Gifford Pinchot Medal

The medal recognizes outstanding contributions by a forestry professional in the administration, practice, and professional development of forestry in North America. The award is presented in odd-numbered years at the SAF national convention and includes a honorarium of $500, a complimentary SAF convention registration, and up to $500 to cover travel expenses.


Nominees must be members of SAF at the time of the close of the nomination period and cannot be current members of the National Committee on Professional Recognition.


Nominees must demonstrate exemplary actions that further the field of forestry in North America. Evaluation will be based on: 
     •  Bring a professional approach to all endeavors.
     •  Making an indelible mark on the profession.
     •  Being a person of action in the profession.
     •  Making outstanding contributions in administration.


Your nomination packet must be submitted through the online submission portal site and include:
     •  Nominator and Nominee information will be completed online.
     •  A letter from the nominator demonstrating that the nominee meets the award criteria, with each criterion addressed separately in a brief paragraph.
     •  Letters of endorsement, not to exceed three (in addition to the nomination letter), on the nominee's achievements with the award criteria.
     •  A biographical summary, not to exceed three pages, that includes contributions to North American Forestry. 
     • Recent, digital headshot photograph of a minimum 300 dpi.

About Gifford Pinchot

Gifford Pinchot is widely credited as being America's first forester and the father of the conservation movement in North America. On the advice of his father, who was concerned about wasteful land use practices, Pinchot studied forestry in Europe in hopes of improving resource management in America. In 1892, Pinchot began the first systematic forest management plan in North America on the Biltmore estate in North Carolina. Seeing a need for a national resource management organization, Pinchot brought about the establishment of the Forest Service in 1898 with the help of President Theodore Roosevelt. The National Forest system and forest policy as we know them today are a result of Pinchot's efforts.  Pinchot was a man of action. He immersed himself in his work, always finding new and interesting forestry related projects. He inspected the forests of the Philippine Islands to devise a management strategy in 1907. From 1903 to 1936, he was a professor of forestry at Yale. Pinchot wrote tirelessly on the topics of forestry and conservation, including the book Breaking New Ground. In addition to establishing the Forest Service, Pinchot founded the Society of American Foresters in 1900. He served as its president from 1900–1908 and again from 1910–1911. He was elected an SAF Fellow in 1918. Gifford Pinchot brought a professional approach to all his endeavors, the Forest Service, natural resource conservation, and the SAF. His actions have left an indelible mark on the profession of natural resource management.

Gifford Pinchot Medal Recipients

Award YearRecipient
2023Dr. Victor L. Ford, CF75043
2021Dr. Robert C. Kellison57578
2019Mr. Carlton N. Owen72612
2017Mr. Tom L. Thompson74444
2015Henry E. Kodama, CF52501
2013Dr. Jo Ellen Force68741
2011Dr. John A. Helms75734
2009Dr. David W. Smith, CF62305
2007Mr. John A. Sandor70898
2005Dr. John C. Gordon62168
2003Mr. William H. Banzhaf53806
1999Dr. Arthur W. Cooper75419
1997Mr. Bruce R. Miles70648
1995Dr. John F. Hosner71300
1993Dr. Carl H. Stoltenberg78585
1991Dr. Richard A. Skok70912
1989Mr. Rexford A. Resler78586
1987Mr. William D. Hagenstein78587
1985Mr. Stephen H. Spurr78588
1983Dr. Henry J. Vaux78589
1981Mr. Maurice K. Goddard78590
1977Mr. Frank H. Kaufert78645
1975Mr. Paul M. Dunn78646
1973Mr. Edward P. Cliff78647
1971Mr. Emanuel Fritz78609
1969Mr. David T. Mason78648
1967Mr. George L. Drake78649
1965Mr. Stanley G. Fontanna78650
1963Mr. Ralph S. Hosmer78651
1960Mr. Earle H. Clapp78653
1957Mr. Henry E. Clepper78654
1956Mr. I. F. Eldridge78655
1954Mr. William L. Hall78656
1952Mr. Raphael Zon78657
1950Mr. Henry S. Graves78658