Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- January 3, 2005

Cal Poly Forestry and Natural Resources Program Receives National Accreditation

The forestry and natural resources undergraduate program in Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture has again received a key accreditation from the Society of American Foresters.

“SAF is pleased to acknowledge California Polytechnic State University’s continued dedication to excellence in forest resources education,” said Michael T. Georgen, Jr., executive vice-president and CEO of the Society, in announcing the continued accreditation in early December.

The latest SAF accreditation will be in effect until 2014. The College of Agriculture is honored to again receive a 10-year accreditation from the society, said Dean David Wehner.

“By working hard to meet and exceed SAF accreditation standards, our faculty and students continue to set the bar higher in our forestry and natural resources program,” Wehner said. “We’re proud of our program and our students, and our Cal Poly graduates who are out making a difference in the forestry and natural resources management field right now.”

Cal Poly’s forestry and natural resources program is the largest in the West. It received its first, 10-year accreditation from the forestry society in 1993. The society is the professional organization that represents foresters in the United States, explained Cal Poly forestry and natural resources professor and department chair Douglas Piirto.

The university’s forestry and natural resources program underwent a re-accreditation review by an SAF panel from October 16 to October 22, 2003. The review included visits to both the Swanton Pacific satellite campus forest near Santa Cruz and also the Cal Poly campus in San Luis Obispo.

“Our NRM faculty and staff have worked very hard to not only obtain SAF accreditation but also to keep it for the sake of our graduates,” said Piirto.

“Graduates from SAF-accredited university programs are highly regarded by potential employers. A Cal Poly FNR degree means a great deal to potential employers because of both our SAF accreditation and because of our focus on hands-on, learn-by-doing education,” he added.

The SAF Review Team overseeing the Cal Poly accreditation process

  • Professor Scott Beasley, dean of the Arthur Temple College of Forestry at Stephen F. Austin State University

  • Professor Glenn Mroz, dean of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences at Michigan Technological University

  • Frank Burch, silviculturist, USDA Forest Service, Washington, D.C.

For more details about the SAF, visit its Web site at

For more details about Cal Poly’s forestry and natural resources program, visit the department Web site at:

Contact: Douglas Piirto,(805) 756-2968

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