Maisch Begins Term as SAF President

January 12, 2022

As 2022 begins, we welcome John “Chris” Maisch, CF of Fairbanks, Alaska as the new president of the SAF Board of Directors. SAF sent a press release this week announcing the start of his one-year term. See below. 

Former Alaska State Forester to Lead Professional Association
Washington, DC—On January 1, 2022, John “Chris” Maisch, CF, began his one-year term as president of the Society of American Foresters (SAF). A member of the Yukon River Chapter since 1983, Maisch has served in several leadership positions. He is the past recipient of the Alaska SAF Young Forester of the Year Award (1989) and Forester of the Year Award (2000). He became a Certified Forester® (CF) in 1997 and actively promotes the CF program within Alaska. Maisch will continue serving on SAF’s Board of Directors for the next two years, including as immediate past president in 2023.

After 15 years of service as the Alaska state forester and leader within the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), including President in 2014, Maisch retired in early 2021. He has testified numerous times before Congress as a subject matter expert on forestry and fire management issues. During his tenure with the Alaska Division of Forestry, he oversaw the creation of a new state forest in southeast Alaska (50,000 acres) and ushered numerous legislative bills through the process of becoming law, including a major update of the state’s wildland fire prevention statutes. He also had the opportunity to work at the international level and was an official member of the US delegation to the United Nations Committee on Forestry in 2012 and 2014.  

A graduate of the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry, he began his career with Tanana Chiefs Conference, Inc. a consortium of Alaska Native communities in Interior Alaska. After an exciting stint co-owning a commercial firewood business, he began working his way through state field forester positions into management ranks and became the northern regional forester in 1999 and the state forester in 2005. Later, he also completed the program for senior executives in state and local government at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government and studied forestry in Norway as part of a Rotary International group study exchange.

Chris and his spouse, Mary, built a log home in Fairbanks, Alaska, and recently began living on board their sailboat, the SV Growler, on Lake Huron during the sailing season. His two adult children, Jordan and Klara, both live in Fairbanks and often share outdoor adventures with them that range from river trips to skiing the trails and mountains they call home. Maisch is also an active volunteer with the National Ski Patrol and frequently offers first responder services at the local ski area.  

Contact: Danielle Watson
202-938-3953; [email protected] 

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