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Warner honored for career in forestry

A committee of foresters selected Stan Warner, retired Virginia Department of Forestry state silviculturist and 60-year Society of American Foresters member, as the 2020 Presidential Field Forester Award recipient from the Appalachian Society of American Foresters (APSAF).

The Presidential Field Forester Award recognizes foresters who have dedicated their professional careers to the application of forestry on the ground using sound, scientific methods and adaptive management strategies and are presented to individuals who have displayed uncommon talent, skill and innovative methods to achieve a record of excellence in the application of forest management.

A creative thinker, Warner espoused the virtue of listening and observing closely to what the woods are saying.  His powers of observation led to innovative management theories such as establishing pine plantations for the ultimate purpose of regenerating oak, which grew well in the understory.  Warner was always willing to share his extensive knowledge with forest landowners, practicing professionals and others through educational programs and resources.

Warner earned his B.S. degree in forest management from Penn State University in 1961.  He participated in the USDA Forest Service Advanced Studies in Silviculture program in 1986-87, spending 12 weeks at Clemson, West Virginia and the University of Wisconsin.  He joined the Virginia Department of Forestry in 1961 as a service forester in Goochland and Powhatan counties.  He then advanced to the Pocahontas State Forest resident forester, a position he held from 1963 to 1967.  He subsequently served as staff forester for a year prior to becoming the assistant/acting superintendent of State Forests, a position he held from 1968 through 1991.  Warner served as the Virginia Department Forestry state silviculturist from 1991 until his retirement.

A recognized expert in hardwood silviculture, Warner’s work nurtured the growth of many thousands of acres of high-quality forests across Virginia.

Warner’s professional accomplishments also include authoring 21 comprehensive forest management plans for the Virginia State Forests, selected state parks and private foundations totaling approximately 2,400 pages.  He was an invited instructor for forestry, biology and ecology classes and special tours for 14 colleges or universities.

He served as an instructor for the USDA Forest Service (PASS) program.  Warner served as a mentor to the forest industry, private business, government, conservation organizations and consulting foresters as requested.  He authored over 65 technical training papers, many in hardwood silviculture.  He also wrote articles and/or contributed interviews for newspaper or magazine stories in eight additional publications.

Warner was also actively engaged in his community.  He was married to his wife Kris for 57 years. He received the Virginia Division SAF Merit Award in 1998 and is an SAF Golden Member and Fellow.  Also, he received the National Wildlife Federation Virginia Forest Conservationist of the Year award in 1986.