This year at the New York Society of American Foresters (NYSAF) meeting, the "Forestry Communications and Education Award" was presented to Suzanne Treyger, forest program manager for Audubon's Connecticut and New York office, and Steve Hagenbuch, conservation biologist for Audubon Vermont, for successfully launching Audubon's first-ever Forester Training and Endorsement program in 2021.
The Forestry Communications and Education Award is given to recognize outstanding efforts to promote understanding and appreciation of forest resources, management and stewardship through communications and/or education.
“Audubon is appreciative to receive this award and recognition for this new program,” said Treyger upon receiving the award. “We’re grateful to Audubon’s Healthy Forests Initiative staff that developed the curriculum and delivered the trainings, and for the support provided by the Society of American Foresters, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Forest Stewards Guild, and foresters that provided feedback about the program. Special thanks to all the foresters that are participating in the program - we are very excited to collaborate with you and do great work together.”
Audubon created its training and endorsement program to create a national network of professional foresters working to promote healthy forest ecosystems that provide high-quality habitat for forest-dependent birds like the Black-throated Blue Warbler and American Woodcock.
“We are honored to receive this award on behalf of the entire Audubon Healthy Forest Initiative team. The support that Audubon has received from the professional forestry community for our work has been incredible. Our hope is that the Forester Training and Endorsement program helps to lift up the work of forest managers as critical partners in bird conservation,” said Hagenbuch.
An Audubon endorsement means that participating foresters have completed the bird-friendly forestry training curriculum and demonstrated that they can apply the concepts taught to them. Once endorsed, foresters have access to Audubon's wide landowner base, and promotional support.
"This distinguished recognition is considered by many SAF members as the highest honor that our professional organization may bestow upon our members," writes the NYSAF.
Audubon's Forester Training and Endorsement Program is funded by a Landscape Scale Restoration grant by the U.S Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, an equal opportunity provider, Davis Conservation Foundation, LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Overhills Foundation, NextEra Energy Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and High Meadows Fund.