The article in the Feb. 3 newspaper, "Preserving private forests," brought to mind the American Tree Farm System of the mid-1950s. It became a national program initiated by Charles Gillett, an extension forester with the North Dakota extension service of Fargo, N.D.
The tree farm program encouraged private woodland owners and corporate owners of large tracts of timber to practice forest management to assure the nation of millions of acres of healthy, productive forest land.
After enrolling nearly 68 million acres of timberland in the American Tree Farm System, the American Forest Institute, under its new executive director George C. Cheek, terminated the company and its resourceful benefits.
When I was the Lake States district manager for the American Forest Institute, my office was in the Bellin Building in Green Bay for 10 years. It was my pleasure to have had a good working relationship with Ray Pagel, who was its editor of Farm and Agricultural News. Ray was an extraordinary journalist with an exceptional understanding of the benefits of natural resources management.
In closing, let me commend the Green Bay Press Gazette for its front-page article, and to Paul Srubas, its author.