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Bulgarian Foresters Visit USDA Forest Service to Observe Timber Operations –First stop: Our Nation’s Capital

Delegation toured lumber mills and met with area loggers.

Delegation toured lumber mills and met with area loggers.

Over the past year, the USDA Forest Service has been providing technical advice and assistance to the Deputy Minister for Forestry in the Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture and Food. From July 18-30, the Forest Service hosted a six-member delegation of Bulgarian forestry officials to provide insight of the day-to-day operations in timber sales management.  The agency facilitates the participation of international visitors in a broad variety of educational and cultural exchange programs in the United States.

The international tour was kicked off in Washington, D.C. with a welcoming by Forest Service’s Deputy Chief of National Forest System, Joel Holtrop. While in the DC metro area, the group visited the beloved Chesapeake Bay and learned quite a bit about the Forest Service’s partnering efforts to improve ecosystem services in the nearby watershed.

Their journey continued….

Stop 2: Eastern Regional Office, Milwaukee, Wis.: group participated in lively discussions surrounding the region’s timber management program.  Climate change, ecosystem services and watersheds were on the agenda as well.

Dr. Georgi Kostov, Deputy Minister of Agriculture in Bulgaria, provides overview of forestry issues in Bulgaria to the Eastern Region, Regional Office.

Dr. Georgi Kostov, Deputy Minister of Agriculture in Bulgaria, provides overview of forestry issues in Bulgaria to the Eastern Region, Regional Office.

Stop 3: Forest Products Lab, Madison, Wis.: group toured the sophisticated Laboratory and explored current research on carbon sequestration, climate mitigation and woody biomass utilization.

Sue Paulson at the Forest Products Lab giving a tour of the facilities to the visitors from Bulgaria.

Sue Paulson at the Forest Products Lab giving a tour of the facilities to the visitors from Bulgaria.

Stop 4: Aldo Leopold Center, Baraboo, Wis.:  grouped explored the legacy of the Aldo Leopold Center’s land ethic.

Bulgarian delegation at the Aldo Leopold Shack in Wisconsin.

Bulgarian delegation at the Aldo Leopold Shack in Wisconsin.

Final destination: Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Eagle River, Wis.: Bulgarian delegation met with Forest Service timber sales and administration experts to learn about timber management programs, interacted with area loggers and toured lumber mills in Tomahawk.  During their final destination they sailed along the beautiful Eagle River.

These exchange programs are intended to foster greater understanding, advance scientific exchanges and promote cooperation among people of many cultures and countries. For more information visit our website.

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