National Forestry Group Honors DCNR's Rachel Reyna
Accomplishment in rural and community forestry and personal achievement as a member of a national professional organization have earned a DCNR Bureau of Forestry employee prestigious honors from the Society of American Foresters.
Rachel R. Reyna, chief of the bureau’s Rural and Community Forestry Section, has been named the 2013 recipient of the society’s Young Forester Leadership Award, recognizing “outstanding leadership by a young forestry professional in the development and promotion of an individual program or project, or for a sustained leadership role benefiting the practice of forestry and the Society of American Foresters.”
Employed by the bureau since 2001, Reyna directs a variety of private land and urban programs and initiatives within Pennsylvania, including private Forestland Stewardship, Urban and Community Forestry, Agroforestry, and Forest Legacy, among others. She also maintains a close partnership with Pennsylvania State University Extension, working to support private land and urban and community programs that help increase the capacity, breadth, and accomplishments of the state programs under her jurisdiction.
"This honor, to be sure, is a milestone in my career but it also is testament to all the good work the Bureau of Forestry and my talented section do in the communities and their woodlands close to home,” Reyna said. “TreeVitalize, riparian buffers, park plantings … the examples of solid community commitment go on and on.”
“Ms. Reyna works closely with the conservation community to accomplish her goals, partnering with universities, local and national conservancies, landowner groups, municipal governments, utility companies, and others to achieve goals,” the society noted in its nomination. “Through her work with the Forest Legacy Program, Ms. Reyna facilitated the protection of over 4,400 acres of working forests through both fee purchase and conservation easements.
"Communicating the benefits that forestland, trees, and the profession of forestry bring to society at large is of paramount importance to Rachel.”
A member of the Society of American Forester since 1993 when she was an undergraduate at Louisiana State University, Reyna has chaired a multitude of SAF committees and is a seasoned administrator and leader of SAF efforts on the national, multi-state and local levels. Her commitment to SAF continued at the Pennsylvania State University where she obtained a master’s degree in agriculture, and during a period of self-employment in forestry education and database creation.
Citing her “longstanding leadership roles in the profession, particularly in the private forestland and urban and community forestry arenas,” the society said Reyna is dedicated to “communicating the benefits that forestland, trees, and the profession of forestry bring to society at large.”
A resident of Mechanicsburg where she resides with her husband, Reyna, 38, began her bureau career as a forest program specialist in rural and community forestry, working in the Forest Legacy Program, Metropolitan Initiative, Urban and Community Forestry Program, and Stewardship Program.
The Society of American Foresters is a national scientific and educational organization representing the forestry profession in the United States. Founded in 1900 by Gifford Pinchot, it is the largest professional society for foresters in the world. Its mission is to:
“Advance the science, education, technology, and practice of forestry; to enhance the competency of its members; to establish 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.”
(Reprinted from the July 24 DCNR Resource newsletter.)
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