Friday, November 10 was a fun day in Missoula, Montana! Forestry and Forest Products Industry professionals gathered at the American Forest Resource Council - Emerging Leaders conference to discuss sustainable forest management, its vital role in the health and prosperity of our state and country, and how best practices aid in the fight against climate change.
Attendees included representatives from local forest products companies, timber harvesters, the Montana Department of Natural Resources (DNRC), the Idaho Department of Lands, and the Montana Logging Association.
Topics ranged from forest policy, engaging public officials, coalition-building, communications, advocacy, and messaging. The agenda also featured visits from two special guests; Congressman Ryan Zinke and Tim Sheehy, who is running for the U.S. Senate in Montana. Mr. Sheehy is the founder and CEO of Bridger Aerospace, a provider of aerial firefighting services, who understands the importance of sustainable forest management for our state.
A central message that emerged from the conference was that there is growing public understanding and support for sustainable forest management, especially when preventing catastrophic wildfires. Attendees were encouraged to actively advocate on behalf of forestry and the forest products industry and sustainable forest management.
The conference was hosted by the American Forest Resource Council (AFRC) and Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities. AFRC is a regional trade association that advocates for sustainable forest management and timber harvests on public lands to enhance forest health.
Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities is a non-profit, grassroots coalition that advocates for active forest management throughout the West and is supported by individuals and businesses passionate about improving the health of our forests and the future of our rural, forested communities.