Throughout his 99 years, Bill Hagenstein was passionate about advancing the public's understanding of forestry. His work and legacy will endure, thanks to a generous bequest he has left to both the Society of American Foresters and the World Forestry Center. The announcement was made this week at Society of American Foresters' national convention in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Bill's gift ensures a lasting impact on forests and forestry. Through Bill's gift, both organizations envision a strong partnership that actively involves professional foresters in the United States and abroad, bringing the benefits of research to light through lectures and conversations on both coasts. SAF and the World Forestry Center are committed to building a lasting tribute by bringing greater public awareness to the forestry issues that Bill so passionately championed.
Bill was a longtime association forester, beginning with his work for the West Coast Lumberman’s Association in 1941. He served as manager and executive vice president of the Industrial Forestry Association (IFA) from its founding in 1949 until his retirement in 1980. He took great pride in having been present at the birth of the Tree Farm system in 1942 and in the founding of the IFA nursery system which continues to produce seedlings for private landowners. He joined SAF as a student in 1938 and served as president from 1966-1969. He was awarded the Society’s Gifford Pinchot Medal in 1987 and the national Communicators award is named after him. His autobiography, Corks and Suspenders, was published in 2010.
One of the most colorful characters in American forestry, Bill testified before legislatures and Congressional committees hundreds of times during his career. He continued to be a tireless advocate of what is currently called “active forest management” throughout his life. Bill passed away on September 4, 2014.