The NZ Institute of Forestry recognized the contribution of an outstanding leader at its Annual Awards Dinner in Christchurch last Monday night, when Dr. John Wardle received the NZIF Forester of the Year award. The award recognizes an Institute member who has made an outstanding contribution to either the forestry profession or the forestry sector. The award recognizes leadership, excellence and personal integrity, particularly where this demonstrates the character and strength of the forestry profession, and it is one of the highest accolades the Institute can bestow. “The Forester of the Year award is a fitting recognition of the contribution that Dr. John Wardle has made to the sector over a large number of years”, said the President, David Evison. “Dr. Wardle’s earlier contribution to research included writing the authoritative text on the New Zealand beech species, and research into the effects of introduced wild animals on New Zealand’s native forests. More recently Dr. Wardle, in partnership with his wife Rosalie, has developed and managed a unique forestry operation at their property “Woodside” in North Canterbury. They have pioneered innovative management of both indigenous and exotic forests for multiple uses including timber and honey production and conservation. The property is managed under an open space QEII covenant, which guarantees sustainable management into the future with an emphasis on both education and research activities. The QEII covenant on Woodside is unusual, in that it provides for both conservation and sustainable timber harvesting.”

The Institute also celebrated the election of James Treadwell and Mike Marren as Fellows of the NZ Institute of Forestry. The election to this special membership status is granted by a vote of members and recognizes outstanding contributions to the profession of forestry.