The Pennsylvania Forestry Association

Founded 1886

The name Pennsylvania means “Penn’s Woods,” and for good reason. When William Penn arrived in what is now our Commonwealth, there were trees as far as the eyes could see. And although he recognized that some of those trees needed to be cut down to build homes and cultivate land for food, he told the colonists to leave one acre of tree for every five acres cleared. There were times in the history of Pennsylvania when people forgot that recommendation, but thankfully today approximately three of every five acres are covered by forests.

Since 1886, the Pennsylvania Forestry Association (PFA) “has been working to promote forest stewardship to ensure the sustainability of all forest resources.” The organization does this through the sharing of information about proper use of forests and forest products, educating about the benefits of proper forest management and what happens when they are misused, and helping to enact and enforce laws to preserve forests. The association’s mission is to “promote forest stewardship to ensure forest sustainability to benefit all Pennsylvanians, now and into the future.”

The association hands out four awards each year to recognize excellence in forest stewardship and conservation: the Joseph Trimble Rothrock Conservationist of the Year, the Sandy Cochran Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Education, the PA Tree Farm Inspector of the Year, and the PA Tree Farmer of the Year. In addition, they offer student scholarships.

It’s not just suburban and rural forests that get the attention of PFA members; they are interested in urban and community forestry as well. They educate community leaders and the general public about the planting and care of street trees to improve quality of life for all. PFA also promotes the biggest of the big trees in the state through their big tree registry.