Resilient Forests has been selected as the general theme for the Convention. This topic is particularly important to the region since resilience of our local forests is evident everywhere you look in the surrounding areas. Nowhere is this more evident than in the three million acres burned in the famous Fires of 1910. The Conference Keynote Speaker, Dr. Stephen Pyne, will lead off the plenary session addressing the 1910 Fires and subsequent development of these forests and implications for current forest management options. Attendees will also have an opportunity to view these areas in during a field tour. All of the program details can be found at the national web page at http://safnet.org/natcon12/program/speakers.cfm.
Foresters, resource management professionals, and the general public within the Inland Empire of the Pacific Northwest have celebrated several 100-year anniversaries in recent years including:
- The 1910 fires that led to establishing and implementing national wildland fire policies.
- The 100th Anniversary of the Priest River Experimental Forest in 2011.
- The 100th Anniversary of the University of Idaho School of Forestry in 2010.
- The 100th Anniversary of the University of Montana School of Forestry in 1996.
- The 100th Anniversary of the US Forest Service in 2005.
These events and the contributions of foresters and land managers have contributed to developing resilient and sustainable forests, institutions, and economic conditions for the past century. The 2012 convention will link the historical efforts of the past century while focusing on sustainability as an issue for the next century. Given that major elements include integrating biological, social, and economic considerations, the vast majority of discussions over the past decade have focused on social and biological aspects such as climate change, and the focus for the 2012 convention will be on linking the economic aspects of sustainability. The subject is especially relevant today for all forms of forest landownership, our institutions, the profession, and our people.
This is the third time Spokane has hosted the National SAF Convention. Every past convention has been a wonderful success and we anticipate the same for this year’s convention. We look forward to your attendance and finding out what makes Spokane “Near Nature and Near Perfect” as the city is proud to proclaim.