PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE — September 2021

SAF’s "Member Ship"

September 3, 2021

Good day! 

Did you feel that?  I did.  

I recently told our CEO, Terry Baker, that I can “feel” our decades-long membership decline changing, and with that, changing the direction of our “Member Ship.” However, changing the direction of a “Ship” as big as SAF is difficult.  First, the “Ship” has to slow down. A moving ship does not have brakes to stop like a vehicle. It has to reduce throttle and slowdown from friction with the water before it can turn. Likewise, SAF’s monthly decline in members has slowed down and stopped, producing small increases over the past three months.

I think this recent membership stabilization is due to our Society showing its value, our members recruiting others, our recent “Together We Rise” membership drive, the restarting of in-person meetings, and perhaps membership hitting a natural bottom. Whatever the reason(s) for recent membership improvement, we welcome the change and should now aggressively seize the moment and work diligently to recruit and reinstate members.

Everyone who is or has made a living from forestry should be members of SAF, the founder and face of US forestry. Its value proposition is solid, and membership is open to not only professional foresters but also other professionals who work in forestry, forestry technicians, and forestry students.

Last week, I had the pleasure of going with Adam Downing, the chairman of the Appalachian Society, to a site near Charleston, South Carolina, to see an infestation of Asian Longhorned Beetles. Our host was Dr. David Coyle, an entomologist with Clemson University extension forestry and an SAF member. He updated us on the infestation and his reasons for being a member of SAF.  Please see the following link to meet Dr. Coyle and see the site. Click here to watch the video. 

Once again, can you feel it? I do. We are turning the “Member Ship” around to a positive direction. With your help and the recruitment of new members to SAF, we can continue sailing our ship in the right direction. I look forward to continuing to work with you on membership and all Society activities.

Best regards,

[As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.”]