Jeffrey Bonacci of Nesquehoning and Philip W. Brown Jr. of Pine Grove were each recognized recently for being a forest steward.

Forest Stewardship is the wise management and use of forest resources to ensure their health and productivity for years to come.

Frank P. Snyder, service forester for the Bureau of Forestry, state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, presented the award to Bonacci and Brown at their respective homes.

The National Forest Stewardship Program was initiated by the National Association of State Foresters. The program was authorized in the Forestry Title of the 1990 Farm Bill and is administered through the U.S. Forest Service. In Pennsylvania, the stewardship program is directed by DCNR, Bureau of Forestry, with guidelines from a Stewardship Steering committee.

The Bureau of Forestry has enlisted the help of Penn State to address the education and awareness aspects of the program.

Snyder said Bonacci started the process of becoming a forest steward by having a Forest Stewardship Plan developed by Northeastern Forestry Concepts from Bethlehem. The Weiser Forest District covers Carbon, Dauphin, Lebanon, Schuylkill, Montour, Columbia, and Northumberland counties.

Bonacci was recognized for managing his 26-acre forest, which is located in Packer Township, for timber, wildlife, recreation, and land stewardship.

Snyder said Brown started the process of becoming a Forest Steward by having a forest steward plan developed by Donald P. Oaks, a forestry consultant from Pine Grove. The Weiser Forest District covers Carbon, Dauphin, Lebanon, Schuylkill, Montour, Columbia and Northumberland counties.

Brown has been managing his 19.5 acre forest for timber, wildlife, recreation and land stewardship.