On this week's show, we'll speak with Mike Zagata about some of the aspects regarding NYS's history with forest management that have gone poorly as well as improving the present and future under NYS's new initiative--the "Young Forest Initiative."
Mike Zagata, PhD served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ruffed Grouse Society. Before joining the Ruffed Grouse Society, Mr. Zagata served as the Commissioner (Chief Executive Officer) of New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation where he oversaw 4,000 employees and an operating budget in excess of $300 million.
He was inducted into the Offshore Energy Industry’s Hall of Fame for pioneering the Wetland Mitigation Banking and Rigs to Reefs programs, and was also recently inducted into the New York State Outdoorsman’s Hall of Fame. Mr. Zagata has also served as Field Director for The Wildlife Society, Director of Federal Relations for the National Audubon Society and Program Development Officer for the National Research Council’s Committee on Agriculture. In addition, he was Director of Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) for Tenneco and Vice-President of EH&S for Transco Energy, and in these capacities was awarded the National Wildlife Federation’s Whooping Crane award and the Conservation Fund’s Alexander Calder award.
He serves as Director of Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Inc. He has taught and conducted research on the impact of forest harvesting on wildlife while in the School of Forest Resources at the University of Maine, Orono. Born and raised in upstate New York, Mr. Zagata earned a doctorate in wildlife ecology from Iowa State University.