A Message from Angela Wells, Director of American Tree Farm System:
With the varied stages of reopening occurring in many states around the country, we have had several leaders of state Tree Farm programs inquire about the possibility of hosting state-Tree Farm affiliated events and implications from a liability perspective. We appreciate your caution and would like to provide a coherent and consistent response relevant to each of our programs in their unique situation.
First, state programs will still be eligible for coverage under AFF’s liability policy for Tree Farm-related events, provided they are following all state and local regulations and CDC guidelines related to COVID-19. This includes group size, physical distancing, and sanitation measures. Failure to take these precautions could increase the risk that a participant would hold a state program or AFF liable if they become ill. If your state program chooses to submit a request for a certificate of additional insured please be advised that we may ask you a few additional questions about how you intend to keep your attendees safe and healthy. Attached to this email is the guidance that AFF has created for physical distancing for landowner engagement. This guidance is intended as an aid, not as a directive.
Second, AFF staff travel is still suspended until further notice. While this is a great disappointment for our staff who live for the opportunity to engage with landowners and foresters on their home turf, we recognize that we place ourselves and our members at greater risk moving between states experiencing varying levels of impact due to COVID not to mention the higher risk of exposure passing through major transportation hubs. We are always open to your suggestions about how our ATFS team might be able to join you in alternate formats.
Thank you for your patience and grace as we move forward through uncharted territory. This too shall pass.
Yours in forest stewardship,
Director, American Tree Farm System
American Forest Foundation
The link below contains additional details on physical distancing measures for foresters and landowners.