The honor of being named SAF Fellow recognizes the 30+ years Jim Kerkman has dedicated to advancing the application of forestry, forestry outreach and education and public policy in support of good forest stewardship. Jim graduated in forestry from UW-Stevens Point in 1982 and has been with the US Army at Fort McCoy since 1985, first as a forestry technician and then as forester. In this capacity, Jim has been responsible for all aspects of forest management on the 40,000 acres of forest within the 60,000 acre base – including timber sales, timber stand improvement, forest inventory, reforestation, forest health management, wildland fire and urban forest management to support and sustain a realistic and relevant military training environment.
Quotes from the people who wrote letters of nomination best exemplify Jim’s commitment to forestry and our professional organization:
Jim has been actively involved with SAF throughout his career, always holding one position or another, including a 2-year term as our state chair, and attending 13 national conventions. But the two qualities that set Jim apart are his commitment to youth education and his involvement in public policy. Jim has donated countless hours representing forestry at committee meetings to implement the DNR’s Deer Trustee Report – where everyone else in the room wants more deer! Jim is committed to the profession, he is committed to SAF being the voice of the profession, and he has demonstrated that commitment through continuous involvement in SAF.”
Jim’s ability to communicate and work at the policy level comes from years of ‘boots-on-the-ground’ forestry plus continuous interaction with peers and the public as an advocate for the benefits of sustainable forestland stewardship.”
Upon joining SAF in 1990, Jim immersed himself into bettering his profession, taking on positions at both the chapter and state levels. He is such a leader that even when he is not in a leadership position he is still frequented for advice. Jim uses his personal vacation time to attend committee meetings, chapter and state SAF meetings. He has job-shadowed countless students over the years, always making a positive impact. Jim has helped many local Boy Scouts plant trees every year on Arbor Day, making a positive impact for tomorrow’s leaders. He has shown a true commitment to SAF and his profession in leading by example for so many years.”