Alliance for the Chesapeake Honors State Forester Steve Koehn
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) very own, State Forester Steve Koehn, was honored with an environmental award for his leadership in the wise and sustainable use of Maryland’s forest resources. The Alliance for the Chesapeake presented Koehn with the Special Recognition Watershed Champion award last week at its annual Taste of the Chesapeake fundraiser celebration at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis.
“It is quite an honor to be recognized by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay as a Watershed Champion. As I have repeatedly said over my career: ‘Trees are the solution to non-point source pollution,” said Koehn. “I humbly accept this award on behalf of the dedicated men and women of the Maryland Forest Service and the 250 volunteer members of the Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards, who along with many other partners work tirelessly to advance the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.”
Working within DNR’s Forest Service for the past two decades, Koehn has pioneered initiatives that made strong connections between healthy forests and the water quality of local rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Throughout his tenure, he has been a creative leader, working with partners to launch innovative new programs to restore riparian forests, target land conservation to high-priority watersheds, and work with local governments to achieve urban tree canopy expansion goals.
Appointed Director/State Forester in 2001, Koehn is responsible for providing technical and financial forestry assistance on both public and private lands statewide. Among his many accomplishments, Koehn led the process to certify the entire Maryland State Forest system, around 211,000 acres, as sustainable both through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Forest Stewardship Council standards. Most recently, Koehn led the charge for the State’s landmark Forest Preservation Act of 2013, and played a central role in the passage of the Maryland Sustainable Forestry Act of 2009. Maryland is the first state in nation to establish a policy of No Net Loss of Forests and a statewide Tree Canopy Goal of 40 percent.
In addition to his work with DNR, Koehn served as forestry instructor at John Hopkins University for nine years. He is a licensed professional forester, tree care expert and forest warden. Koehn resides in Parkton with his wife, Barbara and two daughters, Jaclyn, 24 and Sarah, 22.
Nearly 300 guests gathered to celebrate the Alliances many programs affecting the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and enjoy an evening of local food, drink and music. The Taste is intended to highlight the restoration and conservation successes of the Alliance and its partners, and to raise money to expand Bay restoration efforts.