Looking Forward to the 2023 National Convention with Forestry: It’s in our DNA

By Erin Kelly and Marcella Windmuller-Campione

After two years of virtual conferences, it was amazing to see a full convention hall at the 2022 SAF National Convention (SAF2022) in Baltimore! Listening to the wide range of speakers live and in-person was such a treat. We look forward to bringing that same energy and excitement for 2023 in Sacramento, California (SAF2023). Last year's convention created an inclusive and engaging platform for discussing topics surrounding Our Working Mosaic, and we plan to extend these concepts into this year's convention.  

We want to first say thank you to the numerous volunteers and SAF staff that made last year's convention a success. SAF2022 highlighted collaboration and the work that we do across urban, suburban, and rural communities. Hundreds of foresters and natural resources professionals contributed to our science and technical program through presentations, panels, and workshops. Organized sessions were led by SAF Working Groups comprised of volunteers around the country, while Allegheny SAF was our convention host and coordinated the fun field tours, among other things.

Many professionals in our 2022 program were first-time convention attendees and speakers. Our three plenary speakers highlighted the need to continue to grow the field by bringing in talented and energetic new foresters; the importance of partnering with diverse landowners to steward landscapes; and the role of our evolving understanding of sustainability in our daily work. Our memories were captured through the amazing work of our graphic recording, highlighting key concepts and themes from the convention.

Looking Ahead
In 2023, we will build on these important insights as we focus on the many interlinking strands of perspectives that make up forestry. Our theme is Forestry: It’s in Our DNA, which references both the proud legacy of forestry and the ongoing challenges and opportunities that foresters and natural resources professionals face.

Several subthemes will help focus the program. First is Sharing our Passion, which encourages us to think about the range of communication platforms that we use and the audiences that we’re speaking with and bringing into the forestry conversation. Second is The Evolution of Forestry, which is an examination of where we are coming from and where we are going as we maintain the relevance of forestry within shifting social values and ecological contexts. The third theme is Disturbance and Resilience and will explore some of our greatest challenges such as climate change, fire, and watershed health from local to global scales, as well as the importance of forest management in addressing these challenges. Emerging Markets is the fourth subtheme and includes conventional markets and the many emerging markets ranging from ecosystem services to small-diameter wood utilization to new international markets.

In Sacramento, we will continue the tradition of gathering our diverse workforce and partners to share our understandings of forestry and its importance in different parts of the country. We will offer a range of exciting field tours such as visits to landscapes impacted by fires, including Sierra forests and wineries; the amazing trees of the state Capitol; and a sawmill owned by the state’s largest private landowner. SAF2023 is an opportunity to reflect upon what makes forestry such a compelling and interesting field and the many subfields that compose forestry’s DNA.

We will gather in the Sacramento Convention Center and encourage attendees to also explore other attractions in the downtown area, such as the California Museum and the renowned Crocker Art Museum. Within a few hours’ drive from the city, attendees and their families may also enjoy the many outdoor wonders of the region, from Lake Tahoe to Yosemite to Napa Valley.

The California Society of American Foresters looks forward to hosting you in Sacramento for the 2023 National Convention exploring our forestry DNA together!

Marcella Windmuller-Campione is the 2023 National Convention Program Chair and Erin Kelly serves as the 2023 National Convention General Chair.