[two_fifth ][imageframe link=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/29388462@N06/23225422080/” ] To help celebrate International Year of Forests, the U.S. Forest Service and partners are launching a new annual contest to recognize forest champions throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Forests provide clean water and air, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and a host of other benefits to people. With around 100 acres of the region’s forest lost to development each day, the need for local champions of trees and forests has never been greater!

The purpose of this contest is to recognize the outstanding efforts of groups and individuals to conserve, restore, manage and celebrate Chesapeake forests in 2011. The contest is open to all, including community groups, nonprofits, schools, youth organizations, natural resource professionals, private citizens, businesses, etc. Winners will be recognized and receive free registration and accommodations at this year’s Chesapeake Watershed Forum, which will be held September 29th — October 2nd in Shepherdstown, WV.

If you know a Chesapeake Forest Champion?? Submit your nomination by September 2nd!

For more information about contest rules & categories and to obtain a Chesapeake Forest Champion nomination form, download the form and save it to your computer before completing it and emailing it back.