Maryland Forester Earns National Award
Dan Hedderick Recognized as Northeast Regional Outstanding Tree Farm Inspector
The American Forest Foundation named Dan Hedderick the Northeast Regional Outstanding Tree Farm Inspector of the Year for 2016. As the Maryland Department of Natural Resources forestry project manager for Allegany County, Hedderick received this national award for his work as an exceptional certified inspector and natural resources professional.
“Dan is an incredible asset not only to our department, but to the health, abundance and productivity of important forest lands in Maryland,” Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “His passion, vast experience and innovative thinking have made him the leading source of forestry advice and application in Allegany County. We are very proud that his hard work and skills have been recognized on a national level.”
Working at the Maryland Forest Service for the past 22 years, Hedderick has pioneered initiatives that have advance stewardship ethic and action among tree farmers and private landowners. In fact, he has helped residents create and carryout sustainable forestry plans on more than 200,000 acres.
A resident of Cumberland, Hedderick also actively manages his family’s 650-acre tree farm, where he frequently invites landowners, schools, community groups, local governments, tree farmers and committee members to learn the benefits of sustainable forest management. The tours address topics such as sensitive species, streamside tree buffers, invasive species, wildfire protection, wildlife habitat and commercial timber sales.
Hedderick has been instrumental in securing tax credits and developing cost share programs so landowners can afford to carry out forest management plans. Additionally, he has led countless forestry outreach and education initiatives, including helping the county track and meet water quality goals.
The award was presented to Hedderick by American Forest Foundation President and CEO Tom Martin at its National Leadership Conference in Seattle on Feb. 1. The foundation annually recognizes an outstanding tree farmer and tree farm inspector from each of the nation’s four regions, culminating with a National Leadership award-winner.