On the Ballot: SAF Membership Structure

Active members of SAF help shape the future of the forestry profession for the better.

By Darnell Pinson

March 14, 2023 

Active members of SAF help shape the future of the forestry profession for the better. To identify your top needs and wants, SAF conducted a comprehensive survey of members, non-members, and former members in November 2021. We came away with two very important action items for 2022 and 2023: 1) simplify SAF’s membership structure and 2) update SAF’s bylaws to reflect the new structure and SAF membership eligibility. 

Your SAF board of directors took your survey responses to heart and, in July 2022, approved motions to realign SAF’s dual membership structure to reduce the number of membership types and update the dues rates as follows:
  • Combine the Platinum and Gold membership types into a new “Premium” membership (Dues $180).
  • Combine the Silver and Full membership types into one “Full” membership (Dues $125). 
  • Create an “Affiliate” membership type for those who are working in, are supporters of, and/or are otherwise connected to the forestry profession, but do not hold a degree in forestry or natural resources (Dues $75). 
  • Broaden the International  membership type to include those who work in the field of forestry or natural resources but are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States (Dues variable).
  • Decrease dues for the “Transitional” membership by creating a five-step, annualized sliding scale based on the number of years the member is post-grad (Dues $35 to $75). 
  • Decrease dues for the “Student” membership to $25. 
  • Maintain level dues for the “Retired” membership at $85.

From May 1st to May 31st, voting members of SAF will be able to vote to amend the SAF bylaws to reflect the proposed membership structure and eligibility.
If the referendum (as recommended by the SAF Board) is approved, you’ll see the new membership structure fully implemented by January 1, 2024, with dues notices sent on October 1, 2023.
To help explain these proposed changes and their impacts, SAF published an article in March's The Forestry Source. We've also prepared: 1) a briefer detailing membership eligibility and benefits under the proposed structural changes and 2) a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) one-pager.

WHAT'S NEXT? Over the months of April and May, you'll receive emails with voting information direct to your inbox. On May 24th, SAF will hold a Water Cooler virtual event in which CEO Terry Baker will discuss the proposal. If you have any questions regarding the proposal or voting process, please reach out to SAF Membership Director Darnell Pinson at [email protected].