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Barnett Named Division Forester of the Year

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 | 08:46am
NASHVILLE – Dwight Barnett was recently named the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry’s Forester of the Year. The award is presented annually to a division forester who exemplifies the highest level of professionalism in serving the citizens and forest landowners of Tennessee.
 
 “The citizens of Tennessee are fortunate to have such a dedicated individual working to improve the sustainability and quality of our forests,” said State Forester Steven Scott.
 
Barnett is a native of Oregon where he grew up outside of Corvallis. He attended Oregon State University and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Science in 1975. Dwight then went into the Army for two years serving at Fort Knox. Following that he served another four years as Company Commander in the Army Reserves. His forestry career started by working with several forest industry firms in Oregon until he landed a job with the USDA Forest Service as a soil scientist where he worked for six years.
 
In 1985, his family moved to Tennessee and he began his career with the Division of Forestry as the Information and Education Program Specialist. In this role, Barnett promoted the forestry profession and general conservation ethics and practices to the public and served as the division’s spokesperson. In 2006, he moved into his current position as Area Forester serving Davidson, Robertson, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties and is also responsible for managing Cedars of Lebanon State Forest. This area is expansive geographically and has a very diverse customer demographic, ranging from traditional rural forest landowners to top level city government officials.
 
“Dwight performs his role as Area Forester with creativity, practicality and passion,” said Assistant State Forester David Arnold. “His approach to embracing the Division’s priority of land use planning is exemplary. He has developed himself as a significant resource to land use planners in providing technical forestry assistance as well as providing a model for other division foresters to follow suit.”
 
“This is the job that most suits me. Dealing with forest resource issues at the watershed level, working with land use planners on development pressures facing our forests, and assisting rural landowners with integration of forest management decisions that can combine timber management with non-game wildlife habitat gets me to work every day with a smile on my face,” said Barnett.
 
Barnett and his wife of 34 years, Joni, reside in Smyrna and have two sons and one grandchild. During his off-time, he enjoys reading about history, physics and science. He is an advisory board member of Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation and is a member of the Faith Christian Reform Church in Nashville.

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