Finding the Sweet Spot for Conservation Partners

Paul_Trianosky_Blog_photoIf you’ve ever taken a swing at a golf ball, baseball, or tennis ball, you probably understand the term “sweet spot.” It’s “the area of a bat, racket, or head of a club that is the most effective part with which to hit a ball”. For me, the sweet spot is the junction where sustainable, and profitable, forest management intersects with the conservation of critical habitats, rare species, and native forests. To some people, these interests may seem to conflict, but I’ve found that rich solutions can be found by working creatively with partners from a variety of sectors, all of whom share the same basic desire to keep forests healthy and vibrant for future generations.

I made my career by working to find the sweet spot: bringing together diverse groups and finding the most effective way to channel their efforts. Now, as part of the SFI team in my new role as Senior Director of Conservation Partnerships, I see the opportunity to bring even more partners to the table. Working on behalf of SFI and our program participants to build conservation partnerships puts me in a position to help generate a tremendous conservation impact across more than 240 million acres of forestland certified to SFI and explore those ‘rich solutions’ that best leverage public benefits, forest health, biodiversity conservation, and traditional forest management.

My love of forests began in my Virginia childhood, much of which was spent playing in the woods or in a nearby creek. My interests were nurtured by two uncles who lived on family land in Pennsylvania. We would visit at least a couple times a year, and I would always beg for them to take me into the mountains to hike, or to fish in local streams. This love combined with my interest in nature, math and science made for a likely career in forestry. I spent my early professional years as a traditional forester, but have devoted the last couple of decades of my career to sustainable forest management, conservation of critical habitats and native forests. I see this next chapter, both professionally and for the future of North American forests, as filled with exciting opportunities.

I believe there will be increasing recognition of how managed forests contribute to achieve a broad range of conservation and environmental benefits; the importance of healthy markets in enabling forest landowners to make the best choices about management on their lands. I am excited to continue to bring together the conservation community, forest industry, researchers, landowners and others to work together on finding the most effective path forward in achieving their shared desire for healthy forests across North America. A sweet spot for the future of our forests, indeed.

Paul Trianosky
Senior Director, Conservation Partnerships

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