DENVER, CO –  The Council of Western State Foresters (CWSF) and Western Forestry Leadership Coalition (WFLC) recently announced the 2023 – 2024 leadership roster. 

The CWSF Executive Committee is made up of four State Foresters filling the positions of Chair, Incoming Chair, Treasurer, and Past Chair. The WFLC Executive Board includes the members of the CWSF Executive Committee, plus two USDA Forest Service Regional Foresters, one USDA Forest Service State, Private, and Tribal Forestry Director, and one USDA Forest Service Research Station Director.

The newly elected CWSF Executive Committee includes Chair David Smith (HI), Incoming Chair John Erixson (NE), Treasurer Helge Eng (AK), and Immediate Past Chair Tom Claeys (ND).  

Former CWSF Chair Jason Hartman will be rotating out of the Executive Committee to serve in the leadership of the National Association of State Foresters. As a result, Tom Claeys will continue to serve as Immediate Past Chair.

“The CWSF Executive Committee and WFLC Executive Board play an important role in helping to advance forestry issues across the West,” said David Smith, CWSF Executive Committee Chair, Hawaii State Forester, and host of the 2023 CWSF/WFLC Fall Meeting, set to take place this November. “The islands are a microcosm for the issues facing the mainland, and now more than ever, it is important to ensure we have diverse voices at the table.”

The WFLC Executive Board includes the above-mentioned CWSF Executive Committee members, as well as Co-Lead Mary Farnsworth (USDA Forest Service Intermountain Region), Incoming Co-Lead Michiko Martin (USDA Forest Service Southwestern Region), Research Lead Richard Barhydt (USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station), and State, Private, and Tribal Forestry Lead Chad Davis (USDA Forest Service Alaska and Pacific Northwest Regions). 

CWSF and WFLC Executive Director Danielle Okst serves as an ex officio member of the CWSF Executive Committee and WFLC Executive Board. 

The CWSF Executive Committee and WFLC Executive Board provide governance, guidance, and organization oversight throughout the year.

“Many factors have led to an increased focus on forestry and natural resources,” said Mary Farnsworth, WFLC Executive Board Co-Lead and Regional Forester for USDA Forest Service Intermountain Region. “Together with the rest of the WFLC Executive Board, I look forward to addressing the challenges and opportunities impacting the western region.”  

Outgoing WFLC Executive Board members include Frank Beum (USDA Forest Service Region Rocky Mountain Region) and Dr. Cynthia West (USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory and Northern Research Station). 

To learn more about the Council of Western State Foresters, visit To learn more about the Western Forestry Leadership Coalition, visit