Forestry Advisory Council
FORESTRY ADVISORY COUNCIL. As established by Ohio Revised Code section 1503.40, the Forestry Advisory Council may advise and make recommendations to the Chief concerning forestry practices and programs in the state, including programs of the Division, and may assist the Division in promoting cooperation on forestry practices and programs with other agencies, political subdivisions, and private interests. The Council consists of eight members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the State Senate. Members represent forest-based research activities, small private forestland owners, larger private forestland owners, the pulp and paper industry, other forest industries, soil science, forest recreation and the public. Each serves a four-year term and not more than four are permitted from the same political party. The Council holds regular quarterly meetings, and has a chairman, vice-chairman, and secretary.
Gary Kaster (Chair): Gary is a Society of American Foresters certified professional forester (#4062), who has practiced for more than 43 years since receiving his bachelor’s degree in Forest Management from West Virginia University in 1969. Throughout his career, he has provided a wide range of forestry services in forest management, forest restoration, mineland restoration, forest recreation and terrestrial carbon sequestration projects. He retired from the American Electric Power Company in 2005, after 36 years, as a manager of its forestry, recreation and domestic carbon sequestration programs which involved the management of more than 100,000 acres of forest land. Upon retirement, he formed Carbon Project Service, LLC, a consultancy designed to assist and provide guidance to clients in evaluating, developing, and monitoring carbon sequestration projects, as well as providing forest management services to landowners. Gary is a member of the Ohio Society of American Foresters and the Ohio Forestry Association, and has held leadership positions in both. He is also a member ODNR’s Reclamation Forfeiture Fund Advisory Board.
Representing – Public; Term Expires 2/28/15
Melvin Yoder (Vice Chair): Mr. Yoder is President and Corporative Executive Officer of Yoder Lumber, Co., Inc. Yoder Lumber Co., Inc. is a third generation family owned business located in Holmes County. Under Mr. Yoder’s leadership, Yoder Lumber has become one of the more progressive sawmills in the state. They are strong supporters of the Ohio Master Logger Company Program and Project Learning Tree. Mr. Yoder is a past president of the Ohio Forestry Association and is viewed as one of their more respected members.
Representing – Forest Industry; Term Expires 2/29/16
Walter H. Lange, Small Private Forest Landowner: Mr. Lange has been actively involved with promoting good forest management from his northwestern Ohio tree farm for many years. He is chair of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s Forestry Committee and a past chair of the Ohio Tree Farm Committee. As a landowner impacted by Emerald Ash Borer he has been very active in helping other woodland owners learn more about this devastating pest. Mr. Lange is also a mathematics professor at the University of Toledo.
Representing – Small Private Forest Landowners; Term Expires 2/29/16
Eric L. Roush: Eric has been the Regional Fiber Supply and Certification Manager for Glatfelter since 2006. He has worked in the forest industry in various capacities since his graduation from The Ohio State University in 1985 with a BS degree in Natural Resource Management. Through his career he has been heavily involved with resource management on private lands as a procurement forester, providing private lands assistance, and coordinating third party certification for SFI/PEFC/FSC. He is a member of the Society of American Foresters (SAF Certified Forester #212). He is a past member of the Ohio Forestry Association’s Board of Directors. Eric has been very active on the Ohio Tree Farm Committee since 1996 and has functioned in the capacity of: Area 3 Chair, State Vice Chair, State Chair, and Committee Industry Representative. He is also a past member of the Ohio Woodland Journal Editorial Board.
Term Expires 2/28/15
Kathy Smith: Ms. Smith has a BS in Forest Resource Management (1985) and an MS in Natural Resource Management (1989) from The Ohio State University. She worked as a watershed forester for the Ohio Division of Forestry in west central Ohio covering the 10 counties of the Top of Ohio Resource Conservation & Development area for 11 years. She came to Ohio State University Extension in 2001 as an Extension Associate in forestry covering the private woodland owner education program. She currently oversees the Ohio Woodland Stewards Program – a program that puts together classes and other educational items for private woodland owners across the state. She is also co-chair for the Gwynne Conservation Area Committee that oversees the Gwynne and its programming for Farm Science Review. She serves as education chair for the Ohio Chapter of the Society of American Foresters.
Representing – Forest Based Research; Term Expires 2/28/14
William Stanley: Mr. Stanley is currently the Director of Conservation for The Nature Conservancy. Mr. Stanley has a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia (1991) and a MS from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (1997). Mr. Stanley is a member of the Ohio’s Stewardship Committee and the Society of American Foresters. He also served as the Board of Directors of the Tropical Forest Foundation (2000–2004).He is an Honorary Research Associate for the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE)
Representing – Forest Recreation; Term Expires 2/28/14
Paul P. Mechling, II: Dr. Mechling, a retired veterinarian, owns Mechling’s Maple Farm where he produces Ohio maple syrup from a modern 2,800-tap operation. He and his wife own Snowy Oak Tree Farm, a 280-acre tree farm in Pierpont. On their tree farm, more than 100,000 trees have been planted, wetlands have been created, timber stand improvements have been completed on 150 acres and wildlife food plots have been planted. He and his brother own Wal Mec Farms LLC, a 340-acre family farm in Thornville, Ohio, which they operate for grain and timber production. Dr. Mechling earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from The Ohio State University. He is a board member of the Ohio Forestry Association, representing the Ohio Tree Farm Committee, and is also vice chair of the Ohio Tree Farm Committee. Dr. Mechling also serves on the Ashtabula County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors, the Ashtabula Scenic River Advisory Council, and the Ohio Wildlife Council.
Representing – Larger Private Forestland Owners; Term Expires 2/27/16