SALEM, Oregon – Scott Altenhoff of Eugene is the new manager for the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program. Altenhoff takes over the state-wide role from Kristin Ramstad, who is retiring after more than 30 years of service.
“We had very good candidates for this position. In Scott we were delighted to find a tremendous depth of experience, knowledge and skills. He is well known and respected in urban forestry circles, not only in Oregon but also nationally, ”said Josh Barnard, head of ODF’s Natural Resources division.
Altenhoff holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Urban Forestry from Oregon State University. He is an International Association of Tree Building (ISA) Board Certified Master Tree Plant, Municipal Specialist, and Qualified Tree Risk Assessor. He is also a former president of the Association of Municipal Tree Plants and sits on the National Management Committee of the National Urban Wood Network. He is also co-chair of the Board of Directors of Canopy Watch International.
Altenhoff comes to the state government of the City of Eugene, where he has been a municipal tree / urban forester since 2005. Prior to that, he worked for 13 years as a commercial forester and forester throughout the Pacific Northwest. In the late 2000s, he taught courses in Beginning and Advanced Tree Construction at Linn-Benton Community College.
“Scott has a long-standing interest in helping people better understand and appreciate trees and urban forests. He is especially eager to share the science that shows the benefits to human health of contact with nature in the built environment, ”says Ramstad, who was on the selection panel. “So importantly, he is passionate about helping communities deal with issues such as ensuring equitable distribution of these benefits by planning for adequate logging in every neighborhood.”
Altenhoff said all cities and towns in Oregon are now required to increase density under state-wide housing legislation. He said he hopes that while communities work to enlarge housing, he can help them preserve and expand tree canopy as well. At the same time, he said Oregon communities also need help to address the tree health challenges of climate change and new pests and diseases.
“We have better information technology that can help communities know more than ever about their trees and how they are distributed. It can help them plan better and take useful action based on that knowledge, ”Altenhoff said.
In his spare time, he enjoys international travel, exploring remote natural areas and spending time with his wife and daughter.
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