MPC Update: recap on 2021

Alex Barrett

Outgoing MPC Chair Alex Barrett checking in on a CFI Plot at a Model Forest in Vermont last week

Written by Alex Barrett, departing MPC Chair

The Membership and Policy Council had a busy and productive 2021. Despite the challenges that the pandemic continues to dish out, we managed to make great strides on key policy areas, strengthen our student membership, support professional members, and learn and laugh a lot along the way.

In August, we presented a Policy Statement on Fire, Forest Management, and Communities to the Membership and it was overwhelmingly approved. This Statement was the product of an ad-hoc group that included MPC, Board, and staff members. This combination of perspectives and expertise made for a fun process, and a great product. As usual, members also had an amazing array of thoughtful and helpful comments that will keep this discussion alive and well. Please know that this input is what makes it all worthwhile for MPC members as we seek to engage with members while at the same time further the Guild’s mission.

In December, we wrapped up work on the Silviculture for Planted Areas Policy Statement and the Membership approved it as well. This serves as a wonderful companion to our earlier Silviculture for Natural Forests Policy Statement. With the Planted Areas Statement, we now have a firm platform from which to recognize, consider, and improve upon how we manage planted areas as we try to bring our Guild style of management to all forest types.

In conjunction with our Policy work, we hosted a series of guests at our monthly meetings throughout the year. This allowed for a lot of learning, connections, and inspiration across ideas of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, silviculture, fire, and wildlife management.

As I step away from the MPC after 5 wonderful years, I want to take the opportunity to thank my fellow MPC’ers – you are all inspirational, professional, and awesome, and I have appreciated the opportunity to work with you. Also, a special thanks to Nancy Patch for recruiting me way back when! Incoming Chair Laura Schweitzer will continue the great work here. Please be in touch with her and other MPC members if you have ideas or would like to be involved.

Welcome to our newest members: Jan-Willem Jansens and Steven Olson. Thank you for your enthusiasm to serve on the MPC! Stay tuned for the next MPC update, sharing their outlook for 2022.