Plenary Sessions

The 2018 SAF National Convention in Portland, Oregon will explore how policy influences the science and management of forested landscapes, and the role of scientists and managers in informing forest policy. From an overview of Pacific Northwest forests, to perspectives on the challenges of transforming state and federal policy into effective natural resource management, to a discussion of how wildland fire policy may be influencing forest management decisions, plenary sessions will consider the role of science in policy decisions and the role of scientists and managers in the policy process.

Plenary #1: Forest Policy and Forest Management (Never the Twain Shall Mix?)

Our opening plenary will provide a welcome to the Pacific Northwest and set the tone for thinking about the role of science and policy in forest management. What is the role of science in policy decisions? What is the role of scientists and managers in the policy process? Why don’t they listen to us?


Peter Daugherty, Oregon State Forester

Peter Daugherty, selected by the Board of Forestry as Oregon’s 13th State Forester, leads the Department of Forestry in its mission to serve Oregonians by protecting, managing, and promoting stewardship of Oregon’s forests. He also helps the Board carry out its mission to lead Oregon in implementing policies and programs that promote sustainable management of Oregon's public and private forests. State Forester Daugherty joined the Department in 2007. He served most recently as the Private Forests Division Chief, where he worked on best forest management practices for water quality, and on forest health, family forestlands, and urban forestry. Over the course of his career, he has worked as a private forest economist and a professor of forest management and ecological economics. He also enjoyed time as a US Forest Service research forester.

Plenary #2: The Shaping of Forest Management through Science and Policy

This plenary will provide an insightful perspective of the role of science and policy in forest management in the PNW and US. Manifest destiny, rugged independence, multiple use management, scientific management, and now fire and restoration have driven how and why forest management has changed from a policy perspective over the last 120+ years. Speakers will illustrate how human values and science intertwine and give rise to policies that challenge managers of forested landscapes in the 21st century.  What role does forest science play in contemporary policy development and how can it reliably inform the process when we have problems with the politics?  Speakers will discuss the challenges of transforming policy into actual management actions on both private and public lands, particularly when policies tend to shift with changing administrations at state and national levels.


Bob Lackey, Oregon State University

Bob Lackey is professor of fisheries science at Oregon State University. In 2008, he retired after 27 years with the Environmental Protection Agency’s national research laboratory in Corvallis where he served as Deputy Director, Associate Director for Science, and in other senior science leadership positions. Since his very first fisheries and wildlife job as an undergraduate mucking out raceways in a trout hatchery, he has worked on an assortment of environmental and natural resource issues in various positions in government and academia. His professional assignments involved diverse and politically contentious issues, but mostly he has operated at the interface between science and policy. Dr. Lackey has long been an educator, having taught at five North American universities, and currently teaches a graduate course in ecological policy at Oregon State University.


Bettina Ring, Commonwealth of Virginia

Bettina Ring serves as Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry for the Commonwealth of Virginia where she supports the Governor’s mission of building a strong Virginia economy in agriculture and forestry, while also protecting the environment. Prior to her appointment as Secretary, Ring was State Forester of the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF). Prior to VDOF, Bettina was the senior vice president of family forests at the American Forest Foundation, a position responsible for overseeing the American Tree Farm System. Bettina has also served as executive director of the Bay Area Open Space Council in San Francisco and was the executive director of the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts. A Virginia native, Ring began her career with VDOF and held a number of leadership positions, including deputy state forester, during her initial 18 years with the agency.

Plenary #3: To Manage Forests or to Manage Wildfires?

We can debate the reasons why or how we’ve arrived at the current state of forests in the United States, but the impact of wildfire is undeniable. Panelists will challenge us to consider how wildland fire policy is driving or is being driven by forest management decisions. Private landowners are altering portfolios to manage for risk, while pubic land agencies are desperately trying to increase the pace and scale of forest restoration treatments. What are the implications for future forests and future management? 


Tom Fry, American Forest Foundation

Tom Fry is the Director of Western Forest Conservation at the American Forest Foundation. Working closely with federal and state agencies, universities, and local NGOs, Tom directs AFF’s conservation activities to quicken the pace and scale of cross-jurisdictional forest stewardship on nonindustrial private lands across the 11-state West. Prior to joining AFF, Tom spent five years with The Nature Conservancy as a senior policy advisor on climate adaptation and on North American large landscape conservation. Additionally, Tom worked for two years as an advisor in the Immediate Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior. In the seven years prior to relocating to Washington, DC, Tom led a national wildfire program and forest restoration efforts in the central Rockies for The Wilderness Society.


Serra Hoagland, US Forest Service

Serra Hoagland serves as the Liaison Officer (Biologist) for the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station Fire Lab to Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana. From 2012-2016 Serra worked as a Biological Scientist and served as the Tribal Relations co-point of contact for the USFS Southern Research Station. As the first Native American to graduate from Northern Arizona University with a PhD in forestry, Serra studied Mexican spotted owl habitat on tribal and nontribal lands in the Sacramento Mountains, NM. Serra is Laguna Pueblo from the village of Paguate and is involved in several efforts to increase the representation of Native Americans in natural resources.


Randy Moore, US Forest Service

Randy Moore has served in numerous assignments at the local, regional, and national levels, and has been a catalyst for change and creativity in how the US Forest Service does its business of caring for the land and serving people. Currently, Pacific Southwest Regional Forester with overall responsibility for 18 National Forests in California, covering one-fifth of the state or 20 million acres of land, as well as responsibility for State & Private Forestry programs in Hawaii and the affiliated Pacific Islands, Moore was previously the Regional Forester for the Eastern Region. A native of Bastrop, Louisiana, Moore graduated from Southern University and began his federal career with the US Natural Resources Conservation Service in North Dakota. He started his US Forest Service career on the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and the Comanche and Cimarron National Grasslands.


Tom Schultz, Idaho Forest Group

Tom Schultz assumed the position of Vice President of Governmental Affairs for Idaho Forest Group in January 2018, where he manages key relationships and directs communications and community outreach for the eighth largest forest products company in the United States. Previously he served as the director of the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) with oversight responsibilities for several forestry assistance programs, including administering the Forest Practices Act, as well as directing the agency's work in providing wildfire protection across 6.3 million acres of mostly state and private lands. Prior to joining IDL, Tom worked 14 years for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) serving as administrator of the DNRC Trust Lands Division, and as administrator for the DNRC Water Resources Division from 2009 to 2010. Prior to entering the natural resource sector, Tom served as an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Launch Officer in the US Air Force.


Diane Vosick, Northern Arizona University

Diane Vosick is the Director of Policy and Partnerships for the Ecological Restoration Institute at Northern Arizona University. In that capacity she works with policy makers, environmental stakeholders, business interests and land managers to achieve the goal of ecological restoration of frequent fire forests. Her work includes translating and communicating the biophysical and social science that support restoration to key audiences. She has spent her entire career in the field of conservation and ecological restoration.  She has a MA in Geography from the University of Minnesota and a BA from the Evergreen State College.