Diversity and Inclusion

A focus on diversity and inclusion practices, closely linked with specific actions such as employee recruitment and retention strategies, helps every aspect of the profession and drives continuous improvement. By casting a wider net for future foresters and natural resources managers, we can compete with the other STEM professions for the brightest minds and retain these talented individuals by providing opportunities for professional growth and career advancement. These strategies for welcoming and mentoring diverse employees will build a diverse and talented workforce equipped to help the profession better fulfill its mission to serve society.

Together we will make SAF an inclusive organization that welcomes all types of diversity—from one’s alma mater, to their chosen career path or sector within the broad field of forestry, to gender, ethnicity, cultural diversity, and beyond.

SAF Diversity and Inclusion Policy: The Society of American Foresters is committed to diversity and inclusion in our leadership, membership, programs, and activities. SAF seeks to connect with those who value forests and their benefits, creating an abundance of dedicated professionals and volunteers eager and willing to advance the sustainable management of our forest resources. SAF strives to promote an environment designed to embrace our differences in which all community members are welcomed and valued. Successfully engaging people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives strengthens our communities, provides essential resources, and creates thriving forests. Broad participation by diverse people within our membership, the forestry community, partner organizations, landowners, and other stakeholders is essential to fulfilling our mission.

SAF Activities

SAF has taken the following steps to actively promote diversity and inclusion:

Adopted the Diversity and Inclusion Policy, which serves as a guidepost and impetus for SAF diversity and inclusion programs and activities.

Adopted the Anti-Harassment Policy to help build and sustain a welcoming and inclusive culture by clearly articulating that harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.

Launched a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group (F3) to broaden the discussion of these issues, spur action at the local level, and identify opportunities and resources to help SAF continue to evolve. 

Created a Diversity Leadership Award to recognize individual excellence in diversity promotion and advancement.

Expanded the Student Diversity Scholar Program to more students to promote leadership and create community within SAF by encouraging the involvement in the profession of a variety of people.

Forged a partnership with the US Forest Service and the National Association of University Forest Resource Programs to better understand how to foster a culture of inclusion in the profession. The report "Increasing Talent Through Increasing Diversity" provides key steps and recommendations to help attract and retain talent in forest resource management. 

Established the Mollie Beattie Visiting Scholar in Forest Policy Program to support one graduate student, post-doctoral student, faculty, or early career professional in forestry or related natural resource disciplines. Applicants from underrepresented groups in natural resources professions will be given priority.
Continued to foster relationships and networking opportunities for international students and early-career professionals through the Gregory Award, which helps bring these individuals to the SAF National Convention.