Best In The Nation - CSU Society Of American Foresters Alpha Student Chapter Wins Award

FORT COLLINS - Colorado State University’s Society of American Foresters Alpha Student Chapter has been selected by the national Society of American Foresters organization as the winner of the Outstanding Student Chapter Award for 2013-2014. The SAF will formally present the national award to the student club during the 2014 SAF National Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah this October.

The CSU SAF Alpha Student Chapter won the award for its outstanding club engagement and outreach efforts and its dedication to upholding the traditions of land stewardship and natural resource management.  CSU SAF was the first Society of American Foresters student chapter established in the nation and currently has 21 members.

As part of the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship in CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources , CSU SAF hosts events and fundraisers throughout the year to engage the community, raise awareness about forestry and natural resource management, and build education and career opportunities for CSU students. In addition to academic seminars, the student club hosts annual Christmas tree sales, firewood fundraisers, tree pruning workshops, and plantings.

“CSU SAF has many incredibly involved members who dedicate countless hours to fundraising, whether it’s our local firewood fundraiser or our sustainable harvested Christmas tree sale,” said Ryan Davy, the past CSU SAF chapter chair. “Being able to keep this momentum and participation up throughout the semester speaks volumes about our officers and members and their dedication to enriching our community.”

Davy graduated from CSU with a degree in forest management in 2013 and is currently pursuing his M.S. in forest science.

CSU SAF also partners with other natural resource organizations and collaborates on events, such as Natural Resource Days, CSU’s Tree Campus USA and Arbor Day Foundation tree planting, the Colorado State Forest Service’s Forestry Fair, and Collaborative Colorado. Members also assist with forestry related projects on university lands, such as CSU’s mountain campus at Pingree Park.

“CSU SAF provides an opportunity for students to gain hands-on forestry experience, make an impact on the community, and promote the advancement of the forestry field at both the local and national level,” said Jamie Dahl, Colorado State Forest Service education and outreach specialist and CSU SAF faculty advisor. 

Davy led the effort to compile the winning application and was part of a group of students who represented CSU SAF at the 2013 Society of American Foresters National Convention in North Charleston, SC.

 “Having the opportunity to interact with professionals is extremely beneficial and helps bridge the gap between what we learn in a classroom and how to apply those skills in the working world,” remarked Davy.  “Being involved with SAF has helped me build personal and professional connections that will last a lifetime, and have already benefited me in countless ways.”

For more information about CSU’s Society of American Foresters Alpha Student Chapter, visit

New Online Option for Master of Natural Resource Stewardship Degree

Students have a new opportunity to join a legacy of Colorado State University graduates who have become leading managers for some of the nation’s most prominent natural resource management organizations -- without coming to campus. CSU has launched an online option of its Master of Natural Resource Stewardship (M.N.R.S.), designed for mid-level natural resource professionals who are looking to obtain the skills and knowledge necessary for advancement opportunities.

The natural resources management degree is a product of the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship in CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources, the most comprehensive college of its kind in the nation.

“CSU’s Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship has a 110-year history and reputation of excellence in leading the conservation and sustainable stewardship of our natural resources to balance both societal and environmental needs,” said Frederick “Skip” Smith, head of the department. “As we face new and more complex challenges, the need for well-trained natural resource managers is greater than ever.”

The program is at the forefront of natural resource education, transforming students into well-rounded leaders equipped with a comprehensive understanding of dynamic natural resource systems. Students learn how to solve real-world challenges through applicable, science-based management solutions. The curriculum is designed to address current and future issues facing the industry, with courses that cover topics such as natural environmental processes and how they interact with human systems, degraded landscape restoration principles, and the National Environmental Policy Act.


Students Gain Hands-On Restoration Experience

Colorado State University students in NR 193 Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Seminar spent the day playing in the dirt at Robert's Ranch on October 19, 2014. These students gained hands-on restoration experience, learned about erosion control and watershed health, and had fun while making a difference in the community. The students worked with Wildlands Restoration Volunteers (WRV) to seed a stream bank, install erosion control mats, harvest and plant willows and re-engineer a stream.


A photo of the restored creek in Robert's Ranch. Robert's Ranch is held in conservation easements with Larimer County and serves as a corridor for wildlife migration between the front range and the plains. 
Forest and Rangeland Stewardship students prepping the soil for seeding to help establish native plants that will reduce erosion and improve ecosystem health.  The students then installed erosion mats on the stream bank to help stabilize the soil and slow erosion.