July 25, 2011
Washington, D.C. – The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) has named Putnam “Put” Blodgett as the 2011 Northeast Regional Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year. Blodgett has been a Tree Farmer for more than 50 years, managing 670 acres of woodlands in Vermont.
As one of four regional winners, Blodgett is a contender for the 2011 National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Award, sponsored by Stihl, Inc., which will be announced at the National Tree Farmer Convention August 11 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. With this award, the AFF annually recognizes outstanding sustainable forest management on privately owned woodlands.
Blodgett’s passionate involvement in all aspects of Tree Farm management was significant in earning him the regional title. He has always lived off the woodlands of his Tree Farm – initially, when it was under the ownership of his parents, followed by his ownership of the land, and eventually through the founding and directing of a boys’ summer camp within its woodlands.
A unique aspect of the Blodgett Tree Farm was the building of the Challenge Wilderness Camp, a summer camp for boys that specialized in Blodgett’s own interests of wood crafting, camping, canoeing, and backpacking. Based on the ideals of the Outward Bound program, Blodgett’s goal was to assist young men on their journey to adulthood. The camp is now under new management currently sold, but continues to operate on Blodgett’s forestlands through a lease agreement with the camp.
Through intensive management, Blodgett has derived the majority of his income from the farm and through his forest management activities. More than 90 percent of the white pine, hemlock, and red oak that went into the building of his retirement home was harvested from the Tree Farm. The heating and hot water needs of the home are supplied by the Tree Farm’s forest resources.
In addition to managing the Tree Farm to meet his personal living needs, Blodgett has incorporated numerous and successful management practices to improve wildlife, water, and recreation on the Tree Farm. He has been very involved with leadership roles in both the Vermont and New Hampshire woodland owner groups and owns Tree Farms in both states. Additionally, Blodgett commits many hours to issues in both state legislatures and at the local level, culminating in advocacy visits in Washington, D.C.
Liz Sandler, ATFS Director, applauds the commitment of Putnam Blodgett. “Every year, we at the American Tree Farm System commit ourselves to the recognition of family forest owners like Put – who exemplify ATFS by growing stewardship from the roots,” Sandler said.
The nearly 90,000 family landowner American Tree Farm System represents the largest group of private landowners in America. Family forest landowners manage and own 35 percent of America’s forests. These private forests provide more than 25 percent of our nation’s drinking water and 60 percent of at risk wildlife depend on private forests.
Pictured: Bob Simpson [ATFS], the Blodgetts, Roger Phelps [Stihl, Inc.]
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 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, as well as 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.
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