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.


Student Taylor Hunter Selected For SAF Forest Policy Internship In D.C.

Colorado State University student Taylor Hunter, natural resource management ‘15, will spend her summer in Washington D.C. working with the nation’s leaders on national environmental policy issues. She was selected for the prestigious Society for American Foresters’ Henry Clepper Forest Policy Internship which selects only one intern each year from across the nation.

The paid internship provides an opportunity for students to see how SAF and other forestry-related organizations engage on national natural resource policy issues. Hunter will serve as assistant to the SAF Forest Policy Team and will prepare background reports, monitor environmental and natural resource legislation, and provide liaison to other environmental and natural resource organizations.

While in D.C., she will help SAF as they work with the administration on integrating forest policy into climate change policy, pushing solutions to wildland fire mitigation and funding, finding ways to accelerate management on federal lands and improving the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. She will attend congressional hearings and participate in meetings with congressional staff, agencies and partner groups in order to advise them on forest policy. She will also get the chance to write articles for the Forestry Source and the Journal of Forestry.

Branching Out
Hunter feels honored to have been accepted for the SAF internship and hopes it can be an inspiration to others. “I hope my involvement in this internship inspires other people to know that they can do something amazing and make a difference, because I’m no different than anyone else,” she said.  “Going to D.C. is so exciting because it will allow me to branch out. I come from a really big family, so we never really traveled much.”

In high school, Hunter knew she wanted to promote sustainability and go to a large university, so she applied to CSU and chose a major in its Warner College of Natural Resources. A first generation student and the second oldest in a family of six siblings, she is paying her way through school and currently works with the Colorado State Forest Service. Hunter has also received support from scholarships at CSU, such as the The Leon H. and Katherine Rust Hurd Scholarship which she received in 2013.