National Forest Foundation

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How the NFF is Building Our Next Generation of Collaborative Leaders


2018 Fellows Hannah Leonard and Adam Snitker talking with Nils Christoffersen (Wallowa Resources) at the Conservation Connect Advisory Council meeting.

The National Forest Foundation is harnessing the energies of and investing in the next generation through our Conservation Connect Fellowship program. We are growing by a factor of five this year! In 2018 we awarded two Fellowships. In 2019, we have selected ten graduate students from six different universities for Fellowships.

Our goals for the Fellows are to:

  • Match the knowledge they are acquiring through academic work with practical, hands-on experience
  • Expand their personal and professional networks
  • Provide opportunities to directly engage in and support collaborative stewardship of our National Forests

As part of the program, each Fellow will complete a summer practicum (internship). Here’s a sampling of 2019 projects:

  • Support stakeholder engagement in the Salmon-Challis and Nantahala & Pisgah National Forest Plan revision processes
  • Develop and help deliver a training curriculum for conservation finance strategies
  • Support collaborative groups, including standing groups like the Panhandle Forest Collaborative, Beaverhead-Deerlodge Working Group
  • Coordinate learning labs for Wildfire Adapted Missoula
  • Review and report on the impact and outcomes of the Pacific Northwest Community Capacity and Land Stewardship grant program
  • Research lessons about Good Neighbor Authority projects and document for sharing
  • Raise the profile of the Northern Arizona Forest Fund with new audiences

Our 2019 Fellows hail from Northern Arizona University, Portland State University, University of California Merced, University of Georgia, University of Montana and the University of Michigan. We are thrilled to welcome this new group of students and look forward to a great year of mutual learning.

We are grateful to the Johnson Foundation of the Rockies, California Tahoe Conservancy, and the USDA Forest Service for supporting our 2019 Fellows!

To learn more about the Conservation Connect Fellowship program, please contact Director of Conservation Connect, Karen DiBari at 406-830-3352 or kdibari@nationalforests.org