Carlton N. Owen

2022 Foresters Forum Keynote Speaker

It’s a Great Day to be a Forester

For 45 years, Carlton Owen of Marietta, SC, has been at the forefront of conservation innovation. A forester and wildlife biologist, he holds a B.S. degree in forestry and M.S. in wildlife ecology from Mississippi State University. He is emeritus President & CEO of the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment), an organization he led from its creation in 2006 until his retirement in December 2020.

Prior to his time with the Endowment, he led his consultancy, The Environmental Edge, LLC, in “bringing business and the environment together” to benefit both. He was the inaugural Executive Director of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative program and Vice President-Forest Policy, Champion International Corporation. He has held leadership positions with the American Forest Foundation; American Forest Council; American Forest Institute; Potlatch Corporation; and Mississippi Wildlife Federation.

Among his achievements is, “Acres for America” – a first-of-its-kind program to offset development acre-for-acre with conservation properties. The program linked the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, where Owen served as Vice Chairman of the Board, with Walmart in a $35 million, ten-year commitment that helped conserve 1.6 million acres in the U.S. and in 2016 was extended for a second decade.

Owen has served on a vast array of boards, advisory councils, and commissions. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Greenville, SC-based SynTerra Corporation; CEI Capital Management of Brunswick, ME; and is Vice Chairman of the Greenville County (SC) Historic and Natural Resources Trust.

Among Owen’s many recognitions are the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian award and the Society of American Foresters 2019 Gifford Pinchot Medal — the highest honor bestowed on a forester. He is an Alumni Fellow (1990) and the first Alumnus of the Year (1990) of Mississippi State University’s College of Forest Resources.

Dr. Harold E Burkhart

2022 Foresters Forum Keynote Speaker

Global Growth and Yield

Harold E. Burkhart earned a B.S. degree in forestry from Oklahoma State University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in forest biometrics from the University of Georgia. He has been a faculty member in the Department of Forestry
(recently designated Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation) at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) since 1969; rising in the ranks from Assistant to Associate to Professor, then to Thomas M. Brooks Professor, and in 1999 to University Distinguished Professor. 

He served as Head of the Department of Forestry from 1995 through 2008. From 1976-1977, Dr. Burkhart was Senior Research Fellow at the Forest Research Institute in Rotorua, New Zealand.

He has published extensively in professional journals on the subjects of forest growth and yield prediction and on forest inventory and sampling. In addition, he has published multiple editions of an undergraduate textbook, Forest Measurements and an advanced-level book, Modeling Forest Trees and Stands.

His contributions to forestry research and education have been recognized though awards from several organizations, including the International Union of Forest Research Organizations Scientific Achievement Award, the Virginia Academy of Science J. Shelton Horsley Research Award, the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Research Excellence, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award, the Society of American Foresters Barrington Moore Memorial Award, and the Science Museum of Virginia recognition, as Virginia Outstanding Scientist in 2013.

A former editor of the journal Forest Science, he is a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society of American Foresters.