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Forestry leader inducted into Hall of Fame

Published by Central Office September 12, 2017

Contact(s): Fred Souba Jr., DNR chief state forester, 608-264-9224

STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- Miles K. Benson, a longtime leader of sustainable forestry, is being inducted into the Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame on September 13, 2017. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources submitted the nomination for Benson.

"Miles Benson had a lifelong commitment to sustainable forestry," said DNR Chief State Forester Fred Souba Jr. "He believed responsible environmental policy can be integrated with sound business practices to benefit forest products companies, shareholders, customers and the public."

Benson (1937-2014) started his forestry career as a researcher in forest genetics at the Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton. He made strong contributions to tree seedling nursery operations, reforestation technologies and sustainable forest management practices. Benson finished his career at Consolidated Papers Inc., in Wisconsin Rapids, and was active in retirement with many landowner groups and other forestry organizations.

"As a member of DNR's Forest Stewardship Committee, he helped shape the implementation of the Forest Legacy Program and was a valued partner of state forestry programs," said Souba.

Benson also helped develop and implement the Habitat Conservation Plan for the Karner blue butterfly and worked to ensure new statutory language reflected the sustainable management taking place on state-owned forest lands.

Benson will join early Wisconsin Hall of Fame inductees E.M. Griffith, Wisconsin's first chief state forester from 1905-1915, and Frederick G. Wilson, one of the first foresters hired by the state in 1911, who gave 41 years of dedicated service.

Founded in 1984, the Wisconsin Forestry Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who contributed significantly to the practice and progress of forestry in the state. The Department of Natural Resources is a founding member, one of the 10 organizations in the coalition.

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point's College of Natural Resources displays plaques of all inductees and is open to the public free-of-charge during school hours. The online version is on the Wisconsin Society of American Foresters website (exit DNR).

Benson's plaque will read: "Firmly grounded in forest history, Miles K. Benson advanced the practice of sustainable forestry. A commitment to the scientific basis of forestry shaped his professional career. His belief that everyone needs to work together to accomplish sustainable forestry led to his active involvement in many forestry groups. This respected pulpwood industry leader pioneered a new era of sustainable forestry investments in Wisconsin, thanks to his keen mind, pragmatic insights, and even-keeled personality."

Last Revised: Tuesday, September 12, 2017

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