ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - (Nov. 16, 2017) - Albuquerque is currently playing host to more than 1,400 forest resource professionals who have traveled to the city to attend the 2017 Society of American Foresters National Convention. Attendees will be in Albuquerque until Sunday, Nov. 19 for a week of learning, networking and participating in discussions about forest science and management. This meeting is estimated to bring in more than $1.2 million in direct spend to the city, and will help close out the strongest citywide convention/meeting year Albuquerque has seen in the past seven years.

"SAF is pleased to have members and partners convene in Albuquerque to celebrate the beautiful landscapes and explore the ecological and social diversity that makes the Southwest unique," said John R. Barnwell, director of Government & External Affairs for SAF. "We expect that the lessons learned and connections made will benefit the attendees and the communities in which they work."

With a theme of "The Future of Forestry: Meeting Diverse Needs in a Changing World," this convention will include:

  • 250 scientific and technical sessions
  • A focus on the biological diversity of New Mexico and Southwest forests
  • The exploration of relationships of science and policy, natural and social sciences, research with management, and public outreach with professional education
  • Trends in the future of forestry 

Sessions focus on a variety of topics, from wildfire management to the Rio Grande Water Fund, and key speakers include:

  • Jose Varela Lopez, New Mexico Forest Industry Association 
  • Laura McCarthy, Associate State Director for the Nature Conservancy in New Mexico
  • Thomas Rashad Easley, Diversity Director for the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University

Visit the SAF Convention website to view the program in its entirety.