2016 Chesapeake Bay Forest Champions Honored, 3 From Pennsylvania

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the U.S. Forest Service presented the 2016 Chesapeake Forest Champions Awards at the 11th Annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum attended by over 420 people from various local organizations.

Three from Pennsylvania were honored: Dr. Jim Finley, Director of Penn State’s Center for Private Forests, received the Lifetime Achievement Award and Bedford County landowners Mike and Laura Jackson were recognized as Exemplary Forest Stewards.  (Photo: Dr. Jim Finley, Mike & Laura Jackson.)

 Dr. Finley led an educational initiative that led to the formation of twenty-five local, independent and active woodland owner associations across the Commonwealth. He also developed the Pennsylvania Forest Stewards program and currently heads Penn State’s new Center for Private Forests: “Connecting People – Sustaining Forests,” an ambitious effort to increase support for private forest landowners.


Mike and Laura Jackson acquired 113 acres of farm and forestland in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Their goal was to leave the land better than they received it.   Since acquiring the land they have worked to reintroduce native vegetation, control the spread of invasive plants and restore habitat for wildlife especially early successional species like the golden wing warbler and American woodcock. They also host woodland tours and share their experience with other woodland owners in the region.

More information is available on programs, initiatives and special events on the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Alliance, Like the Alliance on Facebook, Follow them on Twitter, add them to your Circle on Google+ and visit the Alliance’s YouTube Channel.


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