A Snapshot of a WSI Member Organization
The Indiana Society of American Foresters
By John P. Stambaugh
The Society of American Foresters (SAF), founded by the first chief of the US Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot and six other foresters in November 1900, set out to create a society that would define and guide a profession that was new to the United States. They well understood Europe had a long history of practicing sustainable forestry. These founding foresters united a dedicated group of professional who would promote a similar attitude of land use in the United States.
Today, the SAF has student and professional member chapters, regions, and individual state societies throughout most of the US and its territories. Purdue University has a student chapter. The Indiana Society (INSAF) was formally organized in 1949. At that time, shortly after WWII there were many new graduate foresters leaving colleges and universities having been assisted by the GI bill.
To this day SAF remains the accrediting organization for universities and colleges offering professional two and four year forestry programs here in the US. SAF also offers the certifying designation of CF, (Certified Forester), credentials often seen following a forester’s name. As a professional society, SAF continually seeks to guide its members in conduct and purpose. The mission of SAF includes this language: seeks to advance the science, education, and practice of forestry; to enhance the competency of its members; to establish professional excellence….
The SAF Code of Ethics details how members are to protect and serve society by the conduct of their professional lives, plus it addresses how foresters treat the land.
When the Woodland Steward Institute, which publishes this newsletter, was formed 25 years ago, the Indiana Society of American Foresters was among the organizations providing guidance, support, and financial backing. INSAF remains actively engaged with private landowners in many areas. The most prominent way is through its members in the workforce. These natural resource professionals often work for government agencies such as the Indiana DNR, Department of Defense, and USDA Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service. Others are often employed by industry, not-for-profit organizations, colleges and universities, and private consulting firms.
Other ways INSAF assists landowners include providing position statements and information papers to decision makers at the state and local levels; providing funding and supporting field days for educational outreach, such as Project Learning Tree; and we offer staffed displays at events where forest landowners are present. Find out more about Indiana SAF at indianasaf.net.
John P. Stambaugh is a consulting forester. He represents INSAF on the Woodland Steward Institute board.