Inducted March 2, 2011
John Kotar is an innovator and teacher. His development of the forest habitat type classification system has significantly improved forestry, with an increased understanding of forest plant communities and their relationships to the environment. His forestry research and education have paved the way for Wisconsin’s leadership in forest certification.
More about John Kotar:
John has spent his Forestry Career as a professor in education and research at such diverse institutions as University of Minnesota-Duluth, Michigan Tech, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Kotar is well known for developing the Forest Habitat Type Classification System (FHTCS) for Wisconsin. The use of this site and vegetation classification tool to evaluate site quality, successional potentials, and ecological alternatives, has greatly aided resource professionals in the state to manage lands in a better manner. It has been used as a measure of forestry certification, since it measures ecological implications of various species, and forest types. He has also created FHTCS for both Minnesota and Michigan.
John has not only developed, but has spent countless hours teaching foresters and other resource professionals how to use the Forest Habitat Type Classification guides. He has been a frequent speaker at forest symposia, workshops, and conferences throughout the Lake States. There are few resource professionals who have not been trained by Kotar, and fewer who do not refer to the FHTCS guidelines in their daily work.
The Forest Habitat Classification Guidelines as developed by Kotar, has helped Wisconsin become a leader in Forest Certification. They have been used as a common component that many user groups agree on, and helped many diverse groups with different opinions’ agree on. One example was the 1994 Wisconsin Forest Accord.
He has used these guidelines and his technical skill in guiding resolution to forest management conflicts and creating long term policy initiatives. Kotar is often requested to be a source of information and an advisor in developing agreements between interest groups. John has served on the Great Lakes Forest Alliance, and the Forest Stewardship Council, and has helped develop management standards for certification.
In addition, John has been a leader in the Society of American Foresters (SAF) serving in various roles in the local, state and national level. Among them, he was the Lake States Council (the SAF’s governing board) representative in 2002-2004, and is the state leader for 2011.
Dr. Kotar is an innovator and teacher. He has made substantial contributions to research and professional practice in Wisconsin. His ideas and ability to communicate those ideas have had a significant impact on applied forest management in Wisconsin and the Lake States. Dr. Kotar has advanced the state of knowledge and provided practical guidance to a generation of professional foresters.