To more effectively address the needs and emerging issues of southern forests, the Southern Group of State Foresters (SGSF) has established several committees. The groups are comprised of forestry professionals from the southern states, U.S. Forest Service and other partner organizations and provide in-depth analysis, expertise, and recommendations for policy and management.
Committees are long-standing groups with continuing responsibilities and are led by a Chair and State Forester liaison. Committee Chairs are appointed to one-year terms and maintain a permanent file of minutes, events, and notes.
The Communications Committee serves in an advisory capacity to SGSF by recommending strategies to accomplish the SGSF Communications Plan, assisting in refining issues, and framing messages.
Chair: Beth Romer, North Carolina Forest Service
The Forest Health Committee monitors threats from insects, diseases, invasive plants and other events that can affect forest health and advises SGSF on strategies to protect and improve the health of southern forests.
Chair: Chip Bates, Georgia Forestry Commission
The Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Committee works in cooperation with the Southern Research Station FIA Research Unit to best utilize the periodic forest data collection from private and public land to monitor forest resources, forest use and forest health.
Chair: Eric Brixey, Arkansas Department of Agriculture-Forestry Division
The Forest Management Committee advises and supports SGSF in responding to emerging issues and in developing and implementing policies, programs and procedures affecting southern forest resource health, diversity, productivity, and sustainability.
Chair: Richard McGinnis, Mississippi Forestry Commission
The Forest Protection & Fire Committee promotes effective means to protect rural and urban communities from wildfire; works to improve firefighting efficiency and safety; and presents a regional perspective on southern fire issues.
Chair: John Fish, Florida Forest Service
The Environmental Services, Utilization & Marketing (SUM) Committee develops sound forest carbon policy for southern states; identifies opportunities for family forest owner participation in environmental service markets; and advises SGSF on strategies to strengthen forest products markets.
Chair: Barry New, North Carolina Forest Service
The GIS Committee communicates opportunities for collaboration on Geographic Information Systems and other spatial analysis projects that will help accomplish SGSF's strategic goals.
Chair: Brian Mitchell, PhD, Mississippi Forestry Commission
The Urban & Community Forestry Committee provides leadership in SGSF by raising awareness about tree benefits; creating investments to plan, manage and grow community trees; helping communities grow with trees in mind through new solutions; and connecting urban and rural community forests to help people wherever they live.
Chair: Mark Bays, Oklahoma Forestry Services
The Water Resources Committee develops processes by which Best Management Practices (BMPs) are applied consistently on forestlands across the South; advises SGSF on emerging water issues; and works to improve technical expertise in forest watershed management.
Chair: Bill Kitchings, Mississippi Forestry Commission