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For Release: Monday, February 23, 2015

DEC Regional Natural Resource Supervisor Tom Martin Honored as NYSAF "Forester of the Year"

DEC Foresters Sloane Crawford and Fred Munk Also Recognized for Their Contributions

The New York Society of American Foresters (NYSAF) honored state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 5 Natural Resource Supervisor Tom Martin as its 2014 Forester of the Year. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the practice and profession of forestry, the conservation and stewardship of forest resources in New York and the objectives of the Society of American Foresters.

In addition, NYSAF presented DEC Private Forest Stewardship Program Manager Sloane Crawford with its Distinguished Service award and DEC Region 6 Natural Resource Supervisor Fred Munk received the Chair's Commendation award.

"DEC is committed to preserving the health and vitality of New York's forest lands and our talented staff has been instrumental in achieving this goal," DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. "I congratulate Tom Martin, Sloane Crawford and Fred Munk on receiving well-deserved recognition from NYSAF and thank them for their many years of service in managing state-owned forest lands. Their work protects and enhances New York's natural resources, which helps ensure our forested lands offer exceptional opportunities for outdoor recreation and provide economic benefits to regional communities."

NYSAF Chair Mariann Johnston said, "NYSAF is proud to recognize these individuals for their services and contributions to the profession. The willingness of Mr. Martin, Mr. Crawford and Mr. Munk to serve their colleagues at the professional level is a hallmark of the collegiality and engagement that makes NYSAF a great organization. The words and actions of this year's awardees have distinguished them as leaders in the forestry and natural resource profession in New York State, and we are particularly pleased to recognize and thank these three DEC employees for their efforts."

Tom Martin has been directly involved in significant Adirondack forestry initiatives and policy decisions for the past 16 years. He previously served as a Regional Forester for DEC Region 5, and was subsequently named Regional Natural Resource Supervisor, where he oversees forestry programs and the divisions of Fish and Wildlife, and Minerals.

Martin helped to lead New York's effort to acquire over a million acres of land within the Adirondack Park. He regularly meets with local officials to discuss conservation issues, which is critical to building local community support for specific forest objectives, while also incorporating regional needs into forest planning. He has developed key partnerships with Adirondack towns and counties, the Adirondack Mountain Club, regional rod and game clubs, Adirondack Trail Improvement Society and others to maintain roads, trails, parking areas and other public use infrastructure that provides access to the beautiful lands and waters in the region.

Sloane Crawford received NYSAF's Distinguished Service Award, which honors a NYSAF member for his/her outstanding professional service, dedication and long-standing contributions to the New York Society of American Foresters.

Crawford manages DEC's private forest owner assistance program and is an expert on the state's forest resources and the importance of sustainable management of these resources. He has been a tireless advocate for science-based forestry in New York for decades, and his knowledge and guidance have served as the foundation for NYSAF's advances in forest policy, including the recent series of NYSAF Position Statements and work with the Council of Forest Resource Organizations (CFRO). He regularly provides information and guidance to industry, organizations and local officials to ensure New York's forests provide sustainable forest products, abundant wildlife, access to open space and outdoor recreation, and other valuable opportunities.

Fred Munk was presented with NYSAF's Chair Commendation, which recognizes a person or organization for special assistance, contributions or service to the Chair of the NY Society. Munk has served as treasurer for the NYSAF Annual Meeting the past four years, which enables the program committee to focus on meeting planning and logistics. His willingness to take this responsibility also allowed the committee to maintain a clear accounting of meeting expenditures separate from its operating expenses. He was specifically recognized for providing a consistent wealth of sound advice and guidance to the organization's leadership over the years.

The New York Society of American Foresters (NYSAF) was chartered in 1918, just 18 years after the founding of the forestry profession and our parent organization, the Society of American Foresters. There are currently over 300 members in NYSAF. The Society of American Foresters (SAF) is the national scientific and educational organization representing the forestry profession in the United States. Founded in 1900 by Gifford Pinchot, it is the largest professional society for foresters in the world. The mission of the Society of American Foresters is to advance the science, education, technology, and practice of forestry; to enhance the competency of its members; to establish professional excellence; and, to use the knowledge, skills, and conservation ethic of the profession to ensure the continued health and use of forest ecosystems and the present and future availability of forest resources to benefit society.

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