UMaine-led delegation of students, faculty attend Women’s Forest Congress

A University of Maine-led delegation of students and faculty joined the 8th Forest Congress in North America from Oct. 17-20 in Minneapolis, Minn. 

Forest Congresses date to 1882, and are called when critical issues arise for forests and the people who steward them. Past meetings led to groundbreaking change, including the establishment of the U.S. Forest Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps. 

This year’s congress is the first in 48 years, with a female lens applied to all discussions. Despite advances in workplace equity, forestry continues to be a male–dominated field. Just 8% of Maine’s licensed foresters are women. The Women’s Forest Congress drew nearly 500 members of the forest community from across North America.

“I wholeheartedly believe a more inclusive profession is our best chance for healthy and sustainable forests now and in the future. The more people involved in the conversation, the more solutions we can find,” says Nicole Rogers, UMaine assistant professor of silviculture. 

Rogers co-led the university’s delegation with Jessica Leahy, professor of forestry, associate dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture and associate director of the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station.