), and with each other. Stewardship of the land is the cornerstone of the forestry profession. As such, SAF members advocate and practice land management consistent with ecologically sound principals.

The society publishes the Journal of Forestry, Forest Science, Southern Journal of Applied Forestry, Northern Journal of Applied Forestry, Western Journal of Applied Forestry, and Proceedings for the national convention.

Indiana SAF Fellows

Indiana SAF fellows have met the following criteria:

  1. A strong commitment through direct SAF volunteer activities, and
  2. Exemplary action, sustained leadership, and advancement of the forestry profession in at least one of the following areas:
    1. application of forestry
    2. education
    3. public policy
    4. research, or
    5. technology transfer

These criteria would typically be demonstrated by a significant number of years of sustained commitment to SAF voluntary activities, performed at two or more of the following SAF organizational levels: state; regional (multi-state or voting district); or national. The criteria are sustained over many years in advancing the forestry profession at two or more of these levels though exceptions are made for unusually notable contributions to SAF or to the forestry profession over a shorter time frame.

In Indiana, the following individuals have been honored by being selected as SAF Fellows:

1986 – Mr. William L. Fix
1986 – Mr. Robert D. Burke CF
1987 – Dr. John W. Moser Jr.
1991 – Dr. William R. Byrnes
1998 – Dr. Burnell C. Fischer SF, CF
2000 – Mr. Larry R. Frye
2003 – Mr. John R. Seifert CF
2005 – Dr. William L. Hoover
2006 – Ms. Janet Ann Eger
2008 – Mr. Bruce E. Wakeland CF
2009 – Mr. Dale R. Weigel CF, Ronald G Abraham
2012 – Ronald A Rathfon

Certified Foresters

The Society of American Foresters is certifying foresters who meet stringent standards for professional education, experience and continuing education. The program documents that foresters receiving certification posses the necessary body of knowledge to perform as professionals. It also shows that certificants are dedicated to professional standards and are willing to maintain their continuing professional education. Locate a certified forester.