Malcolm & Henrietta Olson, Tree Farmers of the Year 2000

Crawford county, 256 acres

At its 114th Annual Meeting in September 2000, the Pennsylvania Forestry Association presented the 2000 Pennsylvania Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year award to Malcolm and Henrietta Olson of Erie.

The Olsons own a 75-acre tract near Canadohta Lake in northeast Crawford County that has been a certified Tree Farm for 24 years. Malcolm and Henrietta have hosted many tours and educational programs at their Tree Farm. "Propagating for Wildlife" was the subject of a recent educational seminar that taught forest landowners how to store and germinate seeds, and to grow plants that provide wildlife food and shelter.

The Olsons are responsible land managers who protect and use their land's renewable resources. They have taken steps to promote a diversity of plants and animal species and have established wildlife food plots and nesting boxes for a variety of species. With the assistance of a forester, they plan to harvest timber within the next 5 to 10 years.
To become a certified member of the American Tree Farm System, landowners must have at least ten contiguous acres of forestland and actively follow a written forest management plan. The plan addresses how the landowner will provide for wildlife habitat, recreation, and water and soil conservation, while producing renewable forest products. After a professional forester certifies their land, landowners earn the right to display the green and white diamond-shaped Tree Farm sign. Tree Farms are reinspected periodically to ensure that landowners continue to meet the Tree Farm System's certification standards. Pennsylvania has 1400 certified Tree Farms comprising nearly 475,000 acres.

Founded in 1941, the American Tree Farm System is the oldest and largest certifier of sustainable forests in the United States. The Tree Farm System is a program of the American Forest Foundation, a non-profit organization that develops, funds, and administers programs that encourage the long-term stewardship of our natural resources.

The Olsons were selected for the statewide honors from four regional winners. The other regional winners were David and Mary Newman of Lewisberry in York County, James and Libby Walizer of Centre County, and the Villa Maria Farms in Lawrence County. Congratulations to the Olsons and each of the regional winners.