The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) has named Mike and Vivien Fritz of Marshfield, Vermont, as Northeast Regional Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year. STIHL is the presenting sponsor of the Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year awards, which annually recognizes outstanding sustainable forest management on privately owned woodlands.
The award of a $500 gift certificate from STIHL was presented on June 15 at the 19th Annual National Tree Farmer Convention in Jacksonville, Florida.
When Mike and Vivien purchased their 444 acres of woodlands in 1999, they did so to pursue their interest in competitive orienteering. Their horizons expanded when LandVest Inc., which sold the farm to the couple, encouraged them to develop a recreational trail system for hiking in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter. Today, Beaver Brook Tree Farm is a sustainably managed recreational forest that attracts 5,000 visitors who walk, ski and ride well-maintained trails that also are designed to educate the public about forestry.
“The people in our community are our extended Tree Farm family. We want to get as many people as we can into the woods and enjoying the recreation opportunities of a working forest—especially children. Our biggest fear is that children will grow up not understanding the value and importance of a working forest,” Vivien said.
“The forest is stronger and more diverse than when we first purchased our woodlands. Our forest is forever regenerating, providing valuable wood products, and offering visitors a chance to have a great time,” Mike added.
“Mike and Vivien’s passion, hard work, and generosity are truly inspiring,” said Bettina Ring, Senior Vice President for Family Forests at the American Forest Foundation. “They have opened their Tree Farm to their community – at no charge – to ensure others can experience the wonder of the woods. Future generations will benefit from their stewardship, their exemplary forest management practices, and their desire to share their forest knowledge.”
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The American Tree Farm System® (ATFS), a program of the American Forest Foundation, is a network of private woodland owners sustainably managing 26 million acres of forestland. It is the largest and oldest sustainable family woodland system in America, internationally recognized, meeting strict third-party certification standards. For more than 70 years, ATFS has enhanced the quality of America’s woodlands by giving forest owners the tools they need to keep their forests healthy and productive.
STIHL Inc. is the exclusive presenting sponsor of the ATFS Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Regional and National Awards, and the Regional and National Inspector of the Year Awards. STIHL, Inc, is also the sole, handheld outdoor power equipment provider for the ATFS. STIHL Inc. manufactures the world’s largest selling brand of chain saws and produces a full line of powerful, lightweight, and versatile handheld outdoor power equipment for homeowners and professional users. STIHL products are sold through servicing power equipment retailers from coast to coast— not mass merchants. STIHL products sold through U.S. STIHL dealers are for distribution in the United States only. For more information or for the name of the closest STIHL retailer call toll free 1-800-GO STIHL (1-800-467-8445) or visit the STIHL Web site at www.stihlusa.com.