ITF Program Names 2012 Outstanding Members

2012 Idaho Outstanding Inspector, Outstanding Logger and Outstanding Tree Farmer Honored

One of the highlights of the Idaho Tree Farm Program annual meeting is the announcement of the Outstanding Inspector, Logger and Tree Farmer of the year.

This year the Outstanding Inspector award went to Steve Bloedel of Inland Forest Management. Steve is a consulting forester with Inland Forest Management and was nominated by G. Kirk David for the honor. Steve was the nominating forester for Steve and Janet Funk’s journey from state, regional and finally the 2012 National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the year. He accompanied the Funks to the national Tree Farm convention last year and participated in the award ceremonies there. Steve is quite active with many other Tree Farmers and also serves on the Idaho Tree Farm state committee, representing private consulting foresters. Congratulations Steve on a well earned award!

Idaho Tree Farm Program | Gale & Pat Akers

Gale & Pat Akers.

The other two awards, Outstanding Logger and Outstanding Tree Farmer, marked a special significance this year. For the first time in Idaho Tree Farm history, a single individual was chosen for both honors—Gale Akers of Worley, Idaho. Gale owns and operates Akers Logging and has long been noted for his care and consideration in doing the very best job possible for both the landowner and the land. In addition to being a top level operator, he also lends his time to groups such as the Associated Logging Contractors, Kootenai-Shoshone Conservation District, Idaho Forest Owners Association and the steering committee for the annual logger accreditation training. Each spring a job fair called “Hard Hats, Hammers and Hot Dogs” is held in Coeur d’Alene for students interested in pursuing a vocational career path. Gale has faithfully taken the time and expense of moving various pieces of logging equipment to the Kootenai County Fairgrounds, spending time with the young people there, and giving them a hands-on look at the timber industry.

As a Tree Farmer, Gale shows the same concern and respect for the land on his own parcels as he does on his client’s properties. He and his wife Pat have seven separate Tree Farms in Idaho as well as acreage near Dayton, WA. All the farms exhibit the fine work of a caring steward. Not only is the timber healthy and thriving, but owing to Gale’s passion for game birds and other wildlife, he has planted many acres with various hardwood species for food and cover and seeded in many roads and skid trails. Much of the acreage is intermingled with agricultural land. On these acres Gale as worked to increase soil stabilization and productivity as well as planting areas of marginal farm land back to forest. His quiet dedication to simply doing the right thing without fanfare or recognition impressed the nominating forester, Tim Kyllo. In his report to our state committee, Tim wrote “Gale and Pat optimize what being a member of Tree Farm is all about and it is an honor to be associated with them. The Idaho Tree Farm program is privileged to have them as members”.

Congratulations Gale and Pat for a job very well done!


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