CWSF Newsletter | September 2023

Organizational Highlights

2023-2024 CWSF Executive Committee and WFLC Executive Board

The Council of Western State Foresters (CWSF) Executive Committee and Western Forestry Leadership Coalition (WFLC) Executive Board transition occurred following the recent National Association of State Foresters’ (NASF) Annual Meeting.  

The 2023-2024 CWSF Executive Committee includes Chair David Smith (HI), Incoming Chair John Erixson (NE), Treasurer Helge Eng (AK), and Immediate Past Chair Tom Claeys (ND).  

The 2023-2024 WFLC Executive Board includes the above-mentioned CWSF Executive Committee members, as well as Co-Lead Mary Farnsworth (USDA Forest Service Intermountain Region), Incoming Co-Lead Michiko Martin (USDA Forest Service Southwestern Region), Research Lead Richard Barhydt (USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station), and State, Private, and Tribal Forestry Lead Chad Davis (USDA Forest Service Alaska and Pacific Northwest Regions). 

Learn more in our press release.

Staff Transition and Committee Contact Information

Laura Wagner, Director of Agency Coordination for CWSF and WFLC, has announced she will be departing CWSF/WFLC to join the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region as a Forest Legacy Program Manager. Laura’s last day with CWSF/WFLC will be October 6, 2023. 

During her time at CWSF and WFLC, Laura has filled the positions of Good Neighbor Authority Coordinator and Director of Agency Coordination. Laura has worked diligently to establish committee best practices, improve committee structure, and increase committee engagement. Please join us in congratulating Laura as she prepares for her next adventure in forestry! 

Following Laura’s departure, CWSF/WFLC staff will be filling in to support the various committees. Please see the breakdown below for the new staff contacts: 

  • CWSF Forest Health Committee and CWSF Good Neighbor Authority Task Force: Kelsey Delaney
  • CWSF Western State Fire Managers (WSFM) Committee: Halie Miyazawa 
  • CWSF Western State Fire Business Managers Subcommittee: Halie Miyazawa
  • CWSF WSFM Mental Health & Wellness Subcommittee: Leena Visnak
  • CWSF Wildland Urban Interface and WFLC Landscape Scale Restoration Grants: Leena Visnak
  • WFLC Pacific Islands Forestry Committee: Sara Goodwin
  • WFLC Western Urban & Community Forestry Committee, CWSF Forest Stewardship/Landowner Assistance Committee, and CWSF Forest Products Committee: Neil Simpson

For general committee inquiries, please email  

Registration for 2023 CWSF/WFLC Fall Meeting

Registration is now open for the 2023 CWSF/WFLC Fall Meeting. This year’s meeting is November 28-30, 2023, in Waikoloa, Hawai‘i. There are only two days left to take advantage of the early bird discount of $100 off.

Visit our registration page for more details. Please contact Patricia Payne with any questions.

Photo: Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

Policy Update

This month’s policy update includes information on three resolutions passed at the NASF Annual Meeting, Good Neighbor Authority, the Farm Bill, the Treating Tribes and Counties as Good Neighbors Act, and the possibility of a government shutdown. 

Committee Updates

Western U&CF Committee Focuses on Workforce Development

On August 23, the Western Urban & Community Forestry Committee (WUCF) hosted a virtual informational session to address workforce development in urban and community forestry programs across the West. 

Learn more about the discussion.

Photo: Grace Mirzeler

Competitive Grants Updates

Community Wildfire Defense Grant (CWDG) Program

The fiscal year (FY) 2023 CWDG program opened for applications on July 31, 2023, and will close on October 31, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. If interested in applying for this grant, please reach out to your point of contact that is listed in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). For more information and to view the recordings from the applicant webinars, visit the CWSF CWDG webpage or the USDA Forest Service CWDG webpage

If you have any CWDG questions, please contact Halie Miyazawa.

Landscape Scale Restoration (LSR) Competitive Grant Program

The FY 2024 LSR Competitive Grant process opened for applications on August 21, 2023, and will close on November 17, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time. A recording of our applicant webinar, as well as other tools on how to apply, can be found on our WFLC LSR webpage.

If you have any LSR questions, please contact Leena Visnak

Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Grant Program

The FY 2024 WUI application process will open on October 12, 2023, and close on January 18, 2024. The FY 2023 recommendation letter is publicly available to view on our website. For more information, visit the CWSF WUI webpage.

If you have any WUI questions, please contact Leena Visnak

Meet a Forester

Kelly Norris

This month, we are pleased to feature Kelly Norris, State Forester for the Wyoming State Forestry Division.

We invite you to meet Kelly!

News and Notes from Our Members and Partners

Member and Partner Transitions

  • USDA Forest Service Region 10: Janelle Crocker accepted the position of Acting Regional Forester for the Alaska Region. Crocker currently serves as deputy Regional Forester for the Eastern Region.

Job Opportunities

Looking for a job opportunity in forestry? Find your next position in western forestry on the CWSF job blog.

If you would like to submit a job posting, please contact Patricia Payne

Western Happenings

For a quick look at recent happenings in the western region, check out the features below: 

If you have a press release or announcement you would like to include in an upcoming newsletter, please contact Sara Goodwin

Meetings Calendar

See the calendar of meetings and events hosted by CWSF/WFLC and partner organizations.

Questions, comments, feedback? Please contact us!
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